No clinical evidence for Vitamin C cancer claim warns Cancer Research UK

In collaboration with the Press Association

Cancer Research UK has warned that a report suggesting large doses of vitamin C may help tackle cancer is potentially misleading.

The report, published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, claimed that massive doses of vitamin C delivered intravenously may fight cancer cells.

"To date, there is no clinical evidence to show that high dose vitamin C can treat cancer," said Dr Emma Knight, cancer information officer at Cancer Research UK.

"The three case studies described in this paper all received treatments in addition to vitamin C, so this is not proof that the vitamin can treat cancer.

"The findings do raise the possibility that future studies should investigate the potential of intravenous rather than oral administration," she added.

Some researchers have previously suggested that Vitamin C may be beneficial in cancer treatment, but clinical testing has failed to uncover any benefits.

The report, compiled by the US National Institutes of Health, claimed that directly injecting the maximum bearable dose of vitamin C could yield positive results.

The research team only carried out testing on three patients however, all of whom were receiving normal treatment, and emphasised that the tests did not provide proof.

"Cancer Research UK would welcome more research in this area. But it is important that people with cancer talk to their doctor before taking vitamin C," added Dr Knight.

"High doses can cause a number of side effects and may limit the effectiveness of radiotherapy and chemotherapy."

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