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Special Issue "Vitamin C in Health and Disease"

A special issue of Nutrients (ISSN 2072-6643).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 July 2017)

Printed Edition Available!
A printed edition of this Special Issue is available here.

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Anitra C. Carr

Department of Pathology, University of Otago, Christchurch Street: 2 Riccarton Ave, Christchurch 8011, New Zealand
Website | E-Mail
Interests: vitamin C bioavailability and health effects; role of vitamin C in mood and quality of life; role of vitamin C in cancer and infection; human intervention studies; vitamin C recommended dietary intakes
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Jens Lykkesfeldt

Experimental Pharmacology & Toxicology, Faculty of Health & Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Ridebanevej 9, DK-1870 Frederiksberg C, Denmark
Website | E-Mail
Interests: vitamin C in health and disease; vitamin C deficiency; oxidative stress and damage; pharmacokinetics; lifestyle diseases; non-alcoholic fatty liver disease; disease animal models

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Vitamin C is a pivotal water soluble electron donor in nature and an essential nutrient in man. Despite its many years as a research focus, new and increasingly regulatory functions of vitamin C in human health are continually being unravelled. This improved mechanistic insight is starting to provide rationales explaining the extensive epidemiological literature that, for decades, has consistently shown strong associations between poor vitamin C status and increased morbidity and mortality.

In this Special Issue, we include original research and literature reviews by experts in the field outlining the roles of vitamin C in early, daily and late life, as well as the roles of deficiency in cardiovascular disease, inflammation and cancer.

Dr. Anitra C Carr
Prof. Jens Lykkesfeldt
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Nutrients is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Vitamin C
  • ascorbic acid
  • brain development
  • aging
  • pregnancy outcome
  • inflammatory disease
  • cancer
  • vascular remodeling
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • epigenetics

Published Papers (15 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Inadequate Vitamin C Status in Prediabetes and Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: Associations with Glycaemic Control, Obesity, and Smoking
Nutrients 2017, 9(9), 997; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu9090997
Received: 14 July 2017 / Revised: 4 September 2017 / Accepted: 6 September 2017 / Published: 9 September 2017
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (603 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Vitamin C (ascorbate) is an essential micronutrient in humans, being required for a number of important biological functions via acting as an enzymatic cofactor and reducing agent. There is some evidence to suggest that people with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) have lower
[...] Read more.
Vitamin C (ascorbate) is an essential micronutrient in humans, being required for a number of important biological functions via acting as an enzymatic cofactor and reducing agent. There is some evidence to suggest that people with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) have lower plasma vitamin C concentrations compared to those with normal glucose tolerance (NGT). The aim of this study was to investigate plasma vitamin C concentrations across the glycaemic spectrum and to explore correlations with indices of metabolic health. This is a cross-sectional observational pilot study in adults across the glycaemic spectrum from NGT to T2DM. Demographic and anthropometric data along with information on physical activity were collected and participants were asked to complete a four-day weighed food diary. Venous blood samples were collected and glycaemic indices, plasma vitamin C concentrations, hormone tests, lipid profiles, and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) were analysed. A total of 89 participants completed the study, including individuals with NGT (n = 35), prediabetes (n = 25), and T2DM managed by diet alone or on a regimen of Metformin only (n = 29). Plasma vitamin C concentrations were significantly lower in individuals with T2DM compared to those with NGT (41.2 µmol/L versus 57.4 µmol/L, p < 0.05) and a higher proportion of vitamin C deficiency (i.e. <11.0 µmol/L) was observed in both the prediabetes and T2DM groups. The results showed fasting glucose (p = 0.001), BMI (p = 0.001), smoking history (p = 0.003), and dietary vitamin C intake (p = 0.032) to be significant independent predictors of plasma vitamin C concentrations. In conclusion, these results suggest that adults with a history of smoking, prediabetes or T2DM, and/or obesity, have greater vitamin C requirements. Future research is required to investigate whether eating more vitamin C rich foods and/or taking vitamin C supplements may reduce the risk of progression to, and/or complications associated with, T2DM. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vitamin C in Health and Disease) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle Vitamin C Intake is Inversely Associated with Cardiovascular Mortality in a Cohort of Spanish Graduates: the SUN Project
Nutrients 2017, 9(9), 954; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu9090954
Received: 14 July 2017 / Revised: 19 August 2017 / Accepted: 24 August 2017 / Published: 29 August 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (962 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Observational studies have found a protective effect of vitamin C on cardiovascular health. However, results are inconsistent, and residual confounding by fiber might be present. The aim of this study was to assess the association of vitamin C with the incidence of cardiovascular
[...] Read more.
