Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Take Your Vitamin C… And Die!

Maybe that’s an alarmist headline, but it’s better than the screaming embedded sound clip I originally wanted to use. Regardless, a new study in the journal Cancer Research (this month’s centerfold: vintage pinup of a nude M.D. Anderson) shows that Vitamin C supplements can actually blunt the effects of chemotherapy drugs by 30-70%. Since we all live in a post-apocalyptic Waterworld, we all know the importance of Vitamin C in preventing scurvy. And if you believe Scientologists, Vitamin C can grant you the ability to fly Superman-like to yachts anchored in international waters where you can have your sexual way with a harem of brainwashed slaves. (I’m told.) But Vitamin C has a protective effect on mitochondria in the cells. This is a good thing for healthy cells, but not what you want when dealing with a cancer cell. Since chemotherapy drugs destroy mitochondria in cancer cells, this may be why Vitamin C can blunt their effects. However, a U.S. National Institutes of Health study published last August showed that injections of Vitamin C reduced cancer cell growth in mice. So color me confused. More details here. And on a related note, you can read about the potential uselessness of vitamin supplements in general right here.

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