Vitamin C

Vitamin C

Key Studies on Vitamin C

  • Vitamin C or Ascorbic acid is a vitamin that cannot be synthesised by the human body and
    must be obtained from diet. But this is important for the activation of 14 mammalian
    enzymes. (R1)
  • VitC is a very important component in the formation of Collagen. And a deficiency of Vit C
    can lead to Scurvy- where symptoms such as bleeding gums eventually followed by loss of
    teeth are observed. The symptoms are possibly due to the impaired production of Collagen.
  • The gut wall is also lined with Collagen, and Scurvy of the gut lining leads to the onset of
    ‘Leaky gut’ which is often a common CFS related symptom.
  • Neutrophil Protection: Neutrophils are immune cells that release oxidants on encounter with
    antigen such as E. coli or C. Albicans. Once the neutrophils are activated they accumulate Vit
    C from their surroundings. Thus Vit C concentrations inside the neutrophils increase
    significantly. (R2) It is suggested that this sudden increase in Vit C uptake could be to protect the
    neutrophil itself from the oxidants that are released. In other words, Vit C is suggested as a good antioxidant.
  • In Parkinson’s disease, evidences point to mitochondrial dysfunction as a contributor to the
    disease. Dopamine metabolism produces oxidant species and therefore oxidative stress in PD.
    In addition, oxidative stress also leads to protein aggregation in PD. Vit C may prevent cell-
    death by the inhibition of oxidative stress. (R3)
  • Similarly, in Alzheimer’s disease, the formation of Beta-Amyloid (Aβ)-plaques was seen to
    disrupt the dynamics of the mitochondria. However, Vit C was seen to reduce amyloid
    plaques, resulting in the prevention of abnormal mitochondrial morphology. (R4) Thus Vit C does
    exhibit neuro-protective properties.


  • R1. Padayatty, S. J.; Levine, M., Vitamin C: the known and the unknown and Goldilocks. Oral diseases 2016, 22 (6), 463-93.
  • R2. Wang, Y.; Russo, T. A.; Kwon, O.; Chanock, S.; Rumsey, S. C.; Levine, M., Ascorbate recycling in human neutrophils: induction by bacteria. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 1997, 94 (25), 13816-9.
  • R3. Ballaz, S.; Morales, I.; Rodriguez, M.; Obeso, J. A., Ascorbate prevents cell death from prolonged exposure to glutamate in an in vitro model of human dopaminergic neurons. Journal of neuroscience research 2013, 91 (12), 1609-17.
  • R4. Kook, S. Y.; Lee, K. M.; Kim, Y.; Cha, M. Y.; Kang, S.; Baik, S. H.; Lee, H.; Park, R.; Mook-Jung, I., High-dose of vitamin C supplementation reduces amyloid plaque burden and ameliorates pathological changes in the brain of 5XFAD mice. Cell death & disease 2014, 5, e1083.