Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a potent antioxidant. It reduces oxidative stress, helps to decrease
inflammation within the body, and plays an important role in many of your body’s other functions. Not having
enough vitamin C can lead to scurvy in the most extreme cases. In less severe cases, it can cause other
symptoms, such as increased susceptibility to infections, loosening of teeth, dryness of the mouth and eyes, loss
of hair, dry itchy skin, fatigue, and insomnia. High-dose intravenous vitamin C can be used to address a variety
of health concerns.
Immune System Support
High doses of vitamin C can be used to support normal body function and address and reduce your risk for a
variety of acute and chronic health concerns. For example, vitamin C can be used to support your immune
system function and decrease your risk of contracting colds and the flu. It is beneficial in both preventing and
helping to heal acute illness. In fact, high-dose intravenous vitamin C has been shown to decrease cold and flu
symptoms by up to 85% when given at the first appearance of the cold or the flu.
After Injury or Surgery
Vitamin C is also beneficial in reducing pain after an injury or after surgery. For example, when it came to
addressing post-surgical pain after tooth extraction, intravenous vitamin C was shown to be just as effective as
a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug.
The evidence is piling up for its role as a partner in chemotherapy. Multiple studies have shown that IV C improves Quality of Life, reduces fatigue and other chemotherapy side effects. This not only increases tolerance, it could allow a patient to received optimal doses of chemotherapy when they may have not tolerated it otherwise. As an added bonus, there is some evidence that IV C may be preferentially toxic to tumor cells and inhibits angiogenesis (blood vessel formation that supplies a tumor). The evidence is not strong enough to support IV C as a stand-alone cancer treatment. We strongly encourage you to work closely with your oncologist.
Additionally, low levels of vitamin C have been associated with increased severity of allergic conditions. This
includes conditions like allergic rhinitis (allergies), asthma, and atopic dermatitis (eczema). Because it decreases
oxidative stress, inflammation, and helps to significantly reduce histamine within the body, high-dose
intravenous vitamin C has been found to be a beneficial therapy in the management of these conditions.
High-dose vitamin C is also beneficial in that it improves and protects the skin, facilitates wound healing, and
supports healthy energy levels.
The Benefits of Intravenous Administration
While it is possible to receive health benefits by supplementing with oral vitamin C, your body naturally limits
the amount of vitamin C that is absorbed and transported through your gastrointestinal tract. This means that if you want to experience optimal therapeutic benefits, you’ll need vitamin C to bypass your gastrointestinal tract. To stimulate healing, you’ll need blood plasma levels to increase to higher levels than it is possible for them to rise to if you just take a supplement or eat vitamin C-containing foods. Intravenous vitamin C bypasses the gastrointestinal tract and directly increases vitamin C levels in your bloodstream. It is a very safe and effective therapy for the vast majority of people. In an optimal IV, Vitamin C achieves high blood plasma levels that can't be obtained with oral vitamin C. This improves the restoration of tissue stores and increases therapeutic benefit. In an optimal situation, you should be able to maintain health with oral supplementation. However, when our bodies are out of balance or in a state of "DIS-ease" it needs higher levels of support.
Click on the links below to read more
Bhat S, Babu SG, Bhat SK, Castelino RL, Rao K, Madi M. Status of Serum and Salivary Ascorbic Acid in Oral Potentially Malignant Disorders and Oral Cancer. Indian J Med Paediatr Oncol. 2017;38(3):306–10.
Mayland CR, Bennett MI, Allan K. Vitamin C deficiency in cancer patients. Palliat Med. 2005;19(1):17-20.
Creagan ET, Moertel CG, O'Fallon JR, Schutt AJ, O'Connell MJ, Rubin J, Frytak S. Failure of high-dose vitamin C (ascorbic acid) therapy to benefit patients with advanced cancer. A controlled trial. N Engl J Med. 1979;301(13):687-90.
Moertel CG, Fleming TR, Creagan ET, Rubin J, O'Connell MJ, Ames MM. High-dose vitamin C versus placebo in the treatment of patients with advanced cancer who have had no prior chemotherapy. A randomized double-blind comparison. N Engl J Med. 1985;312(3):137-41.
