How is Vitamin C supplementation used as adjunctive therapy in cancer care?


Vitamin C (also known as ascorbic acid or ascorbate) has long been hailed for its potent antioxidant properties and powerful ability to bolster the immune system. High-dose intravenous vitamin c therapy for cancer has been studied as an adjunctive treatment for cancer since the 1960s and has been shown to have many potential benefits: 

  • Antioxidant properties may help protect cells from harm caused by free radicals, which are molecules that can damage DNA and other cellular components
  • Immune system support – this can be crucial for cancer patients whose immune systems are often compromised by either the disease or by cancer treatments. 
  • Tumour-specific cytotoxicity – high-dose vitamin C has been found in some studies to selectively kill cancer cells while leaving normal cells unharmed. However, more research is needed in this area, and the evidence is not from top-flight randomised, double-blind controlled trials. 
  • Synergy with chemotherapy – some studies have suggested that high-dose vitamin C may enhance the efficacy of chemotherapy drugs, potentially making them more effective at killing cancer cells. However, more research is needed in this area, and the evidence is not from top-flight randomised, double-blind controlled trials. 

High-dose vitamin C may also help to improve the quality of life for cancer patients by reducing the debilitating side effects of chemotherapy.


What are the benefits of IV administration vs oral administration?


When taken orally, efficacy can be hindered by many factors, such as intestinal absorption, tissue accumulation and renal reabsorption/excretion. This means it may be metabolised or excreted before fully absorbed. By administering vitamin C intravenously (directly to the bloodstream), these metabolic pathways can be bypassed, allowing for higher concentrations of the vitamin to be delivered to the body.  Bypassing the gastrointestinal system can also avoid unpleasant side effects such as diarrhoea that can occur with oral vitamin C supplements. IV administration of high doses has been shown to have greater cytotoxicity to cancer cells than oral vitamin C, thus making it overall a more effective option in treating cancer. 

It is important to note that high-dose vitamin C should not be used as a substitute for standard cancer treatments. It is always advised to consult a doctor before taking any supplement or alternative treatment. 


Effect Doctors is a CQC-certified company based in Soho and makes no claims as to the efficacy of taking Vitamin C supplements as an adjunctive therapy for cancer. We offer IV Vitamin C for Vitamin C supplementation, and patients must make their own informed decisions on whether to proceed with supplementing Vitamin C after undertaking their own research.