What is Vitamin C?

Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that is vital for immune health, repair and wound healing. Research shows vitaminc C can even help fight off cancer. 

Surprisingly, almost half of adults do not obtain optimal levels of this critical nutrient. Unlike many other vitamins our body doesn’t produce it so it must be obtained from food.

Signs of low vitamin C intake include slow wound healing, bruising easily, bleeding gums, fatigue, skin rashes, anaemia and scurvy. Scurvy is a disease caused by insufficient vitamin C intake due to a lack of fresh vegetables and fruit. It used to be very common with sailors due to their access to food after being away for months at sea. Today it is most commonly seen in the elderly, heavy drinkers and smokers, people with a poor diet or kidney disease and those who are low socio economic and have less access to fresh food.

Citrus fruits such as lemons, orange, red capsicum, tomatoes, broccoli and potatoes are all good sources of vitamin C. 

The below information are direct quotes collated from a variety of scientific peer reviewed journal articles.


Vitamin C & Cancer Evidence

  • A study entitled Effects of Vitamin C on health: a review of evidence found that “high-dose of intravenous vitamin C increases the average survival of advanced cancer patients and for a small group of responders, survival was increased to up to 20 times longer than that of controls”  (Bei, 2013).
  • The first study to document the benefits of vitamin C for cancer patients was done in 1976 by L Pauling a Nobel Peace Prize winner and E Cameron. “The results of a clinical trial are presented in which 100 terminal cancer patients were given supplemental ascorbate as part of their routine management. Their progress is compared to that of 1000 similar patients treated identically, but who received no supplemental ascorbate. The mean survival time is more than 4.2 times as great for the ascorbate subjects (more than 210 days) as for the controls (50 days)”. The dose of the ascorbic acid given to the 100 terminally ill patients was 10 grams (10,000mg) a day (Cameron & Pauling, 1976).
  • “The overwhelming evidence supports that a high intake of vitamin C is linked with a low risk for cancer of oesophagus, oral cavity, stomach, pancreas, cervix, rectum and breast” cancer (Chambial et al., 2013).
  • “Murata and Morishige showed in a study conducted on Japanese patients with uterus cancer receiving 5–30 g of vitamin C that these patients survived six times longer than those on vitamin C <4 g per day. When comparison was made between those supplemented with or without vitamin C, survival rate was 15 % higher in those supplemented with vitamin C” (Chambial et al., 2013).
  • In 2007 a study published in The Korean Academy of Medical Sciences entitled ‘Changes of Terminal Cancer Patients’ Health-related Quality of Life after High Dose Vitamin C Administration states that “patients reported significantly higher scores for physical, emotional, and cognitive function after administration of vitamin C (p<0.05). In symptom scale, the patients reported significantly lower scores for fatigue, nausea/vomiting, pain, and appetite loss after administration of vitamin C (p<0.005)” (Yeom et al., 2007).


Chronic disease & vitamin C

  • “Vitamin C has the potential to counteract inflammation and subsequent oxidative damage that play a major role in the initiation and progression of several chronic and acute diseases” (Bei, 2013).



Bei, R. (2013). Effects of Vitamin C on health: a review of evidence. Frontiers In Bioscience, 18(3), 1017. https://doi.org/10.2741/4160

Cameron, E., & Pauling, L. (1976). Supplemental ascorbate in the supportive treatment of cancer: Prolongation of survival times in terminal human cancer. Proceedings Of The National Academy Of Sciences, 73(10), 3685-3689. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.73.10.3685

Chambial, S., Dwivedi, S., Shukla, K., John, P., & Sharma, P. (2013). Vitamin C in Disease Prevention and Cure: An Overview. Indian Journal Of Clinical Biochemistry, 28(4), 314-328. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12291-013-0375-3

Yeom, C., Jung, G., & Song, K. (2007). Changes of Terminal Cancer Patients’ Health-related Quality of Life after High Dose Vitamin C Administration. Journal Of Korean Medical Science, 22(1), 7. https://doi.org/10.3346/jkms.2007.22.1.7