Vitamin C

This section is compiled by Frank M. Painter, D.C.
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Acidophilus Alpha Lipoic Antioxidants Beta Carotene

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Glucosamine Magnesium Omega-3 Selenium

Soy Protein Vitamin B Antibiotics Iatrogenic

Conditions That Respond Alternative Medicine Approaches to Disease

Vitamin C is one of several antioxidants shown to play a key role in the prevention of many types of cancers. Vitamin C maintains collagen, a protein necessary for the formation of skin, ligaments and bones. It also enhances the immune system, helps heal wounds and mend fractures, and aids in resisting some types of bacterial and viral infections.


Vitamin C Articles

Vitamin C, Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy
and Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

Dynamic Chiropractic (Apr 9, 2010)

G. Douglas Andersen, DC, DACBSP, CCN reports on 2 surgical trials that reduced the incidence of Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (aka Complex Regional Pain Syndrome) by 80%, by supplementing the post-surgical patients for 2 months with low-dose vitamin C.

A Nutritional Approach to Immunity
Nutrition Science News (Sep 1999)

Many studies show that immune function depends on nutrients found primarily in whole, unprocessed foods. [2] Researchers have also confirmed that physical activity and a healthy emotional state are essential for proper immune function. [3, 4] A healthy diet and lifestyle may be the cornerstones of a strong immune system, but what specific measures can be taken when a person is faced with an immune challenge such as the annual cold and flu season?

Breathe Easy with Vitamin C
Nutrition Science News (March 1999)

An investigation of lung health in rural China goes one step further than previous studies and finds that even smokers can benefit from vitamin C. Hu Guizhou, Ph.D., of Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, and Xin Zhang of the Chinese Academy of Preventive Medicine in Beijing compared the lung capacity of 3,085 people in 69 rural Chinese counties with their vitamin C intake. Vitamin C intake ranged from as much as 295 mg/day to as little as 42 mg/day. People with more vitamin C in their diet had greater lung volume—meaning they could exhale more air than those eating less of the vitamin. In fact, for each 100 mg/day increase of vitamin C, lung volume increased 22 mL. This study, completely controlled for smoking, determined the increase was the same in smokers and nonsmokers alike.

Media Overlooks Human Studies on Vitamin C
Nutrition Science News

A Response to the Inaccurate Science Article which claimed Vitamin C could cause DNA Damage ~ Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania Center for Cancer Pharmacology and the news media overlooked five current human studies that disprove the notion that high-dose vitamin C causes DNA damage. Instead, the media exploited one test-tube study, published in the June 15, 2001 issue of Science, whose researchers concluded that the daily equivalent of 200 mg vitamin C could potentially cause cancer.

Vitamin C Lengthens Lifespan
Nutrition Science News

Although vitamin C has long been considered the premier antioxidant, studies linking the vitamin to increased survival rates have been inconclusive. However, a major study conducted by researchers at Cambridge University School of Clinical Medicine in the U.K. and published in Lancet offers evidence that vitamin C saves lives.

Review many other articles discussing the impact of antioxidants on health.


Vitamin C Research

Vitamin C May Reduce the Duration of Mechanical Ventilation in
Critically Ill Patients: A Meta-regression Analysis

J Intensive Care. 2020 (Feb 7); 8: 15 ~ FULL TEXT

We identified nine potentially eligible trials, eight of which were included in the meta-analysis. We pooled the results of the eight trials, including 685 patients in total, and found that vitamin C shortened the length of mechanical ventilation on average by 14% (P = 0.00001). However, there was significant heterogeneity in the effect of vitamin C between the trials. Heterogeneity was fully explained by the ventilation time in the untreated control group. Vitamin C was most beneficial for patients with the longest ventilation, corresponding to the most severely ill patients. In five trials including 471 patients requiring ventilation for over 10 h, a dosage of 1-6 g/day of vitamin C shortened ventilation time on average by 25% (P < 0.0001).

Vitamin C Can Shorten the Length of Stay in the ICU: A Meta-Analysis
Nutrients. 2019 (Mar 27); 11 (4): pii: E708 ~ FULL TEXT

We found statistically highly significant evidence that vitamin C can shorten the length of ICU stay. We consider that our finding is a proof of concept, strongly encouraging further research, rather than justifying recommendations for change in practice. In further studies, the dose-response relationship should be carefully investigated, and oral and intravenous administration should be compared directly. Given that some common cold studies found the benefit of vitamin C to be greater in males than females, the effects of vitamin C in the ICU context should be compared between sexes. ICU patients are a highly heterogeneous group, and evidently, one estimate of vitamin C effect should not be expected to apply to all patient groups. Our analysis on mechanical ventilation indicated that the benefits of vitamin C may be greater for patients with more severe illness. Vitamin C costs only pennies per gram, whereas one day in the ICU may cost thousands of dollars; therefore, an 8% decrease in ICU stay from the administration of 2 g/day of vitamin C warrants further research.

Effects of Multinutrient Supplementation on Antioxidant Defense Systems
in Healthy Human Beings

J Nutr Biochem 2001 (Jul); 12 (7): 388–395

Oxidative damage involved in the pathogenesis of many diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, cancer and diabetics. The antioxidant defense system plays an important role in protecting body from oxidative damage. Numerous studies have been shown that a single vitamin or mineral supplementation has the beneficial effect on the antioxidant defense system. However, the overall combined effect of multinutrient supplementation on antioxidant defense system remains to be clarified. In the present double blind, placebo-controlled study, the antioxidative defense system was measured in 34 healthy subjects before and after multinutrient supplementation.

Successful and Sustained Treatment of Chronic Radiation Proctitis
with Antioxidant Vitamins E and C

Am J Gastroenterol 2001 (Apr); 96 (4): 1080–1084

Chronic radiation proctitis, a common sequelae of pelvic radiation, is characterized by obliteration of the submucosal vasculature with subsequent ischemia and reperfusion injury. Oxidative stress is thought to be a major mechanism in radiation proctitis. Therefore, antioxidants (vitamins E and C) may be beneficial.

Vitamin C Augments Chemotherapeutic Response of Cervical Carcinoma
HeLa Cells by Stabilizing P53

Biochem Biophys Res Commun 2001 (Mar 30); 282 (2): 409–15

Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) is associated in most instances with cervical cancer. Vitamin C has been shown to interfere with HPV's ability to disrupt normal cell regulation.

Salubrious Effect of Vitamin C and Vitamin E on Tamoxifen-treated Women
in Breast Cancer With Reference to Plasma Lipid and Lipoprotein Levels

Cancer Lett 2000 (Apr 3); 151 (1): 1–5

Tamoxifen, a non-steroidal antiestrogen, has been used in the hormonal treatment for breast cancer. The hepatic estrogenic effect of tamoxifen causes severe triglyceridemia. Co-administration of Vitamin C and Vitamin E in trials reduced the tamoxifen-induced hypertriglyceridemia.

Apoptosis-inducing Activity of Vitamin C and Vitamin K
Cell Mol Biol 2000 (Feb); 46 (1): 129–143

Vitamin C shows both reducing and oxidizing activities, depending on the environment in which this vitamin is present. Higher concentrations of vitamin C induce apoptotic cell death in various tumor cell lines including oral squamous cell carcinoma and salivary gland tumor cell lines, possibly via its prooxidant action.

Vitamin Nutrition and Gastroesophageal Cancer
J Nutr 2000 (Feb); 130 (2S Suppl): 338S–339S

In a study on 29,584 subjects, combination of Vitamin E, Beta-carotene and Selenium significantly decreased mortality rate from stomach cancer, primarily due to the decrease in deaths resulting from adenocarcinomas of the gastric cardia.

Effect of Antioxidants on the Occurrence of Pre-Eclampsia in Women
at Increased Risk: a Randomized Trial

Lancet 1999 (Sep 4); 354 (9181): 810–816

Supplementation with vitamins C and E may be beneficial in the prevention of pre-eclampsia in women at increased risk of the disease.

Ascorbic Acid in the Prevention and Treatment of Cancer
Alternative Medicine Review 1998 (Jun); 3 (3): 174–186 ~ FULL TEXT

Proposed mechanisms of action for ascorbic acid (ascorbate, vitamin C) in the prevention and treatment of cancer include enhancement of the immune system, stimulation of collagen formation necessary for "walling off" tumors, inhibition of hyaluronidase which keeps the ground substance around the tumor intact and prevents metastasis, prevention of oncogenic viruses, correction of an ascorbate deficiency often seen in cancer patients, expedition of wound healing after cancer surgery, enhancement of the effect of certain chemotherapy drugs, reduction of the toxicity of other chemotherapeutic agents such as Adriamycin, prevention of free radical damage, and neutralization of carcinogenic substances.

The Pro-oxidant and Antioxidant Effects of Vitamin C
Alternative Medicine Review 1998 (Jun); 3 (3): 170–173 ~ FULL TEXT

The paper entitled, "Vitamin C Exhibits Pro-oxidant Properties," which appeared recently in the journal Nature has attracted considerable attention. Authors Podmore, Griffiths, Herbert, et al describe the potential pro-oxidant effects of daily supplementation with 500 mg of vitamin C on DNA base oxidation in vivo. [1] Their conclusion raises concern because a vast number of individuals regularly supplement their diets with vitamin C in the belief that it has antioxidant effects.

Vitamin C and Chiropractic
J Manip Physiol Ther 1985 (Jun); 8 (2): 95–103

A review of the literature relating to possible clinical implications of ascorbic acid (AA) supplementation was conducted. Factors requiring a higher AA intake include smoking, alcohol ingestion, stress, diabetes mellitus, pregnancy, and certain drugs, including oral contraceptives, some antibiotics, acetylsalicylate and anti-inflammatory medications. AA has been found to significantly increase wound healing, reduce the inflammatory response, lessen respiratory distress, enhance immune function and serve to benefit many common conditions including osteoarthritis. It is concluded that vitamin C supplementation could be utilized for many conditions seen by chiropractors.

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