Observational studies have found a protective effect of vitamin C on cardiovascular health. However, results are inconsistent, and residual confounding by fiber might be present. The aim of this study was to assess the association of vitamin C with the incidence of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and cardiovascular mortality (CVM) while accounting for fiber intake and adherence to the Mediterranean dietary pattern. We followed up 13,421 participants in the Seguimiento Universidad de Navarra (University of Navarra follow-up) (SUN) cohort for a mean time of 11 years. Information was collected at baseline and every two years through mailed questionnaires. Diet was assessed with a validated semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire. Incident CVD was defined as incident fatal or non-fatal myocardial infarction, fatal or non-fatal stroke, or death due to any cardiovascular cause. CVM was defined as death due to cardiovascular causes. Events were confirmed by physicians in the study team after revision of medical records. Cox proportional hazard models were fitted to assess the associations of (a) energy-adjusted and (b) fiber-adjusted vitamin C intake with CVD and CVM. We found energy-adjusted vitamin C was inversely associated with CVD and CVM after adjusting for several confounding factors, including fiber from foods other than fruits and vegetables, and adherence to the Mediterranean dietary pattern. On the other hand, when vitamin C was adjusted for total fiber intake using the residuals method, we found a significant inverse association with CVM (HR (95% confidence interval (CI)) for the third tertile compared to the first tertile, 0.30 (0.12–0.72), but not with CVD in the fully adjusted model. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vitamin C in Health and Disease) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle Vitamin C Status Correlates with Markers of Metabolic and Cognitive Health in 50-Year-Olds: Findings of the CHALICE Cohort Study
Nutrients 2017, 9(8), 831; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu9080831
Received: 14 July 2017 / Revised: 27 July 2017 / Accepted: 31 July 2017 / Published: 3 August 2017
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (441 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A cohort of 50-year-olds from Canterbury, New Zealand (N = 404), representative of midlife adults, undertook comprehensive health and dietary assessments. Fasting plasma vitamin C concentrations (N = 369) and dietary vitamin C intake (N = 250) were determined. The
[...] Read more.
A cohort of 50-year-olds from Canterbury, New Zealand (N = 404), representative of midlife adults, undertook comprehensive health and dietary assessments. Fasting plasma vitamin C concentrations (N = 369) and dietary vitamin C intake (N = 250) were determined. The mean plasma vitamin C concentration was 44.2 µmol/L (95% CI 42.4, 46.0); 62% of the cohort had inadequate plasma vitamin C concentrations (i.e., <50 µmol/L), 13% of the cohort had hypovitaminosis C (i.e., <23 µmol/L), and 2.4% had plasma vitamin C concentrations indicating deficiency (i.e., <11 µmol/L). Men had a lower mean plasma vitamin C concentration than women, and a higher percentage of vitamin C inadequacy and deficiency. A higher prevalence of hypovitaminosis C and deficiency was observed in those of lower socio-economic status and in current smokers. Adults with higher vitamin C levels exhibited lower weight, BMI and waist circumference, and better measures of metabolic health, including HbA1c, insulin and triglycerides, all risk factors for type 2 diabetes. Lower levels of mild cognitive impairment were observed in those with the highest plasma vitamin C concentrations. Plasma vitamin C showed a stronger correlation with markers of metabolic health and cognitive impairment than dietary vitamin C. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vitamin C in Health and Disease) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle Vitamin C Deficiency Reduces Muscarinic Receptor Coronary Artery Vasoconstriction and Plasma Tetrahydrobiopterin Concentration in Guinea Pigs
Nutrients 2017, 9(7), 691; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu9070691
Received: 1 May 2017 / Revised: 23 June 2017 / Accepted: 29 June 2017 / Published: 3 July 2017
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Abstract
Vitamin C (vitC) deficiency is associated with increased cardiovascular disease risk, but its specific interplay with arteriolar function is unclear. This study investigates the effect of vitC deficiency in guinea pigs on plasma biopterin status and the vasomotor responses in coronary arteries exposed
[...] Read more.
