Vitamin C, also known as L-ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin, found in fresh fruits, berries and green vegetables. It is best known for its free radical scavengers activity and regenerating oxidized vitamin E for immune support.
Epidemiological studies linking vitamin C in reduced risk of cervical cancer may be inconclusive(1)(1c)(1a)(1b), but no doubt in acceptance of improved quality of life(QoL)(2).
D-Glucopyranosyl-L-ascorbic acid (AA-2βG), a novel stable vitamin C analog isolated from Lycium barbarum fruit induced Hela cell apoptosis through cell cycle arrest(3). A case-control study including 239 diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma of the cervix and 979 hospital patients with nonneoplastic found a significant reductions in risk of approximately 40-60% observed for women in the highest vs. lowest tertiles of dietary intake, including vitanin C(4)(4a). In human cervical cancer CaCx patients of the age group of 25-65 years, oral administration of vitamin C reduced oxidative stress risk of CaCx with no side effect(5). A nutrient mixture (NM) containing lysine, proline, arginine, ascorbic acid, and green tea extract inhibited 100% of invasion of human cervical cancer cells CCL-2 and DoTc2 4510 at 500 microg/mL NM, according to the study of Matthias Rath Research Institute(6).
The study at All India Institute of Medical Sciences of the effects of vitamin C in cervical cancer patients, indicated that vitamin C downregulates the redox sensitive transcription factor AP-1 and decreases one of its transcription targets HPV E6, and stabilizes P53 through increase in Bax and decrease in Bcl-2 and telomerase activity(7). In deed, the study at Kidwai Memorial Institute of Oncology also found s significant low levels of of carotene, vitamin A, and vitamin C measured in the serum of patients with cancer of the uterine cervix(8).
Other researchers suggested malnutrition may be a significant cause for the increased prevalence of cervical cancer in women with evidences of low levels of GSH, GPx, GST, SOD, vitamin E and vitamin C in the circulation of cervical cancer patient(9).
Taken altogether, oral administration of vitamin C may be associated to reduced risk and treatment of cervical cancer and precancer but malnutrition and nutrients deficiency may play an important role in enhancing the start of the cancer itself. Daily ingestion of high-dose vitamin C may be considered safe, but in rare incidence, overdoses in a prolonged period of time, may cause intra-renal oxalate crystal deposition, a fatal nephrotoxicity(10)(11).
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(1) Dietary factors and in situ and invasive cervical cancer risk in the European prospective investigation into cancer and nutrition study by González CA1, Travier N, Luján-Barroso L, Castellsagué X, Bosch FX, Roura E, Bueno-de-Mesquita HB, Palli D, Boeing H, Pala V, Sacerdote C, Tumino R, Panico S, Manjer J, Dillner J, Hallmans G, Kjellberg L, Sanchez MJ, Altzibar JM, Barricarte A, Navarro C, Rodriguez L, Allen N, Key TJ, Kaaks R, Rohrmann S, Overvad K, Olsen A, Tjønneland A, Munk C, Kjaer SK, Peeters PH, van Duijnhoven FJ, Clavel-Chapelon F, Boutron-Ruault MC, Trichopoulou A, Benetou V, Naska A, Lund E, Engeset D, Skeie G, Franceschi S, Slimani N, Rinaldi S, Riboli E.(PubMed)
(1a) Vitamin or antioxidant intake (or serum level) and risk of cervical neoplasm: a meta-analysis by Myung SK1, Ju W, Kim SC, Kim H; Korean Meta-analysis (KORMA) Study Group.(PubMed)
(1b) Intakes of vitamin A, C, and E, and beta-carotene are associated with risk of cervical cancer: a case-control study in Korea by Kim J1, Kim MK, Lee JK, Kim JH, Son SK, Song ES, Lee KB, Lee JP, Lee JM, Yun YM.(PubMed)
(1c) Vitamins C and E and beta carotene supplementation and cancer risk: a randomized controlled trial by Lin J1, Cook NR, Albert C, Zaharris E, Gaziano JM, Van Denburgh M, Buring JE, Manson JE.(PubMed)
(2) [Effect of antioxidant supplementation over oxidative stress and quality of life in cervical cancer].