Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

How Vitamin C Prevents Cancer -- But Apples Are Better

Date:
January 24, 2002
Source:
Cornell University News Service
Summary:
Writing in the medical journal, The Lancet , scientists from Cornell University and Seoul National University offer a more precise explanation for vitamin C's anti-cancer activity. And they suggest that a natural chemical from apples works even better than vitamin C.

GENEVA, N.Y. -- Writing in the medical journal, The Lancet , scientists from Cornell University and Seoul National University offer a more precise explanation for vitamin C's anti-cancer activity. And they suggest that a natural chemical from apples works even better than vitamin C.

Their report appears in the Jan. 12, 2002, issue of The Lancet , (Vol. 359, No. 9301), the weekly journal for physicians published in London.

C.Y. Lee, Cornell professor of food science and technology, and his South Korean colleagues, Ki Won Lee, Hyong Joo Lee and Kyung-Sun Kang, found that vitamin C blocks the carcinogenic effects of hydrogen peroxide on intercellular communication. Until this finding, the mechanism for vitamin C's inhibitory effects on carcinogenic tumor formation was not understood.

However, the report notes that quercetin, a phytochemical found in apples, has even stronger anticancer activity than vitamin C. (Phytochemicals, such as flavanoids and polyphenols, are plant chemicals that contain protective, disease-preventing compounds.)

"Vitamin C has been considered one of the most important essential nutrients in our diet since the discovery in 1907 that it prevents scurvy," says Lee. "In addition, vitamin C has several important functions in our body for the synthesis of amino acids and collagen, wound healing, metabolism of iron, lipids and cholesterol and others. In particular, vitamin C is a well known anti-oxidant that scavenges free radicals." (An anti-oxidant is one of many chemicals that reduce or prevent oxidation, thus preventing cell and tissue damage from free radicals in the body.) "Vitamin C prevents the inhibition of gap-junction intercellular communication (GJIC) induced by hydrogen peroxide," says Lee. GJIC is essential for maintaining normal cell growth. Inhibition of GJIC is strongly related to the carcinogenic process, especially to tumor promotion. Hydrogen peroxide, a tumor promoter, inhibits GJIC by changing a special protein, connexin43. When rat liver epithelial cells were treated with vitamin C, the researchers report, inhibition of GJIC induced by hydrogen peroxide was prevented.

Although vitamin C protects against oxidative DNA damage through its free-radical scavenging activity, Lee and his coworkers believe that the vitamin's anti-tumor action functions through a different mechanism.

"The most powerful weapon we have in the Þght against cancer is prevention," concludes Lee. "A diet rich in phytochemicals and vitamin C will reduce the risk of cancer. These phytochemicals and nutrients are most readily available in fresh fruits and vegetables." These recommendations echo those of Lee and his Cornell colleagues in a report in the journalNature (June 22, 2000).


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Cornell University News Service. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Cornell University News Service. "How Vitamin C Prevents Cancer -- But Apples Are Better." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 January 2002. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/01/020123075403.htm>.
Cornell University News Service. (2002, January 24). How Vitamin C Prevents Cancer -- But Apples Are Better. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/01/020123075403.htm
Cornell University News Service. "How Vitamin C Prevents Cancer -- But Apples Are Better." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/01/020123075403.htm (accessed September 16, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

EU Ministers and Experts Meet to Discuss Ebola Reponse

EU Ministers and Experts Meet to Discuss Ebola Reponse

AFP (Sep. 15, 2014) — The European Commission met on Monday to coordinate aid that the EU can offer to African countries affected by the Ebola outbreak. Duration: 00:58 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Despite The Risks, Antibiotics Still Overprescribed For Kids

Despite The Risks, Antibiotics Still Overprescribed For Kids

Newsy (Sep. 15, 2014) — A new study finds children are prescribed antibiotics twice as often as is necessary. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

AP (Sep. 15, 2014) — The FDA is considering whether to ban devices used by the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center in Canton, Massachusetts, the only place in the country known to use electrical skin shocks as aversive conditioning for aggressive patients. (Sept. 15) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Respiratory Virus Spreads To Northeast, Now In 21 States

Respiratory Virus Spreads To Northeast, Now In 21 States

Newsy (Sep. 14, 2014) — The respiratory virus Enterovirus D68, which targets children, has spread from the Midwest to 21 states. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins