Vitamin C Foundation "There was something odd about the results of the vitamin C and cancer experiments Linus Pauling reported in the 1980s: patients lived longer - much longer. Those treated with vitamin C lived an average of four times as long as control patients who did not receive vitamin C. This massive improvement was unparalleled in the history of medicine."
Cancer Breakthrough, Handbook on Vitamin C Therapy for Patients and Doctors by vitamin C experts Steven Hickey,PhD, and Hiliary Roberts, PhD.

Vitamin C Foundation Is Vitamin C a Miracle Cancer Cure?

Yes and no. Non-toxic "chemo" is the miraculous promise of "vitamin C" in the fight against cancer.

Recently, exciting research has been published that documents the ability of vitamins C, E and selenium orally to prevent most cancers, and to decrease the mortality of pancreatic cancers, stomach cancers, prostate cancers and other cancers. It sounds too good to be true. The Vitamin C Foundation is interested in the how and why vitamin C prevents and treats cancers.

Almost all vitamin C experts agree, hydrogen peroxide produced by high levels of ascorbate (vitamin C) kill cancer cells.

However, vitamin C by itself is relatively weak at this job so don't try low dosages. Experts recommend continuous high dosages of ascorbate (vitamin C) combined with specific adjuncts (e.g. Alpha Lipoic Acid, Vitamin K3, and/or D'Fraction Maitake Mushroom.)

Most experts recommend incorporating high-dose intravenous vitamin C (IV/C) infusions to achieve the high blood concentrations necessary to kill the most tumor cells.

Expert Opinion: The Case for Vitamin C Against Cancers

Talking to your Oncologist

You may be able to talk your oncologist into going along with vitamin C as an 'adjunct' (not a replacement for) conventional chemotherapy.

Vitamin C Foundation Improvement of terminal cancer patients' health-related quality of life after high dose vitamin C administration... No matter how effective IV/C is against tumors, the high-dose Vitamin C therapy can become an important adjunct to standard therapies by protecting our trillions of good cells from the adverse effects of chemotherapy and radiation. Studies have shown that taking IV/C after these therapies does not interfere with them and patients who take IV/C after chemotherapy do better than those who don't get vitamin C.

Ketogenic Diet

Cancers have increased insulin receptors and thrive on sugar. All carbohydrates reduce to simple sugars during digestion. This is why low-carb, low-sugar (ketogenic) diets can be important to starve fast growing tumors of glucose.

Glucose, a component of most sugars, competes with vitamin C for entry into cells because these molecules are similar. This may be why the low-carb diet enhances vitamin C anti-cancer therapies.

Good Advice: Take Oral Vitamin C Too - All Day

Authors Hickey and Roberts stress that vitamin C should be taken orally 24/7 to keep the oxygen "redox" pressure on cancer tumors (i.e. not only during regular intravenous vitamin C infusions.)

The Cancer Breakthrough
Handbook on Vitamin C Therapy for Patients and Doctors by Steve Hickey and Hilary Roberts

Vitamin C Foundation The new Vitamin C Foundation sugar-free chewables (with Niacin) help with compliance, i.e. one tasty tablet every 3 to 4 hours, and they may help reduce the sugar/carb craving.

Cameron's chewables also contain important ingredients that may have contributed to the outstanding Pauling/Cameron results in their Scottish study. Visit this forum topic on how and why new Vitamin C Foundation approved chewable vitamin C may contain Ewan Cameron's Secret Weapon against cancer.


There must be a downside? Linus Pauling and Ewan Cameron warned that it is prudent to start vitamin C therapy slowly in advanced cancers, otherwise the massive tumor die-off may kill the patient.

Rationale for Intravenous Vitamin C in Cancer Patients

Podcast: Expert Medical School Researcher on Intravenous Vitamin C for Cancer

Intravenous Vitamin C for cancer: Integrative pioneer Dr. Jeanne Drisko shares her research on IV C, ketogenic diet and hyperbaric oxygen as effective adjuncts to conventional treatments for cancer--just taking ordinary vitamin C by mouth isn't the same!