Vitamin C (vitC) deficiency is associated with increased cardiovascular disease risk, but its specific interplay with arteriolar function is unclear. This study investigates the effect of vitC deficiency in guinea pigs on plasma biopterin status and the vasomotor responses in coronary arteries exposed to vasoconstrictor/-dilator agents. Dunkin Hartley female guinea pigs (n = 32) were randomized to high (1500 mg/kg diet) or low (0 to 50 mg/kg diet) vitC for 10–12 weeks. At euthanasia, coronary artery segments were dissected and mounted in a wire-myograph. Vasomotor responses to potassium, carbachol, sodium nitroprusside (SNP), U46619, sarafotoxin 6c (S6c) and endothelin-1 (ET-1) were recorded. Plasma vitC and tetrahydrobiopterin were measured by HPLC. Plasma vitC status reflected the diets with deficient animals displaying reduced tetrahydrobiopterin. Vasoconstrictor responses to carbachol were significantly decreased in vitC deficient coronary arteries independent of their general vasoconstrictor/vasodilator capacity (p < 0.001). Moreover, in vitC deficient animals, carbachol-induced vasodilator responses correlated with coronary artery diameter (p < 0.001). Inhibition of cyclooxygenases with indomethacin increased carbachol-induced vasoconstriction, suggesting an augmented carbachol-induced release of vasodilator prostanoids. Atropine abolished carbachol-induced vasomotion, supporting a specific muscarinic receptor effect. Arterial responses to SNP, potassium, S6c, U46619 and ET-1 were unaffected by vitC status. The study shows that vitC deficiency decreases tetrahydrobiopterin concentrations and muscarinic receptor mediated contraction in coronary arteries. This attenuated vasoconstrictor response may be linked to altered production of vasoactive arachidonic acid metabolites and reduced muscarinic receptor expression/signaling. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vitamin C in Health and Disease) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle Topical Application of Trisodium Ascorbyl 6-Palmitate 2-Phosphate Actively Supplies Ascorbate to Skin Cells in an Ascorbate Transporter-Independent Manner
Nutrients 2017, 9(7), 645; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu9070645
Received: 2 May 2017 / Revised: 16 June 2017 / Accepted: 19 June 2017 / Published: 22 June 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1088 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Ascorbic acid (AA) possesses multiple beneficial functions, such as regulating collagen biosynthesis and redox balance in the skin. AA derivatives have been developed to overcome this compound’s high fragility and to assist with AA supplementation to the skin. However, how AA derivatives are
[...] Read more.
Ascorbic acid (AA) possesses multiple beneficial functions, such as regulating collagen biosynthesis and redox balance in the skin. AA derivatives have been developed to overcome this compound’s high fragility and to assist with AA supplementation to the skin. However, how AA derivatives are transferred into cells and converted to AA in the skin remains unclear. In the present study, we showed that AA treatment failed to increase the cellular AA level in the presence of AA transporter inhibitors, indicating an AA transporter-dependent action. In contrast, torisodium ascorbyl 6-palmitate 2-phosphate (APPS) treatment significantly enhanced the cellular AA level in skin cells despite the presence of inhibitors. In ex vivo experiments, APPS treatment also increased the AA content in a human epidermis model. Interestingly, APPS was readily metabolized and converted to AA in keratinocyte lysates via an intrinsic mechanism. Furthermore, APPS markedly repressed the intracellular superoxide generation and promoted viability associated with an enhanced AA level in Sod1-deficient skin cells. These findings indicate that APPS effectively restores the AA level and normalizes the redox balance in skin cells in an AA transporter-independent manner. Topical treatment of APPS is a beneficial strategy for supplying AA and improving the physiology of damaged skin. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vitamin C in Health and Disease) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle Vitamin C Depletion and All-Cause Mortality in Renal Transplant Recipients
Nutrients 2017, 9(6), 568; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu9060568
Received: 11 April 2017 / Revised: 25 May 2017 / Accepted: 30 May 2017 / Published: 2 June 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (745 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Vitamin C may reduce inflammation and is inversely associated with mortality in the general population. We investigated the association of plasma vitamin C with all-cause mortality in renal transplant recipients (RTR); and whether this association would be mediated by inflammatory biomarkers. Vitamin C,
[...] Read more.
