Vitamin C and cancer: discover the true connection

Vitamin C and cancer: discover the true connection

Vitamin C supplements favor cancer metastasis.

The suspicion that supplements vitamin C and others antioxidants promote cancer has been confirmed. A new study of the Karolinska Institute published in The Journal of Clinical Investigation have been shown to stimulate the formation of new blood vessels in lung cancer tumors, which means that they can accelerate tumor growth and metastasis.

Antioxidants and cancer

Los antioxidants they are beneficial substances because they neutralize oxygen free radicals, which can harm the body. That’s why the Dietary supplements based on antioxidants are popular. However, in doses that are too high they can be harmful.

“We have discovered that antioxidants activate a mechanism that makes cancerous tumors form new blood vesselswhich is surprising, since antioxidants were previously thought to have a protective effect.”says study leader Martin Bergö, professor in the Department of Biosciences and Nutrition and vice president of the Karolinska Institut in Sweden.

“New blood vessels nourish tumors and can help them grow and spread”, Add. It should be remembered that cancer cells need, on the one hand, a inflammatory environment to grow and, on the other, create blood vessels to spread to other parts of the body.

What about antioxidants in food?

What about foods rich in vitamin C? Do we have to limit them? The expert points out that the danger does not lie in foods with vitamin C and other antioxidants but in the supplements. Most people who take them don’t need them.point.

And study of Fundación MAPFRE, in collaboration with the Spanish Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, reveals that up to a 75% of the Spanish take a food supplement and most do without a prescription. The ones that sell the most are those of vitamin C and D and other antioxidant minerals such as selenium or the zinc.

all the froutes and vegetables contain vitamin C, so a diet rich in these foods ensures correct dose without the need for supplementation.

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It should be noted that, according to the Swedish study, the people who are most harmful to these supplements are those who already have cancer or are at high risk.

New cancer drugs

Researchers have previously shown that vitamin C and E (another major antioxidant) accelerate the growth and spread of lung cancer by activating a protein called BACH1. Now they have seen that what this protein does is form new blood vessels, something vital for the tumor to grow.

This study is not only interesting because it has shown how antioxidant supplementation can promote metastasis, it also opens the door to develop new cancer drugs.

Los medicines that stop the formation of blood vessels (angiogenesis inhibitors) to fight cancer have been extensively studied in clinical trials but the results have not been very successful. “Our study opens the door to more effective ways of preventing angiogenesis in tumors; For example, patients whose tumors have elevated BACH1 levels might benefit more from antiangiogenic therapy than patients with low BACH1 levels.”says the researcher.

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