Yes it’s true — this vitamin can kill cancer cells

Cropped shot of men feeding girlfriend with toast with peanut butter for breakfast

And it doesn’t hurt healthy cells at all. In fact, it’s good for the body in so many ways…

—-Important Message—-

This special type of vitamin C can fight and kill cancer cells

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Believe it or not, vitamin C is cancer’s kryptonite.

Vitamin C can stop cancer cells in their tracks and stop tumors from growing or spreading.

It basically starves the cancer cells of all their energy until they die.

The only problem is, to get enough regular vitamin C to kill cancer cells, you’d have to inject it…

Because large doses of regular vitamin C doesn’t stay in the body long enough for you to get the full benefit.

It just leaks out in your pee.

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Yes it’s true — this vitamin can kill cancer cells

In the early 1980s, Doctor K. Prasad made a strange discovery…

He was trying to figure out why one brand of vitamin E had more powerful effects than other brands.

Dr. Prasad tested different modified vitamin E forms.

There’d been something unique about Aquasol E™

Since the company that had produced and sold it — USV Laboratories — wouldn’t disclose their “trade secrets,” he had to infer what was different about that product. 

“Here we show that α-TOS preferentially kills malignant cells while showing very limited or no toxicity towards normal cells.” ―Neuzil

He had concluded that vitamin E succinate was most likely accountable for the greater potency that Aquasol E™ had over most brands…

…which had been most likely modified in storage by the proprietary solvent blend used in its formulation. 

Throughout the ‘80s and ‘90s, others had corroborated these findings and they’re still being reported to this day. 

These powerful effects displayed by this specific vitamin E form were also shown to be exclusive to cancer cells, multiple times. 

And this has very little to do with “inhibiting free radicals,” the classic effect of plain old vitamin E.

Of the scores of studies demonstrating these effects, a few do so better than others.

I think most would agree that a substance’s selectivity towards cancer cells should be considered first. 

Because, after all, if a substance is equally toxic to both cancer and normal cells it would be dangerous to take.

Nonselective substances are still used however: the synthetic cancer substance 5-fluorouracil is very similar to uracil and thymine.

And can be incorporated into growing DNA & mRNA chains just the same, yet 5-fluorouracil will inhibit further elongation.

Fluorouracil prevents DNA replication in all cells.

Interesting as that mechanism may be, it nonetheless seems crude by comparison to a selective substance — and far less practical.

The selectivity of vitamin E succinate was best demonstrated by a group of German scientists at the turn of the century:

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In a simple yet extensive study, they tested vitamin E succinate on 25 cancer cell lines and 10 normal ones.

The results were startling: in every case, vitamin E succinate increased the apoptotic rate in cancer cells at 50μM, while having little effect on normal ones at the same concentration. 

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It didn’t much matter what cell line was tested: in each case, cancer cells self-destructed around 5 to 10 times faster under the influence of this form (α-tocopheryl succinate).

Not all vitamins display this ability against cancer cells at 50μM, and certainly not plain vitamin E.

This is even more astounding when considering its safety:

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This high-specificity had been reported elsewhere, if 35 different cell lines weren’t convincing enough (Prasad, 1982).

But is vitamin E succinate absorbed? …and what effect does it have on living animals?

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This form of vitamin E was extensively tested and had been proven safe for nearly 40 years. Not only that, it has been shown to inhibit the growth of tumors in mice (Neuzil, 2001):

The difference between α-tocopherol and α-tocopheryl succinate is more than just a minor packaging detail.

Although the difference between things like calcium citrate and calcium succinate are negligible because they dissociate, α-tocopheryl succinate is covalently-linked to succinate. 

This molecule is completely different, and the succinate group will not separate in the body. 

And in fact, the succinate is absolutely required for it to work.

It has been proven that α-tocopheryl succinate must get inside the cell as such to display its powerful anticancer effect: 

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In a simple experiment, chemists from Virginia sought to elaborate on a few details underlying its unique action.

With this aim in mind, they purchased some molecules and even synthesized a few more.

To help gain insight into the importance of the succinate group, they also compared cholesterol to cholesteryl succinate.

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Cholesteryl succinate has also been shown effective against cancer cells.

This one observation, along with the fact that most other attachments do little, implies there is something particularly unique about succinate. 

The importance of succinate is apparent by looking at these dose-response curves. 

These plainly indicate that both cholesterol and tocopherol succinate esters are nearly superimposable in function and potency:

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So it’s wrong to assume, as some will, that simply buying vitamin E will work if they’d just take more.