Vitamin C may reduce inflammation and is inversely associated with mortality in the general population. We investigated the association of plasma vitamin C with all-cause mortality in renal transplant recipients (RTR); and whether this association would be mediated by inflammatory biomarkers. Vitamin C, high sensitive C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), soluble intercellular cell adhesion molecule 1 (sICAM-1), and soluble vascular cell adhesion molecule 1 (sVCAM-1) were measured in a cohort of 598 RTR. Cox regression analyses were used to analyze the association between vitamin C depletion (≤28 µmol/L; 22% of RTR) and mortality. Mediation analyses were performed according to Preacher and Hayes’s procedure. At a median follow-up of 7.0 (6.2–7.5) years, 131 (21%) patients died. Vitamin C depletion was univariately associated with almost two-fold higher risk of mortality (Hazard ratio (HR) 1.95; 95% confidence interval (95%CI) 1.35–2.81, p < 0.001). This association remained independent of potential confounders (HR 1.74; 95%CI 1.18–2.57, p = 0.005). Hs-CRP, sICAM-1, sVCAM-1 and a composite score of inflammatory biomarkers mediated 16, 17, 15, and 32% of the association, respectively. Vitamin C depletion is frequent and independently associated with almost two-fold higher risk of mortality in RTR. It may be hypothesized that the beneficial effect of vitamin C at least partly occurs through decreasing inflammation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vitamin C in Health and Disease) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle Emerging Evidence on Neutrophil Motility Supporting Its Usefulness to Define Vitamin C Intake Requirements
Nutrients 2017, 9(5), 503; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu9050503
Received: 14 March 2017 / Revised: 4 May 2017 / Accepted: 10 May 2017 / Published: 16 May 2017
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Abstract
Establishing intake recommendations for vitamin C remains a challenge, as no suitable functional parameter has yet been agreed upon. In this report, we review the emerging evidence on neutrophil motility as a possible marker of vitamin C requirements and put the results in
[...] Read more.
Establishing intake recommendations for vitamin C remains a challenge, as no suitable functional parameter has yet been agreed upon. In this report, we review the emerging evidence on neutrophil motility as a possible marker of vitamin C requirements and put the results in perspective with other approaches. A recent in vitro study showed that adequate levels of vitamin C were needed for this function to work optimally when measured as chemotaxis and chemokinesis. In a human study, neutrophil motility was optimal at intakes ≥250 mg/day. Interestingly, a Cochrane review showed a significant reduction in the duration of episodes of common cold with regular vitamin C intakes in a similar range. Additionally, it was shown that at a plasma level of 75 µmol/L, which is reached with vitamin C intakes ≥200 mg/day, incidences of cardiovascular disease were lowest. This evidence would suggest that daily intakes of 200 mg vitamin C might be advisable for the general adult population, which can be achieved by means of a diverse diet. However, additional studies are warranted to investigate the usefulness of neutrophil motility as a marker of vitamin C requirements. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vitamin C in Health and Disease) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle Poor Vitamin C Status Late in Pregnancy Is Associated with Increased Risk of Complications in Type 1 Diabetic Women: A Cross-Sectional Study
Nutrients 2017, 9(3), 186; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu9030186
Received: 22 January 2017 / Revised: 15 February 2017 / Accepted: 20 February 2017 / Published: 23 February 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (240 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Vitamin C (vitC) is essential for normal pregnancy and fetal development and poor vitC status has been related to complications of pregnancy. We have previously shown lower vitC status in diabetic women throughout pregnancy compared to that of non-diabetic controls. Here, we evaluate
[...] Read more.