Rationale for Intravenous Vitamin C in Cancer Patients...

Because cancer cells are relatively low in an intracellular anti-oxidant enzyme called catalase, the high dose vitamin C induction of peroxide will continue to build up until it eventually lyses the cancer cell from the inside out! This effectively makes high dose IVC a non-toxic chemotherapeutic agent that can be given in conjunction with conventional cancer treatments. Based on the work of several vitamin C pioneers before him, Dr. Riordan was able to prove that vitamin C was selectively toxic to cancer cells if given intravenously. This research was recently reproduced and published by Dr. Mark Levine at the National Institutes of Health.
For maximal tumor-killing effect, intravenous vitamin C is recommended at dosages up to 200,000 milligrams (200 grams) per infusion, 2 or 3 times per week. These large dosages, directly into the vein, create blood concentrations hundreds and perhaps thousands of times larger than oral intakes.

Vitamin C Pioneer Hugh Riordan Lecture on Vitamin C and Cancer

Research that began Hugh Riordan's clinic has demonstrated that several substances can be taken with vitamin C to enhance the "cancer killing" effect. These are Alpha-Lipoic Acid, Vitamin K3, and recently, D'Fraction Maitake Mushroom Extract.

Vitamin C has and is being studied for its effects on cancer. Recent science has demonstrated (in test tube experiments) that vitamin C, when combined with Maitake Mushroom D'Fraction, fantastically exceeds the ability of conventional chemotherapy to limit the growth of cancer cells in almost all cell lines in vitro. - Owen Fonorow (Story below)

For best results, IV/C combined with continuous oral vitamin C 24/7.

High and continuous dosing of vitamin C is key. Experts Steve Hickey and Hilary Roberts tell us in their landmark book CANCER: NUTRITION AND SURVIVAL, that oral vitamin C by itself is a relatively weak cancer fighter, and, if given infrequently, might even feed certain tumors.

Thomas Levy MD, JD: Vitamin C and Cancer

Vitamin C author Thomas E. Levy, MD, JD writes about vitamin C and cancer in his seminal book Primal Panacea (2011)
Cancer is a class of diseases to which a group of cells displays uncontrolled growth invading and sometimes destroying adjacent tissues. In its advanced stages it frequently metastasizes or spreads to other locations in the body via lymph or blood. These three malignant properties of cancers differentiate them from benign tumors, which do not rapidly proliferate, invade or metastasize.

Traditional Approach:

Often a combination of one or more of the following is used: surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. The theory behind radiation and chemotherapy is that the more rapidly growing cancer cells are less able to defend themselves from toxic assault than the normal cells. Radiation and nearly all chemotherapy drugs are themselves carcinogenic (cancer-causing), since they increase oxidative stress in all the cells treated, not just cancer cells.

High-Dose Vitamin C Approach:

Case studies demonstrate success in treating and even completely resolving various cancers with high-dose vitamin C.

In advanced cancer patients, high-dose vitamin C therapy compared to conventional therapy at one facility over a 3-year period shows:

  • 75% better breast cancer survivor rate
  • 867% better long cancer survivor rate
  • 107% better colorectal cancer survivor rate

When breast cancer patients made this facility as their first treatment option, the 3-year survival rate improved by 134%.

High-dose vitamin C enhances the effectiveness of traditional chemotherapies.

Vitamin C has its own cancer cell-killing ability, and it also significantly improves the cell-killing ability of doxorubicin - even when the vitamin C is given at a non-cytotoxic dosage, it still improves the cell-killing ability of doxorubicin.

-- Thomas Levy, MD

What about True-liposomal vitamin C? for Cancers?
Does liposomal vitamin C work like an IV/C in the fight against cancer, and how well?