Pinkerton E, Good P, Gibbons K, Hardy J. An open-label pilot study of oral vitamin C as an opioid-sparing agent in patients with chronic pain secondary to cancer. Support Care Cancer. 2017;25(2):341-3.
Padayatty SJ, Sun H, Wang Y, Riordan HD, Hewitt SM, Katz A, Wesley RA, Levine M. Vitamin C pharmacokinetics: implications for oral and intravenous use. Ann Intern Med. 2004 Apr 6;140(7):533-7.
Abou-Jawde RM, Reed J, Kelly M, et al. Efficacy and safety results with the combination therapy of arsenic trioxide, dexamethasone, and ascorbic acid in multiple myeloma patients: a phase 2 trial. Med Oncol. 2006;23:263-72.
Berenson JR, Boccia R, Siegel D, et al. Efficacy and safety of melphalan, arsenic trioxide and ascorbic acid combination therapy in patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma: a prospective, multicentre, phase II, single-arm study. Br J Haematol. 2006;135:174-83.
Welch JS, Klco J, Gao F, Hassan A, Vij R. A phase I doseescalation study of combination decitabine, arsenic trioxide and ascorbic acid in patients with MDS and AML. Paper presented at: Blood Conference: 52nd Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology, ASH 2010; Orlando, FL. Conference Publication: 116(21), 2010.
Dammacco F, Benvestito S. Effects of cefodizime on nonspecific immune functions in patients with multiple myeloma. Infection. 1992;20(suppl 1):S64-6.
Abdel-Latif MM, Raouf AA, Sabra K, Kelleher D, Reynolds JV. Vitamin C enhances chemosensitization of esophageal cancer cells in vitro. J Chemother. 2005;17:539-549.
Nagy B, Mucsi I, Molnar J, Varga A, Thurzo L. Chemosensitizing effect of vitamin C in combination with 5-fluorouracil in vitro. In Vivo. 2003;17:289-292.
Fromberg A, Gutsch D, Schulze D, Vollbracht C, Weiss G, Czubayko F, Aigner A. Ascorbate exerts anti-proliferative effects through cell cycle inhibition and sensitizes tumor cells towards cytostatic drugs. Cancer Chemother Pharmacol. 2011;67:1157-66.
Doskey CM, Buranasudja V, Wagner BA, et al. Tumor cells have decreased ability to metabolize H2O2: Implications for pharmacological ascorbate in cancer therapy. Redox Biol. 2016;10:274–284.
Vissers MCM, Das AB. Potential Mechanisms of Action for Vitamin C in Cancer: Reviewing the Evidence. Front Physiol. 2018;9:809.
Baek MW, Cho HS, Kim SH, Kim WJ, Jung JY. Ascorbic Acid Induces Necrosis in Human Laryngeal Squamous Cell Carcinoma via ROS, PKC, and Calcium Signaling. J Cell Physiol. 2017;232(2):417-25.
Ohwada R, Ozeki Y, Saitoh Y. High-dose ascorbic acid induces carcinostatic effects through hydrogen peroxide and superoxide anion radical generation-induced cell death and growth arrest in human tongue carcinoma cells. Free Radic Res. 2017;51(7-8):684-92.
Ma Y, Chapman J, Levine M, Polireddy K, Drisko J, Chen Q. High-dose parenteral ascorbate enhanced chemosensitivity of ovarian cancer and reduced toxicity of chemotherapy. Sci Transl Med. 2014;6:222ra218.
Stephenson CM, Levin RD, Spector T, Lis CG. Phase I clinical trial to evaluate the safety, tolerability, and pharmacokinetics of high-dose intravenous ascorbic acid in patients with advanced cancer. Cancer Chemother Pharmacol. 2013;72:139-46.
Monti DA, Mitchell E, Bazzan AJ, et al. Phase I evaluation of intravenous ascorbic acid in combination with gemcitabine and erlotinib in patients with metastatic pancreatic cancer. PLoS One. 2012;7:e29794.
Yeom CH, Jung GC, Song KJ. Changes of terminal cancer patients’ health-related quality of life after high dose vitamin C administration. J Korean Med Sci. 2007;22:7-11.
Riordan HD, Casciari JJ, Gonzalez MJ, et al. A pilot clinical study of continuous intravenous ascorbate in terminal cancer patients. P R Health Sci J. 2005;24:269-76.