The San Diego Union Tribune: Two studies find vitamin C can prevent and treat leukemia

Vitamin C reduces the risk of leukemia, and may also be useful as chemotherapy for the blood cancer, according to two recent studies.

Both studies examined how vitamin C affects the metabolism and genetics of blood-forming, or hematopoietic stem cells. Mutations in these cells can give rise to various blood cancers.

A study released Monday found that human and mouse hematopoietic stem cells absorb unusually large amounts of vitamin C. When the cells were depleted of vitamin C, they were more likely to turn into leukemia cells.

The results indicate the importance of taking 100 percent of the recommended amount of ascorbate, or vitamin C, especially for older people, said senior study author Sean Morrison, director of the Children’s Medical Center Research Institute at UT Southwestern. The study was published in Nature.

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