Author and Vitamin C Expert Dr. Thomas E Levy, MD,JD, wrote to us:

Hi Owen,

I am a fan of IVC, always have been. However, vitamin C that is legitimately encapsulated in liposomes, as I have used from LivOn Labs for many years now, also has a profound impact on cancer. Anecdotally, I have seen many cancers now respond dramatically and/or completely resolve with IVC, sodium ascorbate powder chronically pushed to bowel tolerance, and relatively low dose of liposome-encapsulated vitamin C (3 to 6 grams/packets daily). All these forms of vitamin C as monotherapy have achieved these dramatic results. That said, the more forms you take of vitamin C, in the highest tolerable/affordable doses, the better.

While there are many positive things vitamin C can do to help resolve a cancer by its concentration in the extracellular space, I do not believe the evidence supports this as being the primary site of cancer resolution. Anything that causes apoptosis and/or necrosis of a cancer cell does so by ramping up intracellular oxidative stress to the point that is incompatible with continued cell life. If that point is reached relatively gradually, apoptosis, or programmed cell death occurs. If that intracellular oxidative stress escalates rapidly, it results in frank necrosis and cancer cell rupture.

Probably the most common, and perhaps the only significant way a cancer cell can reach a fatal level of increased intracellular oxidative stress from vitamin C, is via upregulation of the Fenton reaction inside the cell. The Fenton reaction involves this sequence: VC converts ferric to ferrous. Ferrous gives its electron to hydrogen peroxide, and the devastatingly destructive free radical, hydroxyl radical, is produced.

The cancer cell is especially susceptible because its accumulates iron, and it is deficient in catalase, increasing peroxide levels. The Fenton reaction is just "waiting" to be stimulated in such a cell. Furthermore, the liposome delivery system is, far and away, the best way to elevate vitamin C inside the cells of the body, including cancer cells.

When the elevated intracellular oxidative stress is downregulated in a cancer cell, such as by removing calcium from the cytoplasm, the cell becomes less malignant and will be less prone to metastasize and proliferate. It is the modulation of the intracellular oxidative stress that allows malignant transformation in the first place, and that can prevent it from taking place as well. The abnormalities in the extracellular space, in my opinion, make a lesser contribution to the malignant state and its maintenance versus the microenvironment inside the cancer cells.

On my website,, I have written multiple articles addressing why tracking blood levels of liposome-encapsulated vitamin C is absolutely irrelevant in ascertaining its clinical impact, why the Multi-C Protocol is the way to go, and why liposomes supercharge critical immune cells with vitamin C, in addition to elevating its levels inside the cells of the body, including any cancer cells that are present.

I hope this helps clarify things for the forum participants. At the risk of being accused of trying to make a buck, I covered all of this in even greater detail in my new book, Death by Calcium.

Best regards,

Dr. Levy

Make Vitamin C More Powerful Against Cancers

The Foundation believes that intravenous (as well as high bowel tolerance doses of oral) vitamin C for cancer should be augmented with at least one of the following: Vitamin K3, Alpha Lipoic Acid, and most recently, D-Fraction of the Maitake mushroom. Adding this adjuncts or augmenters markedly increases Vitamin C's cancer-killing effects.
Vitamin C Foundation Recent research has discovered that (in the test tube) vitamin C combined with Maitake D-Fraction mushroom extract together stop cancer cell growth and kill cancer cells. The effect is far greater together than either substance tested alone.

Vitamin C's anti-tumor and cancer killing effect can be enhanced by supplementing at least one of the following three nutritional supplements:

Alpha Lipoic Acid (orally 600 mg daily in two equal dosages)

Vitamin C Foundation From a Riordan Clinic paper: "Lipoic acid (thioctic acid), an aqueous and lipid-soluble antioxidant that recycles vitamin C, decreased the dose of vitamin C required to kill 50% of tumor cells from 700 mg/dL to 120 mg/dl".

Vitamin K3

Vitamin C Foundation Vitamin K3 has been removed from the market by the FDA and is not available. (Note: Vitamin K3 is under study in combination with vitamin C as an anticancer drug at the Mayo clinic.)

