We are constantly asked about the concerns of anti-oxidants like Vitamin C for the person undergoing active cancer treatment. High dose oral intake of Vitamin C that is administered in tapered doses does appear to help the body’s immune system to its maximum and it helps with tissue repair. With regards to actively treating cancer, intravenous administration must be done by a trained, experienced physician so it is safely done and monitored. Blood tests are done to ensure it is well tolerated and the tapered doses are based on this feedback.
Intravenous vitamin C bypasses the body’s digestive buffers to spur the production of hydrogen peroxide deep within bodily tissues. And with the help of disease-fighting white blood cells, this “peroxide-mediated” vitamin C performs unique and key functions in the targeting and eradication of cancer cells wherever they might be lurking in the body.
The National Cancer Institute (NCI) is onboard with the science behind IV vitamin C therapy. They state on their website that high-dose vitamin C has been studied as a treatment for cancer patients since the 1970s and that vitamin C is capable of helping to slow the growth of cancer cells in the prostate, pancreas, liver, and colon. Both animal and human studies have also shown that IV vitamin C therapy can help block tumor growth and improve patient quality of life.
So, our concerns as skin care professionals – what about Ascorbic Acid in skincare products? It would depend on what treatment the client is having. For example, if the client has had surgery, and is currently undergoing either internal or external beam radiation to a breast – is the skin barrier still intact on the face, neck area? If still intact, I cannot see why Vitamin C would be a problem. If the client is undergoing chemotherapy, and we know the skin barrier is NOT intact, I would refrain from using this ingredient during active chemotherapy, and especially IF the medical team do not recommend it.