Damian Wojcik is a General Practitioner, Clinical Metal Toxicologist, Forensic Physician, and the Director of Northland Environmental Health Clinic in New Zealand.
Dr Wojcik completed his medical training at Auckland Medical School in November 1978, followed by attachments at Whangarei and Kaitaia Hospitals, and general practice attachments in Wellsford and Rawene, Northland. He holds a Master’s Degree in Forensic Medicine, and has also been a General Practice Obstetrician providing intrapartum care and delivering several hundred babies.
As Founder and Director of the Northland Environmental Health Clinic, Dr Wojcik practices preventive, nutritional, environmental, integrative, and family medicine. He is committed to ethical, safe, patient-centred, and evidence-based medicine.
Ascorbic Acid as a Novel Co-factor for Cytochrome P450 Metabolism and Cancer Cell Selectivity
Ascorbic acid can be viewed as a universal enzyme co-factor and more specifically as an enzyme co-factor for cancer cell selectivity. Ascorbic acid is an electron donor for cytochrome P-450 catalyzed metabolism of drugs and circulating substrates. This donation of electrons takes place not only in the lumen of the endoplasmic reticulum but also in the mitochondria. This leaves ascorbic acid as a central electron donor for cytochrome-P450 metabolism. The electron transfer from ascorbic acid to oxygen is an enzymatic process mediated by a cytochrome P450 isozyme. In the case of cancer that isozyme is CYP1B1. This represents a highly beneficial synergy between ascorbic acid and CYP1B1 that could be exploited to enhance patient recovery. Ascorbic acid acts as a co-factor for CYP1B1 metabolism. CYP1B1 provides the cancer cell selectivity, an organic diet provides the substrates that get transformed into compounds that can initiate apoptosis or inhibit further cell division, and ascorbic acid provides the electrons to facilitate this metabolism of dietary substrates by CYP1B1. Through this mechanism we can view ascorbic acid as a co-factor for cancer cell selectivity. Case studies are presented to highlight the utility of this mechanism.