IV Vitamin C

How IV Vitamin C Therapy Works:

When given intravenously, high levels of vitamin C in the blood generate the production of hydrogen peroxide, a known toxin to cancer cells. Whereas normal cells have the ability to reduce the effects of hydrogen peroxide, cancer cells do not have the same mechanism of action in this regard.

In laboratory experiments of human lymphoma cancer cells, hydrogen peroxide exposure results in cell death. When a high dose of vitamin C is added to human lymphoma cancer cells, cell death was identical and due to the generation of hydrogen peroxide from the vitamin C2.

These experiments show vitamin C at high concentrations does not actually work as an anti-oxidant as it does when given orally at lower doses, but as a pro-oxidant. Pro-oxidants cause cancer cell death due to the low levels of anti-oxidant properties present in tumor cells. Vitamin C at high doses only acts as a pro-oxidant, similar in mechanism to some cancer medication therapies but without the toxic side effects.

IV Therapy Vitamin C at The Center Integrative Medicine:

Current intravenous vitamin C protocols suggest maximum benefit from one to two infusions of 50-75grams per week for about 6 months. After reassessment, continued treatment is typically one to two 50-75gram infusions per month or on an as needed basis. Each infusion takes about one hour. Although it is not necessary, it is recommended to have intravenous access through a port or PICC line.

Benefits Of  IV Vitamin C Therapy:

Who can benefit from high dose intravenous vitamin C? Research shows that IV vitamin C prolongs survival times and improves quality of life in cancer patients. Benefits are especially seen among patients with metastatic cancer, lung cancer, and lymphomas. Padayatty et al. did a case report of three patients with three different types of cancer. Each of them benefited from high dose vitamin C therapy, as radiographic and imaging results provided evidence of tumor regression or slowed growth3.

Side Effects Of IV Vitamin C Therapy:

There are very few side effects associated with high doses of intravenous vitamin C. A very small percentage of the population has a deficiency in the enzyme known as Glucose-6-Phospate Dehydrogenase, or G6PD. This enzyme is found in the blood and is necessary for the production of glutathione in red blood cells. Glutathione is a powerful anti-oxidant and is able to reduce hydrogen peroxide in the protection of normal cells. A simple blood test is used to determine the presence of this enzyme.

High dose vitamin C is contraindicated in patients with an iron overload disease. It is also contraindicated in patients with renal insufficiency or renal failure, or those undergoing dialysis.