A recent study examining the benefits of vitamin C in cancer patients contained “serious flaws,” according to an article in Alternative and Complementary Therapies.
The study in question suggested vitamin C taken with common anti-cancer drugs may reduce the antitumor effects of the medication.
However Jack Challem, an Arizona nutritionist, points to two problems with the study that may have produced inaccurate results.
Challem said the researchers used the oxidized form of vitamin C, dehydroascorbic acid, and not the actual form of vitamin C, ascorbic acid. The nutritionist also stated the mice in the experiments were given toxic doses of dehydroascorbic acid, a compound that is not used in the dietary supplement available to patients.
Because the initial report of the study garnered a fair amount of news coverage, Challem calls the flaws a “grievous disservice to physicians and patients with cancer.”
“[C]onsiderable positive research has shown striking benefits from high-dose vitamin C (ascorbic acid) in cancer cells and animals and in actual human beings,” Challem said.
High doses of vitamin C, given intravenously, is a common form of alternative and complementary therapy for patients receiving chemotherapeutic medication.