This study and many others prove that this is simply not the case. 

In fact, regular α-tocopherol has actually been shown to increase cancer incidence slightly (Lippman, 2009).

This is most certainly on account of its ability to displace γ-tocopherol at high concentrations, a more protective form of vitamin E uniquely capable of adducting with reactive nitrogen species.

For this reason, “mixed tocopherols” should always be used. 

“The striking similarities between the dose-dependent actions of CS, CSE, TS, and ThE on 3 different cell lines strongly suggest that these 4 compounds share a common molecular mechanism of action, one most likely resulting from the intact compound.” ―Fariss

A substance’s mechanism of action is important, as you’d then know what will synergize with it and what would be superfluous.

Even though Dr. Fariss proposes “membrane effects” as being responsible, and its discoverer Kedad Prasad has no idea either, the way this substance actually works is blatantly obvious. 

Both α-tocopherol succinate and cholesterol succinate are calcium ionophores: they pull calcium into the cell. 

Succinate is a dicarboxylic acid, and as such will be strongly complex with calcium. 

This was known decades ago, and then again very recently.

But in the days before the internet was commonplace, most scientists apparently subscribed to only a few journals, missing a good deal of science published in the rest.  

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Calcium (Ca²⁺) has the most signalling functions among elemental ions. Most ions, such as Na⁺ and K⁺, don’t have any. 

Calcium can actually modify DNA by binding transcription factors.

It has been shown that CREB, a transcription factor, regulates most calcium-responsive genes (Sheng, 1991). 

“A calcium response element that is indistinguishable from a CAMP response element mediates transcriptional inducibility…” ―Sheng

Intracellular calcium can explain the genetic changes seen in many studies that used α-tocopheryl succinate.

In fact, the genes it induces are calcium-responsive genes. 

Alpha-tocopheryl succinate has been shown to oppose the action of prostaglandin E1 by inhibiting adenyl cyclase (Sahu, 1988), something calcium is well-known for (Brostrom, 1974). 

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Although certainly more effective than α-tocopherol, when all forms were compared head-to-head it was actually γ-tocopherol that was found most effective (Galli, 2003). 

Alpha-tocopheryl succinate was intermediate in effect, but because of its different mechanism it should synergize with γ-tocopherol. 

Gamma-tocopherol has been shown to “‘trap” both nitrogen dioxide and peroxynitrite, two reactive nitrogen species highly involved in cancer progression (Cooney, 1993). 

“…inhibition of PGE1-stimulated adenylate cyclase by α-tocopheryl succinate not due to its antioxidant action.” ―Prasad

Alpha-tocopheryl succinate, on the other hand, has an entirely different mechanism of action.

This molecule simply increases intracellular calcium and most effects are a consequence of that. 

This vitamin E form actually has more in common with cholesteryl succinate in function than with α-tocopherol.

But if you view it as succinic acid having a slight tocopheryl modification, and not vice versa, it makes more sense. 

‘α-TOS stimulates a rapid entry of Ca2+ into the cell with subsequent accumulation of these ions…’ ―Gogvadze

These 2 vitamin E forms appear safe, effective, and should be beneficial for just about anybody. 

Vitamin E is always protective except for the instance where taking too much (regular) α-tocopherol for extended periods leads to the depletion of γ-tocopherol. 

These 2 vitamin E subtypes compete for uptake, and for this reason α-tocopherol shouldn’t be taken in the absence of a similar amount of γ.

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Matt Cook is editor-in-chief of Daily Medical Discoveries. Matt has been a full time health researcher for 26 years. ABC News interviewed Matt on sexual health issues not long ago. Matt is widely quoted on over 1,000,000 websites. He has over 300,000 daily newsletter readers. Daily Medical Discoveries finds hidden, buried or ignored medical studies through the lens of 100 years of proven science. Matt heads up the editorial team of scientists and health researchers. Each discovery is based upon primary studies from peer reviewed science sources following the Daily Medical Discoveries 7 Step Process to ensure accuracy.


Neuzil, J. "Selective cancer cell killing by α-tocopheryl succinate." British journal of cancer (2001)


Neuzil, J. "Induction of cancer cell apoptosis by α-tocopheryl succinate: molecular pathways and structural requirements." The FASEB Journal (2001)


Fariss, M. "The selective antiproliferative effects of α-tocopheryl hemisuccinate and cholesteryl hemisuccinate on murine leukemia cells result from the action of the intact compounds." Cancer research (1994)