Vitamin C – you have been told since you were a kid to stock up on it if you were feeling under the weather. It is in orange juice, you can get packets of it to stir into your water or you can get tablets at your local grocery store. But, recently, there has been a shift to more expanded uses of vitamin C, into treatments for much bigger issues than just the common cold.
High-dose intravenous (IV) vitamin C therapy is a treatment option that has recently been gaining momentum, though it has been around as a working hypothesis since the 1970s. Scottish surgeon Ewan Cameron proposed that this vitamin’s role in the body could be greater than we had ever anticipated – that it could even help kill cancer. At the same time, Nobel Prize winner Linus Pauling was conducting similar research on ascorbic acid, which is found in vitamin C. The two scientists began collaborating, writing numerous papers on the subject together and conducting experiments with late-stage cancer patients to monitor their bodies’ reactions to doses of vitamin C, administered in different ways. Over the past nearly five decades, the hypothesis has continued to evolve and expand into what we are seeing today.
IV therapies in general are gaining popularity because it is an easy and efficient way to get the nutrients, vitamins and supplements the body might need at maximum absorption and to maximum effects. To people who may have digestive sensitivity to taking oral supplements, IV therapies might seem attractive, especially since these treatments circumvent any of this discomfort. With this therapy, the body is also able to absorb completely and will not excrete a portion of the nutrients as it would if the supplement were to be metabolized in the gastrointestinal system. The desired effects also tend to be faster-acting than if you were to take them orally over a stretch of days, weeks or months.
Because of the more recent popularity of this method of administering supplements, IV bars have cropped up across the country – places where you can walk in, sign a release form and get hooked up to an IV for your boost of vitamin C, B12 or whatever you feel you need. While these places may be convenient, there is a certain amount of care and caution that is lacking.
For years now, Dr. Jerron Hill, the medical director at the Ketamine Health and Wellness Center of Texas, has been administering ketamine transfusions to patients for chronic pain and mood disorders with great success. He also offers other types of transfusions to help patients with various needs, including high-dose IV vitamin C. As a trained and experienced anesthesiologist, Dr. Hill has a wealth of medical experience which helps him to be safe and caring. “My approach to IV therapy is quite different,” Dr Hill explains. “When a patient comes in, I do a history and physical. I talk to them and find out what exactly is bothering them, why they have come to me and what they are looking for. Then, I get a metabolic wellness panel and go over the labs with the patient and give them a recommendation of what they need.” Dr. Hill monitors patients’ vitals and blood pressure throughout infusions to make sure they are always safe and comfortable.
When asked about his average patient for IV vitamin C treatment, he says, “Most people come in for chronic fatigue, cold and flu-like symptoms. Some people use it for detoxing the body. Other people use it to enhance athletic performance. It offers cardiovascular protection in that it liquifies cholesterol plaques. And it helps with eye diseases like macular degeneration. There are a myriad of things that it can help with.”
One of Dr. Hill’s patients, who now has plans to become a regular, first came in for a vitamin C infusion before she underwent major cosmetic surgery. Her surgeon had suggested the treatment, so the day before her surgery, she received a transfusion. “After that, my healing process was a breeze,” she shares. “I did not have any complications whatsoever … not one infection in more than 40 inches worth of incisions. What was funny was that I just thought that was the way everyone went through their surgeries. But when I talked to my surgeon, he told me that is not the case. He is now telling all his patients to get infusions before they have their surgeries.”
Because vitamin C helps with wound healing and the healing of scar tissue, it is a great treatment therapy for surgical patients with scars they want to appear as discreetly as possible. Combine all that with the fact that vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps the body fight infection and boosts the immune system, IV vitamin C looks to be a perfect preemptive step for any surgical patient.
Vitamin C’s efficacy against cancer cells has long been theorized, tested and researched. It has been shown to be an effective preemptive treatment, as well as a supplemental treatment to help assuage the effects of traditional cancer therapies like chemotherapy and radiation, which are destructive to the body’s immune system, while also destroying cancer cells. Vitamin C is only destructive to cancer cells, so implementing vitamin C therapy alongside traditional cancer treatments can help the patient maintain some immune health and forgo some of the typical symptoms of chemotherapy.
Cancer patients are looking for the answer to the question “am I cancer-free?” Typical means of monitoring this situation (MRIs, bone scans and CT scans) are used to answer this question, but are limited, because tumor cells may remain circulating in the body and go undetected, grow silently and form another tumor years after chemo and radiation. Through a partnership with the Research Genetic and Cancer Center in Greece, Dr. Hill is able to perform a liquid biopsy on a patient, using only 20 ccs of their blood to find out the most effective cancer therapeutic agents and natural substances and determine their current circulating tumor cell count.
One of Dr. Hill’s current patients has already gone through traditional cancer treatments to treat her colon cancer. Usually searching for answers concerning her own health, she looked even further after chemotherapy and had this test performed. “The test showed that vitamin C had a 55 percent kill rate on my kind of cancer cells. So, I knew for me, vitamin C was very important – the number one agent to help kill my cancer cells.” On a regimented and gradually-waning schedule of highly-monitored, measured and tested treatments over the next 10 months, her circulating tumor cell count has dropped from around a nine to just over two (below two being the technically “cancer free”). “I really feel like this is the way of the future,” she says. “I feel like there is a revolution of sorts happening now, and people are really starting to look for treatments that build up and do not break down – a change in their medical philosophy.”
Dr. Hill adds, “I think people of generations to come are going to be approaching their health very differently. Medicine is going in a direction where patients are really questioning the modern western way of medicine we have known so far.”
With the many different conditions and symptoms IV vitamin C therapy can help address, and with all the conditions it can help prevent, if implemented in conjunction with the proper lifestyle changes, it might just be the next worthwhile thing you look into for you or a loved one. There are now more options than ever for a patient … we just have to be brave enough to look for them.