Vitamin C (vitC) is essential for normal pregnancy and fetal development and poor vitC status has been related to complications of pregnancy. We have previously shown lower vitC status in diabetic women throughout pregnancy compared to that of non-diabetic controls. Here, we evaluate the relationship between vitC status late in diabetic pregnancy in relation to fetal outcome, complications of pregnancy, diabetic characteristics, and glycemic control based on data of 47 women from the same cohort. We found a significant relationship between the maternal vitC level > or ≤ the 50% percentile of 26.6 μmol/L, respectively, and the umbilical cord blood vitC level (mean (SD)): 101.0 μmol/L (16.6) versus 78.5 μmol/L (27.8), p = 0.02; n = 12/16), while no relation to birth weight or Apgar score was observed. Diabetic women with complications of pregnancy had significantly lower vitC levels compared to the women without complications (mean (SD): 24.2 μmol/L (10.6) vs. 34.6 μmol/L (14.4), p = 0.01; n = 19 and 28, respectively) and the subgroup of women (about 28%) characterized by hypovitaminosis C (<23 μmol/L) had an increased relative risk of complications of pregnancy that was 2.4 fold higher than the one found in the group of women with a vitC status above this level (p = 0.02, 95% confidence interval 1.2–4.4). No correlation between diabetic characteristics of the pregnant women and vitC status was observed, while a negative association of maternal vitC with HbA1c at delivery was found at regression analysis (r = −0.39, p < 0.01, n = 46). In conclusion, our results may suggest that hypovitaminosis C in diabetic women is associated with increased risk of complications of pregnancy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vitamin C in Health and Disease) Printed Edition available

Review

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Open AccessReview Vitamin C and Immune Function
Nutrients 2017, 9(11), 1211; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu9111211
Received: 21 September 2017 / Revised: 30 October 2017 / Accepted: 31 October 2017 / Published: 3 November 2017
Cited by 26 | PDF Full-text (986 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Vitamin C is an essential micronutrient for humans, with pleiotropic functions related to its ability to donate electrons. It is a potent antioxidant and a cofactor for a family of biosynthetic and gene regulatory enzymes. Vitamin C contributes to immune defense by supporting
[...] Read more.
Vitamin C is an essential micronutrient for humans, with pleiotropic functions related to its ability to donate electrons. It is a potent antioxidant and a cofactor for a family of biosynthetic and gene regulatory enzymes. Vitamin C contributes to immune defense by supporting various cellular functions of both the innate and adaptive immune system. Vitamin C supports epithelial barrier function against pathogens and promotes the oxidant scavenging activity of the skin, thereby potentially protecting against environmental oxidative stress. Vitamin C accumulates in phagocytic cells, such as neutrophils, and can enhance chemotaxis, phagocytosis, generation of reactive oxygen species, and ultimately microbial killing. It is also needed for apoptosis and clearance of the spent neutrophils from sites of infection by macrophages, thereby decreasing necrosis/NETosis and potential tissue damage. The role of vitamin C in lymphocytes is less clear, but it has been shown to enhance differentiation and proliferation of B- and T-cells, likely due to its gene regulating effects. Vitamin C deficiency results in impaired immunity and higher susceptibility to infections. In turn, infections significantly impact on vitamin C levels due to enhanced inflammation and metabolic requirements. Furthermore, supplementation with vitamin C appears to be able to both prevent and treat respiratory and systemic infections. Prophylactic prevention of infection requires dietary vitamin C intakes that provide at least adequate, if not saturating plasma levels (i.e., 100–200 mg/day), which optimize cell and tissue levels. In contrast, treatment of established infections requires significantly higher (gram) doses of the vitamin to compensate for the increased inflammatory response and metabolic demand. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vitamin C in Health and Disease) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessReview Vitamin C Status and Cognitive Function: A Systematic Review
Nutrients 2017, 9(9), 960; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu9090960
Received: 28 July 2017 / Revised: 21 August 2017 / Accepted: 28 August 2017 / Published: 30 August 2017
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (672 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Vitamin C plays a role in neuronal differentiation, maturation, myelin formation and modulation of the cholinergic, catecholinergic, and glutaminergic systems. This review evaluates the link between vitamin C status and cognitive performance, in both cognitively intact and impaired individuals. We searched the PUBMED,
[...] Read more.
