There is truth in the old proverb about apple consumption and medical appointments. Insufficient vitamin C make its contribution to leukemia. This observed tie-in has now been shown to operate through the regulatory character the vitamin plays in the operation of bone marrow stem cells.
These daytimes words touting a single part as being capable of medication all maladies are more likely to peddle turmeric or cannabis, but a few decades ago it was vitamin C that was hailed as frustrating everything from the flu to cancer if you took enough. As overdone as most of these assertions were, it’s surely true that ascorbate, as it is also known, is vital to our health, sometimes in ways that continues to unexplained.
“We have known for a while that people with lower levels of ascorbate( vitamin C) are at increased cancer probability, but we haven’t fully understood why, ” said Dr Sean Morrison of Children’s Medical Center Research Institute UT Southwestern. Stem cells clearly played a part, but are so rare in any individual tissue that it is impossible to collect the millions often used for metabolic analysis. Likewise, most mammals make their own ascorbate, but humans cannot, obstructing the use of animal models.
Morrison and his co-authors of a paper published in Nature had to develop new techniques to evaluate metabolite usage in populations as tiny as 10,000 stem cells to address the first question. On working these techniques the authors discovered different types of blood-forming cell has a distinctive signature to its metabolite uptake. They attacked the second largest trouble applying mice that shortage ascorbate-producing enzymes.
When given a low-pitched vitamin C diet these mice had more, and more active, bone marrow stem cells, increasing blood cell yield at the price of higher rates of leukemia. The vitamin C concentration was related to levels of the enzyme Tet2, which regulates blood make. Without enough Tet2, the stem cells reacted like an overheating instrument, switching out blood cells at a great rate until they revolved cancerous. Something same is detected when mutations reduce Tet2 production.
The firstly clinical be applied in the discovery is for cases with clonal hematopoiesis, a condition that often involves reduced Tet2 yield and leukemia. “Our decisions intimate cases with clonal hematopoiesis and a Tet2 mutant should be particularly careful to get 100 percent of their everyday vitamin C requirement, ” Morrison said. “These cases … need to maximize the residual Tet2 tumor-suppressor activity to protect themselves from cancer.”
Since stem cells are much sparser in other regions of their own bodies than in bone marrow it will be even more challenging to extend the research to other cancers.
The ideal dose of vitamin C remains to be established, although a paper, coincidentally publicized last week, may indicate interests beyond current recommendations.