Vitamin C and Vitamin K3

Maitake Mushroom D'Fraction

Vitamin C Foundation From a New York University paper, "On the other hand, the combination of Maitake Mushroom D'Fraction (300 µg/ml) and Vitamin C (200 µM) was capable of inducing the drastic (>90%) growth reductions due to cell death in these cancer cells. These dramatic results were superior to those from any combinations of drugs and mushroom extract."
Amazing 10-Times Anti-Cancer Effect of Mushroom D-Fraction and Vitamin C Together Make it into a Mainstream Journal
Induction of Cell Death in Renal Cell Carcinoma With Combination of D-Fraction and Vitamin C. Conclusion: The present study demonstrates that the combination of D'Fraction and Vitamin C can become highly cytotoxic, inducing severe cell death in ACHN cells.

For Immediate Release

New York: August 2012 Vitamin C, in Combination with Maitake Mushroom Extract (D-Fraction) Together Stop (>=90%) Cancer Growths in All Cell Lines
"Results: Compared to individual drugs alone, combinations of those drugs and D-Fraction, Maitake Mushroom extract(PDF) showed significantly (p<0.05) improved anticancer activity, assessed by the growth reduction, on all 3 cancer cell types. On the other hand, combination of D-Fraction (PDF) (300 µg/ml) and Vitamin C (200 µM) was capable of inducing the drastic (>=90%) growth reductions due to cell death in these cancer cells. These dramatic results were superior to those from any combinations of drugs and the D-Fraction.

Conclusions: The present study demonstrates that the efficacy of chemotherapeutic drugs can be improved with PDF to a certain extent, but the mushroom extract-D Fraction/Vitamin C combination can lead to severe apoptotic cell death with a G1 arrest and the modulation of critical apoptotic regulators. Thus, these findings suggest that PDF may have a great potential as an adjuvant agent that can be combined with chemotherapeutic drugs or with Vitamin C for the improved treatment of various urological malignancies."

Comparison of Anticancer Effects of Two Combination Trials in Urological Cancer Cells: Chemotherapeutic Drugs Combined with D-fraction Versus D-fraction with Vitamin C, Bobby Alexander, Andrew Fishman, Majid Eshghi, Muhammad Choudhury, Sensuke Konno, Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients, Aug/Sep 2012, pg. 79-81 Abstractbad link

Controversy: Does Vitamin C Work Inside or Just Outside of Cancer Cells?

Probably both. The proponents of Intravenous Vitamin C point to research that shows vitamin C concentrations just outside cancer cells is thousands of times more concentrated that levels that can be achieved via oral vitamin C intake. This camp believes that the hydrogen peroxide created outside cancer cells kills them.

Another camp believes that the oxygen redox levels inside cells (from massive amounts of ascorbate entering cancer cells) is what causes cancer cell death from apoptosis (cell suicide). This camp recommends intravenous vitamin C, but also recommends keeping the pressure on tumor cells with oral vitamin C to tolerance all day long.

Vitamin C Foundation How Vitamin C Stops Cancer A team of Johns Hopkins scientists have shown that in mice at least, vitamin C - and potentially other antioxidants - can indeed inhibit the growth of some tumors

Ralph Moss: Antioxidants Increase Chemo Potency Against Cancer

We recommend the book Antioxidants Against Cancer which clearly explains why antioxidant therapy should be offered to every cancer patient. Ralph Moss, a leading expert on cancer treatments, provides an excellent evidence-based summary, easily understood by both patients and their cancer treatment specialists,

The following tables from the Moss book illustrate that vitamin C the effectiveness of using vitamin C (and vitamin E) as an adjunct to conventional therapies.

