Vitamin C 10 Times More Effective Killing Cancer Stem Cells Than Pharmaceuticals

vitamin c cancer

By Heather Callaghan, Editor

Big news! A new study by UK scientists openly claims that vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is more potent than some pharma drugs at killing cancer stem cells – the pervasive cells that “seed” new cancer cells, feed fatal tumors and often evade treatment.

The study, published in Oncotarget, is the first evidence that supports that vitamin C be used to target and kill cancer stem cells (CSCs).

More info on how it works. NYR Natural News reported [emphasis added]:

Vitamin C has previously been shown to be effective as a non-toxic anti-cancer agent in studies by Nobel Prize winner Linus Pauling and was recently shown to reduce mortality by 18% on breast cancer patients in Japan.  However, its effects on CSC activity have not been previously evaluated and in this context, say the researchers, it behaves as an inhibitor of glycolysis, which fuels energy production in mitochondria, the “powerhouse” of the cell.

In order to find out which substances might target stem cells, researchers needed to find a way to disrupt cancer cell metabolism.

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NYR Natural News adds:

Focusing on energy-transfer, they measured the impact on cell lines in a laboratory of seven substances:

  • The clinically approved cancer drug, stiripentol
  • Three experimental pharmaceuticals: actinonin, FK866 and 2-DG.
  • Three natural substances: caffeic acid phenyl ester (CAPE), silibinin and ascorbic acid

While they found that natural antibiotic actinonin and the compound FK866 were the most potent, the natural products also inhibited cancer stem cell (CSC) formation, with vitamin C, outperforming 2-DG by tenfold in terms of potency.

Dr Michael P. Lisanti, Professor of Translational Medicine at the University of Salford, said [emphasis H.C.]:

We have been looking at how to target cancer stem cells with a range of natural substances including silibinin (milk thistle) and CAPE, a honey-bee derivative, but by far the most exciting are the results with Vitamin C.

Vitamin C is cheap, natural, non-toxic and readily available so to have it as a potential weapon in the fight against cancer would be a significant step.

Dr Gloria Bonuccelli, lead author and another member of the Salford team added:

This is further evidence that Vitamin C and other non-toxic compounds may have a role to play in the fight against cancer.

Our results indicate it is a promising agent for clinical trials, and a as an add-on to more conventional therapies, to prevent tumour recurrence, further disease progression and metastasis.

It’s important to note that this study was done on cancer cell lines in the lab – so a study on humans would be ideal, especially to see which type of vitamin C therapy would work best. There are so-called skeptics out there who like to poke at stories on studies like this, saying that anything can kill cell lines in a Petri dish. There are even comics showing a scientist shooting a handgun into the cell lines to possibly mock the idea. Bleach kills cancer, too, they say. While it doesn’t hurt to keep that in mind, not everything can effectively kill cancer stem cells in the lab. Truth be told, everyone wants to know about which substances can kill cancer stem cells while protecting other human cells.


Given how obviously toxic and carcinogenic chemotherapy and radiation are – and the abysmal long-term survival rate – it’s a big step in the right direction for the medical establishment to see the effects of the humble vitamin C on cancer stem cells with little to no side effects.

Don’t forget to share the good news with your friends and family!

     Explore: This Salad Vegetable Has 5 Times the Vitamin C as Oranges

For Your Information:

Best forms of Vitamin C available as supplements:

DISCLAIMER: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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Heather Callaghan is an independent researcher, writer, speaker and food freedom activist. She is the Editor and co-founder of NaturalBlaze as well as a certified Self-Referencing IITM Practitioner. 

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