February 11, 2015 - Sometimes called the 'sunshine vitamin' because it is
found in high levels in citrus fruits, vitamin C
has a uniquely regenerative role in hormone health and cancer prevention that
has been overlooked for over twenty years!
Truly groundbreaking research on the regenerative potential of vitamin C therapy for hormone health as well as cancer prevention was performed over twenty years ago, and yet still today it has received little to no attention.
Published in 1993 in the journal Radiation Physics and Chemistry and titled, "Photo-induced regeneration of hormones by electron transfer processes: Potential biological and medical consequences," Austrian researchers explored the role that vitamin C plays in preventing the degradation of steroid hormones into toxic and cancer-promoting metabolites known as "hormone transients." Their stated goal was "to investigate if hormone transients resulting by e.g. electron emission can be regenerated."
The molecular structure of progesterone, estrone (a form of estrogen) and
testosterone is such that when exposed to differing biological and/or
environmental conditions, e.g. UV light, pH, temperature, they lose electrons,
becoming toxic and often carcinogenic metabolites that represent a burden on the
body's eliminative capabilities. Vitamin C is a well-known electron donor, which
is to say a substance that donates electrons to another compound (i.e. a
'reducing agent'). Vitamin C's ability to donate electrons can have an
antioxidant effect as far as neutralizing free radicals, or as is the case with
transient hormone metabolites, a structurally regenerative one.
Remarkably, vitamin C was capable of almost complete regeneration of estrone and quite significant regeneration of both progesterone (52.7%) and testosterone (58.6%).
These experimental results have profound implications if they prove to carry over to human physiology. For instance, vitamin C may offer an alternative (or at least adjuvant and/or 'drug sparing' effect) to hormone replacement therapy, which suffers from the problem of 'feeding the deficiency,' i.e. negative feedback loops operative within our endocrine system can result in the down-regulation of endogenous steroid hormone production when exogenous forms are supplied.
Vitamin C, of course, is exceptionally safe at high doses and has hundreds of proven health benefits, whereas conventional chemo-preventive agents for cancer, e.g. Tamoxifen, and hormone replacement therapy using animal derived and/or synthetic hormone analogs, cause a wide range of adverse health effects, including at times increased mortality.
For additional related research you can read two previous on vitamin C's role in cancer treatment in intravenous form and vitamin C rich foods like pomegranate as an alternative to hormone replacement therapy.
Sayer Ji is the founder of GreenMedInfo.com, an author, educator, Steering Committee Member of the Global GMO Free Coalition (GGFC), and an advisory board member of the National Health Federation.