Combinations of Vitamin C and Conventional Anticancer Agents
Agent UsedDecrease in Cancer Growth
Vitamin C -5.0%
5-FU 38.0%
5-FU + Vitamin C 95.5%
X rays 72.0%
X rays + Vitamin C 98.2%
Bleomycin 73.0%
Bleomycin + Vitamin C 92.0%

Combinations of Vitamin E and Conventional Anticancer Agents
Agent UsedDecrease in Cancer Growth
Vitamin E 47%
Bleomycin 46%
Bleomycin + Vitamin E 71%
5-FU 37%
5-FU + Vitamin E 71%
Adriamycin 58%
Adriamycin + Vitamin E 88%
Cisplatin 57%
Cisplatin + Vitamin E 82%
Source: Kedar Prasad, University of Colorado, as summarized in Antioxidants Against Cancer by Ralph Moss

Moss Reports and updates on the latest science of Antioxidants and Cancer by Ralph Moss

Case: Vitamin C Topically Cures Basal Carcinoma (Skin Cancer)

My mother just had the same experience as myself by wiping on a saturated solution of ascorbate and watching basal cell cancer's crust up in 24 hours and be totally gone in 1 week.

I had done this to two of them on my face recently. I used ascorbic acid and she used buffered c from life extension which is just like c-salts from I had read about and visited Dr. Riordan in Wichita, KN. and knew of the cytotoxicity of ascorbate to many cancers in vitro. I figured why not put it directly on a basal cell and see what happens.

It is nothing short of miraculous!

Pass this information on and watch the dermatology industry react.

W. W., MD

Vitamin C Foundation Case Study: BASAL CARCINOMA CURE (skin cancer) - VITAMIN C SOLUTION...

Review of the Recent Science

Study: Long Term Use of Antioxidant Supplements Cuts Risk of Breast Cancer in Half
Taking antioxidant vitamins for a long term may help prevent breast cancer, according to a study published in the Aug 24, 2011 issue of BMC Cancer.

The study led by S.Y. Pan of Public Health Agency of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada and colleagues showed that premenopausal women who had taken zinc supplements for 10 years or longer were 54 percent less likely to develop breast cancer, compared to those who had not.

The study also showed that supplementation of multivitamin, beta-carotene, vitamin C, vitamin E and zinc for 10 or more years was associated with 26, 42, 21, 25, and 53 percent reduced risk of breast cancer , respectively, in postmenopausal women.

On the other hand, dietary antioxidants including beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, lycopene, lutein and zeaxanthin, vitamin C, vitamin E, selenium and zinc or supplementation of antioxidants for less than 10 years were not associated with reduced risk of developing breast cancer.

Study: Antioxidant Intake Significantly Decreases Pancreatic Cancer Risk by 67%

What researchers found was that those who consumed the most selenium roughly halved their risk of developing pancreatic cancer compared to participants with the lowest intake. Even more remarkable, participants in the top 25 percent of consumption of vitamins C, E and selenium reduced their risk by 67 percent. The authors concluded that this amount of reduced risk could possibly prevent 8 percent of pancreatic cancers.

Study: Vitamins E, C Cut Prostate Cancer Risk

The study led by E. Bidoli of Centro di Riferimento Oncologico, IRCCS, Aviano, (PN), Italy and colleagues found men who had highest vitamin E intake were 22 percent less likely to develop prostate cancer, compared to those who had the lowest intake. A similar association was found between vitamin C intake and risk of prostate cancer. Men who had the highest intake of vitamin C were 14 percent less likely to develop prostate cancer compared with those who had the lowest intake.

Study: Vitamin C, E and selenium drastically reduce risk of death from gastric cancer (stomach cancer) and esophageal cancer in half.

Gastric cancer or esophageal cancer patients who took vitamin C, E and antioxidative selenium supplements during a 15-year study were 50 percent less likely to die from the cancers. .

Vitamins C and A synergistically fight breast cancer cell growth...

Vitamin C Foundation A study published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry found that administering both vitamin A and vitamin C to cultured human breast cancer cells was more than three times as effective than the administration of either compound alone.

"This is the first time the effect of combining retinoic and ascorbic acid on breast cancer cell proliferation, differentiation, apoptosis and antioxidant-related gene expression has been studied."

