This week we bring you a roundup of some major developments in the world of vitamin C. We have a new study on its effects of pancreatic cancer and new research supporting a higher daily intake of vitamin C.
Vitamin C Could Reduce Pancreatic Cancer Risk By 2/3
Pancreatic cancer is a frightening and nearly always fatal disease. Dr. Andrew Hart, one of the lead researchers on this study and a research involved in research of upper gastrointestinal cancers, discussed the importance of antioxidants in its prevention in a recent interview.
One of the major implications of this disease is that it is asymptomatic until its final stages. By this point, it has often moved to the lungs, liver or other nearby organs. Patients usually only live a few months past diagnosis. Just one in 10 patients is a surgical candidate. In the other 90% of cases, chemotherapy is the typical treatment. It only extends patients’ lives a few months in most cases. Others are just treated in hospice.
What causes pancreatic cancer?
The cause of pancreatic cancer is thought to stem from the presence of carcinogens (often found in cigarette smoke), pro-oxidants and free radicals in the blood. These agents are toxic to pancreatic tissue and can damage the DNA. Produced in normal metabolic function, the pro-oxidants and free radicals are much more populous when combined with risk factors such as smoking and diabetes.
In the study, researchers looked at dietary factors to see if antioxidant presence had an effect on pancreatic cancer risk. Selenium and vitamins C & E are proven antioxidants. The study found that people who received adequate amounts of these nutrients had a 2/3 lower risk of developing pancreatic cancer.
Is the vitamin C link causal?
While study did not determine a causal effect of ingesting these antioxidants on the development of pancreatic cancer, they now have strong hypothesis to conduct further research.
Selenium and vitamin C & E are available in foods grown in soil and citrus fruits – think potatoes and oranges.
Is An Increase of RDA for Vitamin Called For?
A new study from the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University indicates the RDA for adults should be raised to 200 mg for both men and women. The researchers made a “major discovery in the way vitamin C functions in the body – a breakthrough that may help explain its possible value in preventing cancer and heart disease,” according to a press release.
The study, which was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, explain “for the first time how vitamin C can react with and neutralize the toxic byproducts of human fat metabolism.”
“We believe solid research shows the RDA should be increased,” said Balz Frei, professor and director of the Linus Pauling Institute at OSU in a report in Holistic Future.
His reasoning? The benefit-to-risk ratio is very high. Additionally, he says that researchers need to get past “phase three placebo controlled trials.” Read the full press release here.
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