Islamabad-A new research examines the impact of the natural vitamin C on cancer cell growth. The research focused on the bioenergetic processes of CSCs, which enable the cells to live and multiply. The study aimed to disrupt the CSCs’ metabolism and ultimately prevent their growth.

Of all the substances tested, the team found that actinonin and FK866 were the most effective. However, the natural products were also found to prevent the formation of CSCs, and vitamin C was 10 times more effective than the experimental drug 2-DG.

Additionally, the study revealed that ascorbic acid works by inhibiting glycolysis - the process by which glucose is broken down within the cell’s mitochondria and turned into energy for the cell’s proliferation.

Dr Michael P Lisanti, professor of translational medicine at the University of Salford, comments on the findings, “We have been looking at how to target cancer stem cells with a range of natural substances including silibinin (milk thistle) and CAPE, a honey-bee derivative, but by far the most exciting are the results with vitamin C. Vitamin C is cheap, natural, nontoxic and readily available so to have it as a potential weapon in the fight against cancer would be a significant step.”

“This is further evidence that vitamin C and other nontoxic compounds may have a role to play in the fight against cancer,” says the study’s lead author.

“Our results indicate it is a promising agent for clinical trials, and as an add-on to more conventional therapies, to prevent tumor recurrence, further disease progression, and metastasis,” Bonuccelli adds.

Vitamin C has been shown to be a potent, nontoxic, anticancer agent by Nobel Prize winner Linus Pauling. However, to the authors’ knowledge, this is the first study providing evidence that ascorbic acid can specifically target and neutralize CSCs. Meanwhile, a new research suggests that those who experience sudden blood pressure drops in their middle age may be more likely to develop dementia in old age. For the new study, Rawlings and team isolated the data on 11,503 patients who had no history of heart disease and visited the hospital for the first time. Scientists took the patients’ BP after they had lay down for 20 minutes.

The team clinically followed the participants for the following two decades or more.

They found that people with OP upon their first visit had a 40 higher risk of developing dementia than their OP-free counterparts. Patients with OP also had 15 percent more cognitive decline.

“Even though these episodes are fleeting, they may have impacts that are long lasting. We found that those people who suffered from orthostatic hypotension in middle age were 40 percent more likely to develop dementia than those who did not. It is a significant finding and we need to better understand just what is happening.”

Andreea Rawlings, lead author.

As this is an observational study, researchers cannot establish causality or explain whether OP is an indicator of another disease responsible for the cognitive decline. However, they speculate that the decrease in the blood flow to the brain may play a role.

The lead author of the study also acknowledges the study’s limitation that arises from not knowing whether the patients had a singular episode of OP, or whether they had lived with the recurring symptoms over time.

“Identifying risk factors for cognitive decline and dementia is important for understanding disease progression, and being able to identify those most at risk gives us possible strategies for prevention and intervention,” Rawlings says. “This is one of those factors worth more investigation.”