The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry
Volume 17, Issue 7, July 2006, Pages 454.462
Retinoic acid and ascorbic acid act synergistically in inhibiting human breast cancer cell proliferation
Ki-Nam Kima, Jae-Eun Pieb, Jin-Hee Parka, Yoon-Hee Parka, Hye-Won Kima, Meyoung-kon Kima, Corresponding author contact information, E-mail the corresponding author.
More Science
In 1954 McCormick postulated the theory that the factor which preconditions the body to the development of cancer is the degenerative changes caused by continued low levels of ascorbic acid in the body. According to Irwin Stone, additional evidence supporting this hypothesis comes from the work of Goth and Littmann in 1948. They found that cancers most frequently originate in organs whose ascorbic acid levels are below 4.5 mg/dl and rarely grow in organs containing ascorbic acid above this concentration. (Irwin Stone, The Healing Factor, Pg 95. Irwin Stone's 1972 book: The Healing Factor )

Hickey/Roberts Important Cancer Book Ready for Download

How Vitamin C Is Administered Affects How Much Reaches the Bloodstream and May Affect the Results of Studies of Its Potential Effect on Cancer ...

Dr. Cathcart's Vitamin C and Cancer Page

Preparation of Sodium Ascorbate for IV and IM Use... Cathcart's Written Instructions for Physicians

Nobel prize winner's letter on vitamin C and cancer...

NIH (Levine's) Vitamin C/Cancer Paper Now Available - Free Download (pdf)

Even the mainstream is slowly recognizing value of vitamin C in the fight against cancer.

Animal-Based Nutrients Linked With Higher Risk Of Stomach And Esophageal Cancers Vitamin C supplements reduce stomach cancer by 40% Yale researchers also found that regular users of vitamin C supplements were at significantly lower risk of stomach cancer.

Vitamin C and Vitamin K3 cause massive cancer cell death. From Science News.

Vitamin C Foundation comments: Are high antioxidant intakes bad for your health?

Statin Cholesterol-Lowering Drugs and Cancer...

The definitive scientific evidence demonstrating the efficacy and safety of Vitamin C for cancer treatmentbad link

Final Report of the Safety Assessment of [Vitamin C] i.e., L-Ascorbic Acid, Calcium Ascorbate, Magnesium Ascorbate, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Sodium Ascorbate, and Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate as Used in Cosmetics...

Vitamin C Foundation These data coupled with an absence of reports in the clinical literature of Ascorbic Acid sensitization strongly support the safety of these ingredients. Note: Report states that fear of tumors is misplaced, as effect is compared to bicarbonate of soda.

Foundation Does Not Sell Vitamin C

The Foundation approves but does not technically "sell" vitamin C. Inteligent*Vitamin*C, Inc. (an Illinois corporation) is the company that actually markets our approved products. However, a portion of the proceeds from the sale of Vitamin C Foundation approved® fine vitamin C powders is used to fund Foundation research and activities.
Vitamin C Foundation Approved® is a registered trademark of the Vitamin C Foundation.
Quali-C® is a registered trademark of DSM Nutritional Products.
True-Liposomes™ is a trademark of The Vitamin C Foundation.
China-FREE™ is a trademark of Inteligent*Vitamin*C Inc.
Consider making a contribution to the nonprofit Vitamin C Foundation at the same time you place your order. As the Foundation is a recognized 501(c)(3), your donations are tax-deductible within the guidelines of U.S. law. Proceeds are used to fund this web site and the Foundation's initiatives.

"We have had the opportunity to observe patients who have taken 10g or more per day of vitamin C during intense chemotherapy. We now recommend a high intake of vitamin C, in some cases up to the bowel-tolerance limit, beginning as early as possible." Linus Pauling (Pg. 241, HOW TO LIVE LONGER AND FEEL BETTER, 1986, paperback)

The Internet's best source of news and information about Vitamin C - ascorbic acid!


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