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Two Faces of Vitamin C—Antioxidative and Pro-Oxidative Agent

DNA Damage Laboratory of Food Science Department, Faculty of Pharmacy, Medical University of Lodz, ul. Muszynskiego 1, 90-151 Lodz, Poland
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Nutrients 2020, 12(5), 1501; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12051501
Received: 23 April 2020 / Revised: 17 May 2020 / Accepted: 19 May 2020 / Published: 21 May 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vitamin C in Human Health and Disease)
Vitamin C has been known for decades. It is common in everyday use as an element of the diet, supplementation, and a preservative. For years, research has been conducted to precisely determine the mechanism of action of ascorbate in the cell. Available results indicate its multi-directional cellular effects. Vitamin C, which belongs to antioxidants scavenging free radicals, also has a ‘second face’—as a pro-oxidative factor. However, whether is the latter nature a defect harmful to the cell, or whether a virtue that is a source of benefit? In this review, we discuss the effects of vitamin C treatment in cancer prevention and the role of ascorbate in maintaining redox balance in the central nervous system (CNS). Finally, we discuss the effect of vitamin C supplementation on biomarkers of oxidative DNA damage and review the evidence that vitamin C has radioprotective properties. View Full-Text
Keywords: vitamin C; antioxidants; pro-oxidative factor; anticancer activity; DNA lesions; radioprotective properties vitamin C; antioxidants; pro-oxidative factor; anticancer activity; DNA lesions; radioprotective properties
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Kaźmierczak-Barańska, J.; Boguszewska, K.; Adamus-Grabicka, A.; Karwowski, B.T. Two Faces of Vitamin C—Antioxidative and Pro-Oxidative Agent. Nutrients 2020, 12, 1501.

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