Dr. Ron Hunninghake here discusses about Vitamin C and how it acts as pro-oxidant to fight against cancer cells…
Ron Hunninghake, M.D.
I don’t know about you, but as I get older I have this sense that it seems like everyone is getting cancer. Does anyone share this with me? It seems to be a growing problem. I know it does relate to the aging process. To me, it is the fact that a lot of people are still somewhat fatalistic about cancer and look upon it as, if not a death sentence, a very difficult time ahead with the various types of therapies that we have available in conventional medicine.
Here at The Center, for the last 15 years, we have been pioneering a new understanding that can help those patients who get cancer more effectively by treating the cancer, and reducing the side effects of the treatments they undergo, and hopefully use this information to prevent cancer. I want to emphasize that I am speaking about a new understanding.
Now, many of you may not have heard any of the previous lectures we’ve had on Vitamin C, so in this lecture I’m going to fill you with a lot of that information. For more detail, we have a series of talks that I have given, as well as other researchers here at The Center, on how to monitor IV Vitamin C and what really causes cancer.
Today, I would like to emphasize the mechanism of how Vitamin C can help with you, your family member, or a friend fight cancer. More importantly, I’m hoping this information gets out to the medical profession at large, because there are some misunderstandings about Vitamin C and how it fights cancer that we’re hoping to overcome with better information. Today I’m shooting for clarity. I always want my lectures to be clear, but probably more so than ever before. I hope this group gets a good clear understanding of how Vitamin C can be a very effective tool in the fight against cancer.
Here at The Center, the Bright Spot for Health, this has been one of our major research focus areas. We have a lot of patients coming to us these days with cancer, to be treated with the IV Vitamin C. I would like to dedicate my lecture today to the first successfully treated cancer patient here at The Center.
George Williamson developed adenocarcinoma of the right kidney in 1980. His case was written up by Dr. James Jackson and published in the Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine, which you can now read online. George appropriately had his kidney removed, but by that point he already had metastases, it had already spread to his lung and his liver. I’m sure most of you know that once it starts to spread, that is a very ominous progression of the disease.
Based upon Dr. Riordan’s relationship with Dr. Linus Pauling, a two-time Nobel Prize winner, who was very interested in Vitamin C, as well as Dr. Ewan Cameron, a Scottish surgeon who was doing IVC research in Scotland. Dr. Riordan started George on 30 grams of IV Intravenous Vitamin C, twice a week and George began to feel better.
By the time he had completed 15 months of this therapy, he went back to his oncologist. The oncologist verified that the metastases were gone and the cancer had cleared up. Then 14 years later, at the age of 84, George died of something completely different than his cancer. Earlier this year, his wife, Opal, passed away. I’ve been very grateful to both of them and their enthusiasm for The Center. I always want to remember that we are here at The Center to serve people.
Cancer isn’t something that just happens. It happens to real people and people like yourselves and our family members. My wife has had breast cancer, and we have friends who have fallen victim to cancer, so we need really good tools to help patients overcome this dreaded illness.
I’m going to be talking a little about chemistry today, but remember my goal is to make it understandable, so for all of you who used to freeze up in school whenever the word chemistry was mentioned, you can relax. I’m going to keep it simple and you need to understand this if you want to understand what makes Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) so special in the realm of cancer therapy. There is a term called redox and it is really a part of the whole life process.
I’m sure you’ve heard the word antioxidant. An antioxidant is something like if you cut an apple and you leave it exposed to the oxygen, the oxygen will oxidize the surface of the apple and it will start to turn brown. However, if you squeeze a little bit of lemon juice on it – that is a reducing agent – it is an antioxidant. So, an anti-oxidant reduces the oxidative effect. It sounds a little confusing, but as we go along, I want you to see that this actually is kind of a circular thing you can oxidize, but you can also reduce, and you can regenerate some of these molecules like Vitamin C to kind of put it back into battle again, recharge it, give it a new life so it can do its job better than it otherwise could.
There is a very interesting phenomenon that occurs around Vitamin C and I’m going to try to explain this. You know, most of us have heard the term Vitamin. Vitamin C is also ascorbic acid, but we refer to it as Vitamin C because vitamins are small amounts of something that does something else.
We know Vitamin C prevents what disease? Scurvy! Right but it only takes a very small amount. The recommended daily allowance to prevent scurvy is like somewhere between 60 to 90, to maybe a little bit more of milligrams of Vitamin C. About the amount of Vitamin C that would fit on the head of a pin.
Now, do you think that amount would be enough to treat cancer? No, we have to think of Vitamin C in terms of dosage, so if we are going to get into using Vitamin C, now maybe small amounts of Vitamin C could be somewhat helpful in preventing cancer, but in treating cancer we’re going to have to use larger doses. So at low dosage, Vitamin C acts almost purely as an antioxidant, which most of us know it as. But what is surprising, and what most oncologists still don’t know or understand, is that at much higher doses, Vitamin C can act as both, an antioxidant and a pro-oxidant. It doesn’t suddenly change, it always is, and always has been, and always will be an antioxidant. But, it enters into a special chemical reaction in the body that creates a pro-oxidant effect which we are going to go into in just a second.
What antioxidants do in the body?
Here we have Vitamin C acting as an antioxidant. Basically what antioxidants do is they have these – here is ascorbic acid – Vitamin C – it has these electrons and it very generously donates them to this treacherous free radical which can act as a harmful oxidant to your body. We think it is excessive oxidants that over time injure the cells, change the DNA, and set them up for the formation of cancer.
So, Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) can neutralize free radicals. But, when it does, once it has given its electrons away, it now becomes dehydroascorbate, this is the oxidized form of Vitamin C, and the body gets rid of it.
Here is a specific example where two iron atoms are reduced (the +3 is reduced to the +2) by ascorbic acid and now you have reduced iron and the dehydroscorbate acid is excreted in the kidneys. We’re not using it anymore.
What happens to this reduced iron? It interacts with oxygen. What happens when you take a piece of metal, say iron lying on the ground, if left there long enough it rusts? Rusting is a form of oxidation, so because it interacts with oxygen and it forms an oxygen free radical which is very damaging. That results in the formation of something we all are familiar with which is hydrogen peroxide.