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
- 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.