Mitochondria, Energy and Cancer: The Relationship with Ascorbic Acid

Citation: J Orthomol Med. 2010;25(1):29-38.

Ascorbic Acid (AA) has been used in the prevention and treatment of cancer with reported effectiveness. Mitochondria may be one of the principal targets of ascorbate's cellular activity and it may play an important role in the development and progression of cancer. Mitochondria, besides generating adenosine triphosphate (ATP), has a role in apoptosis regulation and in the production of regulatory oxidative species that may be relevant in gene expression. At higher concentrations AA may increase ATP production by increasing mitochondrial electron flux, also may induce apoptotic cell death in tumor cell lines, probably via its pro-oxidant action In contrast, at lower concentrations AA displays antioxidant properties that may prevent the activation of oxidant-induced apoptosis. These concentration dependent activities of ascorbate may explain in part the seemingly contradictory results that have been reported previously. PMID: 23565030 | PMC: PMC3615720