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What effect do vitamin C infusions have?

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Quick Answer

According to research, infusions of vitamin C may slow the development of several types of cancer, and combining infusions with chemotherapy may be more effective than chemotherapy alone. However, results remain mixed, so the FDA has not certified infusions as a cancer treatment, notes the National Cancer Institute.

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Full Answer

Studies analyzing the effect of vitamin C infusions on pancreatic, liver, neuroblastoma, prostate, colon and malignant mesothelioma cells indicate that the treatment retards their progression. Various types of ascorbic acid, the chemical in high-dose vitamin C, with different types of chemotherapy may enhance the effectiveness of that chemotherapy against different types of cancer cells. However, dehydroascorbic acid, another type of vitamin C, appears to make chemotherapy less effective, so results remain mixed, as stated by the National Cancer Institute.

According to animal studies, vitamin C infusions block tumor growth, shrink tumors in a number of different types of cancer, and, in one study, make light therapy more effective against cancer as well. However, the results remain mixed, as the interactions between vitamin C and the drug bortezomib appear to lead to more tumor growth rather than less. Even in patients in whom the vitamin C infusion does not stop tumor growth, research shows that the treatments do increase quality of life, reducing some of the unpleasant symptoms of cancer and cancer treatment such as vomiting, nausea, fatigue, emotional difficulties and appetite loss, notes the National Cancer Institute.

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