Vitamin C plays a role in neuronal differentiation, maturation, myelin formation and modulation of the cholinergic, catecholinergic, and glutaminergic systems. This review evaluates the link between vitamin C status and cognitive performance, in both cognitively intact and impaired individuals. We searched the PUBMED, SCOPUS, SciSearch and the Cochrane Library from 1980 to January 2017, finding 50 studies, with randomised controlled trials (RCTs, n = 5), prospective (n = 24), cross-sectional (n = 17) and case-control (n = 4) studies. Of these, 36 studies were conducted in healthy participants and 14 on cognitively impaired individuals (including Alzheimer’s and dementia). Vitamin C status was measured using food frequency questionnaires or plasma vitamin C. Cognition was assessed using a variety of tests, mostly the Mini-Mental-State-Examination (MMSE). In summary, studies demonstrated higher mean vitamin C concentrations in the cognitively intact groups of participants compared to cognitively impaired groups. No correlation between vitamin C concentrations and MMSE cognitive function was apparent in the cognitively impaired individuals. The MMSE was not suitable to detect a variance in cognition in the healthy group. Analysis of the studies that used a variety of cognitive assessments in the cognitively intact was beyond the scope of this review; however, qualitative assessment revealed a potential association between plasma vitamin C concentrations and cognition. Due to a number of limitations in these studies, further research is needed, utilizing plasma vitamin C concentrations and sensitive cognitive assessments that are suitable for cognitively intact adults. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vitamin C in Health and Disease) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessReview The Roles of Vitamin C in Skin Health
Nutrients 2017, 9(8), 866; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu9080866
Received: 10 July 2017 / Revised: 7 August 2017 / Accepted: 9 August 2017 / Published: 12 August 2017
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (2426 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The primary function of the skin is to act as a barrier against insults from the environment, and its unique structure reflects this. The skin is composed of two layers: the epidermal outer layer is highly cellular and provides the barrier function, and
[...] Read more.
The primary function of the skin is to act as a barrier against insults from the environment, and its unique structure reflects this. The skin is composed of two layers: the epidermal outer layer is highly cellular and provides the barrier function, and the inner dermal layer ensures strength and elasticity and gives nutritional support to the epidermis. Normal skin contains high concentrations of vitamin C, which supports important and well-known functions, stimulating collagen synthesis and assisting in antioxidant protection against UV-induced photodamage. This knowledge is often used as a rationale for the addition of vitamin C to topical applications, but the efficacy of such treatment, as opposed to optimising dietary vitamin C intake, is poorly understood. This review discusses the potential roles for vitamin C in skin health and summarises the in vitro and in vivo research to date. We compare the efficacy of nutritional intake of vitamin C versus topical application, identify the areas where lack of evidence limits our understanding of the potential benefits of vitamin C on skin health, and suggest which skin properties are most likely to benefit from improved nutritional vitamin C intake. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vitamin C in Health and Disease) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessReview Protective Role for Antioxidants in Acute Kidney Disease
Nutrients 2017, 9(7), 718; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu9070718
Received: 24 May 2017 / Revised: 26 June 2017 / Accepted: 4 July 2017 / Published: 7 July 2017
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (972 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Acute kidney injury causes significant morbidity and mortality in the community and clinic. Various pathologies, including renal and cardiovascular disease, traumatic injury/rhabdomyolysis, sepsis, and nephrotoxicity, that cause acute kidney injury (AKI), induce general or regional decreases in renal blood flow. The ensuing renal
[...] Read more.
