Vitamin C could play a key role in fighting cancer, a New Zealand study has shown.
University of Otago associate Professor Margreet Vissers, who is leading the Christchurch-based study, said there had been anecdotal accounts of vitamin C playing a beneficial role in cancer treatment, but her study was the first to give real evidence of a connection between the vitamin and tumour growth.
"Our results offer a promising and simple intervention to help in our fight against cancer, at the level of both prevention and cure," she said,
The study, published in Cancer Research journal, found tumours with low vitamin C levels had more of a protein called HIF-1, which allowed them to thrive in conditions of stress.
Prof Vissers said the findings were significant as they suggested it would be beneficial for people with cancer cells to have more vitamin C to limit tumour growth.