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Intravenous Vitamin C

Chemotherapy drugs are not the only things that kill cancer cells. At Dayspring, we use a number of therapies that target cancer cells. Vitamin C is one of the big guns.

Many times people will say, “I won’t do chemo. I’ve seen too many people suffer with it and too many people die from it only a few years later.” We understand.

Chemotherapy drugs are not the only things that kill cancer cells. At Dayspring, we use a number of therapies that target cancer cells. Vitamin C is one of the big guns.

The National Institutes of Health confirmed in 2005 that vitamin C is selectively toxic to cancer cells and that tumor-toxic levels of vitamin C can be attained using intravenous administration.[1], [2] 

“Intravenous” is the key word there. When we swallow vitamin C, it passes through the stomach, and at about 4,000 milligrams, you may reach what is called “bowel intolerance,” meaning diarrhea. But when given intravenously, you can take as much as 100,000 milligrams (100 grams). You bypass the bowel intolerance problem when you bypass the stomach.

“Selectively toxic” is also a key phrase, meaning healthy cells are left unharmed.

After a high dose intravenous infusion of vitamin C, large concentrations of it in the extracellular space react spontaneously with the molecular oxygen within tumors and generate large amounts of hydrogen peroxide, which is lethal to tumor cells that produce only small amounts of catalase.

Let’s unpack that one a little more slowly. A high concentration of vitamin C will cause the body to generate hydrogen peroxide – and it is the hydrogen peroxide, not the vitamin C itself, that does the killing of cancer cells.

The human body makes and uses hydrogen peroxide, by the way. Mother’s milk, for example, contains high concentrations of it. Hydrogen peroxide is released by the immune system’s T-cells to destroy invading viruses, bacteria, and fungi. Blood platelets release hydrogen peroxide upon encountering particulates in blood. In the large intestine, acidophilus lactobacillus produces hydrogen peroxide to keep candida yeast from multiplying out of control.

Catalase is an enzyme that deactivates and neutralizes the effect of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) by breaking it down into water and oxygen. This is nature’s way to exercise control over the level of H202 in the body.

Compared to healthy cells, cancer cells usually don’t have as much intracellular catalase, so high dose vitamin C generates more hydrogen peroxide than cancer cells can handle. The H202 will continue to build up until it eventually breaks down the cancer cells and they die.

A high proportion of cancers are only able to produce small amounts of catalase, so most cancers are very vulnerable to the cancer-killing effect exhibited by high levels of hydrogen peroxide.

Ascorbic acid is metabolized (broken down) into oxalate. Patients with renal insufficiency or renal failure, or who are undergoing dialysis, should not receive high doses of vitamin C. All people should have a Glucose-6-Phosphate Dehydrogenase (G6PD) test to see if they are metabolically able to handle high-dose vitamin C.

Cancer Stem Cells

Cancer stem cells (CSCs) are a type of cell found in a tumor. They are a small subpopulation of undifferentiated cells that can turn into whatever type of cell the cancer calls upon them to make. Think of CSCs as the wild card in a card game. They are part of the body’s well-intentioned backup system, but when it comes to a malignant tumor, they are turned into bad actors.

CSCs are the most dangerous cells within a cancerous tumor because:

  • CSCs are slow to replicate, making them less likely to be destroyed by chemotherapy and radiation treatments that target rapidly dividing cells. This is why conventional chemotherapy and radiation often fail long-term – those treatments miss the CSCs. CSCs then contribute to subsequent chemotherapy and radiation resistance.

  • Each round of conventional chemotherapy kills just a percentage of the tumor. Repeated treatment cycles, about six, are used to kill all of the tumor cells. However, since CSCs have not been killed, the ratio of CSCs to benign daughter cells becomes greater and this can make the cancer more malignant.

  • An estimated 90 percent of cancer deaths come when the cancer has spread (metastasized). The National Institutes of Health has shown that chemotherapy is going to fail in greater than 90 percent of metastatic cancer.[3] This is partially due to the inability of chemotherapy to kill cancer stem cells.

Let’s say that again:  The failure to eradicate CSCs during the course of therapy is postulated to be the driving force for tumor recurrence, metastasis, and death.

At this time, the cancer industry has failed to produce a single drug that successfully targets the cancer stem cell population of cells within a tumor.

But intravenous vitamin C does.

It has long been suspected that vitamin can kill cancer stem cells because of the results seen with it in patients. However, a 2017 study[4],[5] confirmed it, finding that vitamin C at doses that can be obtained intravenously “can also be used to target the CSC population, as it is an inhibitor of energy metabolism that feeds into the mitochondrial TCA cycle and OXPHOS.” In other words, ascorbic acid works by inhibiting glycolysis, the process by which glucose (sugar) is broken down within the cell’s mitochondria and turned into energy for the cell’s proliferation. If a cell can’t produce energy, it dies. This study also showed that when it comes to killing cancer stem cells, intravenous vitamin C is 10 times more potent than the experimental drug 2-DG.

The Mayo Study

We include this history tidbit for those of you who heard that “Mayo Clinic said vitamin C doesn’t work.”

In the 1960s, Nobel Prize winning scientist Dr. Linus Pauling collaborated with the British cancer surgeon, Dr. Ewan Cameron, to study intravenous vitamin C’s effects on cancer patients. They reported very promising results.

Mayo came along and decided to do a vitamin C study. C.G. Moertel conducted controlled clinical studies at Mayo Clinic where he selected a cohort of 100 terminal colon cancer patients. He administered 10 grams of oral vitamin C. The patients failed to do any better than patients not receiving vitamin C in the study. Moertel reported in 1985 in the New England Journal of Medicine that “it can be concluded that high-dose vitamin C therapy is not effective against advanced malignant disease regardless of whether the patient has had any prior chemotherapy.”[6]

Mainstream medicine huffed and said, “See, that natural stuff doesn’t work on cancer, stick with chemo and radiation.”

One big problem with Moertel’s study:  His study failed because he used oral vitamin C. Giving it orally simply does not work in the same manner as giving larger amounts intravenously. Whereas low dose oral vitamin C acts as an antioxidant, high dose intravenous vitamin C acts as a chemotherapeutic agent.

Some 20 years later, the National Institutes of Health finally re-studied vitamin C, used it intravenously, and pronounced that Moertel’s conclusions were wrong, that intravenous vitamin C can kill cancer cells.

A Non-Toxic Agent

Intravenous vitamin C has a long track record of safety. It targets cancer cells, leaving healthy cells unharmed.

And intravenous vitamin C does more than just kill cancer cells. It boosts immunity. It can neutralize and eliminate a wide range of toxins. It can stimulate collagen formation to help the body wall off the tumor. It inhibits hyaluronidase, an enzyme that tumors use to metastasize and invade other organs throughout the body. It induces apoptosis to help program cancer cells into dying early. It corrects the almost universal scurvy – lack of vitamin C – in cancer patients that generally goes unrecognized by conventional physicians. Cancer patients are usually under great stress; stress uses up vitamin C.

Not all vitamin C is the same however. Many times, it is made from genetically modified (GMO) corn. We use a non-GMO source for our intravenous vitamin C; it is made from cassava, a root vegetable.

Let us share with you the story of one patient we treated, a man with stage IV prostate cancer, who had been unable to turn around his PSA. He had been treated with intravenous vitamin C. He came to us and we put him on an oral, true vitamin C derived from cassava, his PSA went from 570 to 204 in 11 days. That is a 64% drop in PSA in eleven days!  A high quality, non-GMO, oral liposomal vitamin C was able to do this – think of it as the “Ferrari” of vitamin C.

It is critical to get true, non-corn vitamin C. And that can be difficult as compounding pharmacies have no way to establish whether the Certificate of Analysis is accurate/honest or not. After all, the pharmacy depends on the supplier to be truthful and the supplier has to depend on others to do the same. At some point, this line of trust may be broken by unscrupulous people. Cassava-derived vitamin C is about 5-6 times the price of corn-derived vitamin C. Who is to say what is really coming out of China? Dr. Dickens has been in contact with a European food analytical company who says that even a SNIF-NMR® analysis will not reveal the true source of vitamin C. So it is a case of buyer beware; just because a Certificate of Analysis says “cassava derived” does not mean it is verifiable. The most efficacious form of vitamin C to use intravenously is a true Cassava-derived product. We have found trusted suppliers. We also double check via electrodermal screening whether intravenous vitamin C can be expected to work for each individual patient.

Bowel Tolerance

When taking vitamin C orally, many people will hit “bowel tolerance” at about 4 grams. However, cancer patients are famous for being exceptionally low in vitamin C. Often people with cancer can take vastly more vitamin C before signs of bowel tolerance (diarrhea) show up.

You can read more about this, and the value of having enough vitamin C in your body, at

[1] Chen Q, Espey MG, Krishna MC et al. Pharmacologic ascorbic acid concentrations selectively kill cancer cells: action as a pro-drug to deliver hydrogen peroxide to tissues. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2005 Sep 20;102(38):13604-9. 54.[2] Chen Q, Espey MG, Sun AY et al. Ascorbate in pharmacologic concentrations selectively generates ascorbate radical and hydrogen peroxide in extracellular fluid in vivo.  Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 2007 May 22;104(21):8749-

[3] Sun Y, Campisi J et al. Treatment-induced damage to the tumor microenvironment promotes prostate cancer therapy resistance through WNT16B. Nat Med. 2012 September ; 18(9): 1359–1368.

[4] Bonuccelli G, De Francesco EM et all. NADH autofluorescence, a new metabolic biomarker for cancer stem cells: Identification of Vitamin C and CAPE as natural products targeting “stemness.” Oncotarget, 2017; 8:20667-20678

[5] Sandoiu A. Vitamin C can target and kill cancer stem cells, study shows. Medical News Today. March 13, 2017

[6] Moertel CG, Fleming TR, Creagan ET et al. High-dose vitamin C versus placebo in the treatment of patients with advanced cancer who have had no prior chemotherapy. A randomized double-blind comparison. N Engl J Med, Jan 1985

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