Vitamin C Still Doesn’t Prevent Cancer

If you haven’t been wasting your money overdosing on vitamin-c supplements you might be happy to know that vitamin C still doesn’t cure cancer. David Gorski writes a nice analysis “High dose vitamin C and cancer: Has Linus Pauling been vindicated?” on several recent studies meant to ascertain potential benefits of vitamin C in cancer prevention. It is a very long read (but well worth it) as vitamin C in relation to cancer has a long history with plenty of misinformation. Since 1972 when Nobel Laureate Linus Pauling first proposed that vitamin C can prevent cancer and later claimed (without basis) that “75% of all cancer can be prevented and cured by vitamin C alone” there has been a plethora of research attempting to prove just that. Pauling recommended (without credible evidence) taking in excess (orally) of 1000mg/day of vitamin C. Compare that to the accepted recommended daily allowance (RDA) for an adult male age 19-70 of 90mg of vitamin C (Dietary Reference Intakes DRIs). For reference the RDA is meant to be appropriate for 97-98% of the population and certain individuals might possess disorders that require supplements.

With that bit of quick history please read David Gorski’s excellent summary (as mentioned above) of the new vitamin C studies that alternative medicine proponents are flouting. Some other related articles: The Dark Side of Linus Pauling’s Legacy, Should I Take a Multivitamin?, Dietary Guidelines