For those who have been regular consumer of Vitamin-C, it is time to rejoice as new research proves that the vitamin supplement can limit the growth of cancerous tumors in the human body.

The research, conducted at the University of Otago, was carried out over a span of six years and is now being considered to be the first major work in the area that establishes the efficacy of the fruit vitamin in arresting cancer growth.

"Our results offer a promising and simple intervention to help in our fight against cancer, at the level of both prevention and cure," says Associate Professor Margreet Vissers of the University of Otago, in a commentary published in the latest edition of the Cancer Research journal. The study was funded by the University of Otago and the Tertiary Education Commission.

Prof. Vissers says the role of Vitamin-C in cancer treatment has been the subject of debate for years, with many anecdotal accounts of its important in both the prevention and treatment of cancer. Several studies conducted in the past have hinted at the fruit vitamin’s importance in maintaining cell health and its potential for preventing and controlling diseases such as cancer.

The Otago study examined whether Vitamin-C levels were lowered in patients with endometrial tumours. It also probed whether the cancer cells had low Vitamin C levels and whether this had any relation with tumor aggressiveness and resistance to chemotherapy.

Tumors were found to have lower ability to accumulate Vitamin-C compared with normal healthy tissue, and it was this feature that related the efficacy of the fruit vitamin to curtain cancerous cells, says Prof. Vissers.

Tumors with low Vitamin-C levels contained more of a protein called HIF-1 which allows them to thrive in conditions of stress. The findings are significant as they suggest it would be beneficial for people with cancer cells to take more Vitamin-C to limit tumor growth.

Despite the path breaking nature of the study, the news that Vitamin-C can prevent tumor growth comes as no surprise to many because tablets or the food stuffs rich in this vitamin has already become a routine in various integrative and natural medicine clinics across the world.