Acute kidney injury causes significant morbidity and mortality in the community and clinic. Various pathologies, including renal and cardiovascular disease, traumatic injury/rhabdomyolysis, sepsis, and nephrotoxicity, that cause acute kidney injury (AKI), induce general or regional decreases in renal blood flow. The ensuing renal hypoxia and ischemia promotes the formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) such as superoxide radical anions, peroxides, and hydroxyl radicals, that can oxidatively damage biomolecules and membranes, and affect organelle function and induce renal tubule cell injury, inflammation, and vascular dysfunction. Acute kidney injury is associated with increased oxidative damage, and various endogenous and synthetic antioxidants that mitigate source and derived oxidants are beneficial in cell-based and animal studies. However, the benefit of synthetic antioxidant supplementation in human acute kidney injury and renal disease remains to be realized. The endogenous low-molecular weight, non-proteinaceous antioxidant, ascorbate (vitamin C), is a promising therapeutic in human renal injury in critical illness and nephrotoxicity. Ascorbate may exert significant protection by reducing reactive oxygen species and renal oxidative damage via its antioxidant activity, and/or by its non-antioxidant functions in maintaining hydroxylase and monooxygenase enzymes, and endothelium and vascular function. Ascorbate supplementation may be particularly important in renal injury patients with low vitamin C status. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vitamin C in Health and Disease) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessReview Vitamin C, Aging and Alzheimer’s Disease
Nutrients 2017, 9(7), 670; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu9070670
Received: 20 April 2017 / Revised: 1 June 2017 / Accepted: 13 June 2017 / Published: 27 June 2017
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (787 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Accumulating evidence in mice models of accelerated senescence indicates a rescuing role of ascorbic acid in premature aging. Supplementation of ascorbic acid appeared to halt cell growth, oxidative stress, telomere attrition, disorganization of chromatin, and excessive secretion of inflammatory factors, and extend lifespan.
[...] Read more.
Accumulating evidence in mice models of accelerated senescence indicates a rescuing role of ascorbic acid in premature aging. Supplementation of ascorbic acid appeared to halt cell growth, oxidative stress, telomere attrition, disorganization of chromatin, and excessive secretion of inflammatory factors, and extend lifespan. Interestingly, ascorbic acid (AA) was also found to positively modulate inflamm-aging and immunosenescence, two hallmarks of biological aging. Moreover, ascorbic acid has been shown to epigenetically regulate genome integrity and stability, indicating a key role of targeted nutrition in healthy aging. Growing in vivo evidence supports the role of ascorbic acid in ameliorating factors linked to Alzheimer’s disease (AD) pathogenesis, although evidence in humans yielded equivocal results. The neuroprotective role of ascorbic acid not only relies on the general free radical trapping, but also on the suppression of pro-inflammatory genes, mitigating neuroinflammation, on the chelation of iron, copper, and zinc, and on the suppression of amyloid-beta peptide (Aβ) fibrillogenesis. Epidemiological evidence linking diet, one of the most important modifiable lifestyle factors, and risk of Alzheimer's disease is rapidly increasing. Thus, dietary interventions, as a way to epigenetically modulate the human genome, may play a role in the prevention of AD. The present review is aimed at providing an up to date overview of the main biological mechanisms that are associated with ascorbic acid supplementation/bioavailability in the process of aging and Alzheimer’s disease. In addition, we will address new fields of research and future directions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vitamin C in Health and Disease) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessReview Does Vitamin C Influence Neurodegenerative Diseases and Psychiatric Disorders?
Nutrients 2017, 9(7), 659; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu9070659
Received: 15 May 2017 / Revised: 15 June 2017 / Accepted: 21 June 2017 / Published: 27 June 2017
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (1033 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Vitamin C (Vit C) is considered to be a vital antioxidant molecule in the brain. Intracellular Vit C helps maintain integrity and function of several processes in the central nervous system (CNS), including neuronal maturation and differentiation, myelin formation, synthesis of catecholamine, modulation
[...] Read more.
Vitamin C (Vit C) is considered to be a vital antioxidant molecule in the brain. Intracellular Vit C helps maintain integrity and function of several processes in the central nervous system (CNS), including neuronal maturation and differentiation, myelin formation, synthesis of catecholamine, modulation of neurotransmission and antioxidant protection. The importance of Vit C for CNS function has been proven by the fact that targeted deletion of the sodium-vitamin C co-transporter in mice results in widespread cerebral hemorrhage and death on post-natal day one. Since neurological diseases are characterized by increased free radical generation and the highest concentrations of Vit C in the body are found in the brain and neuroendocrine tissues, it is suggested that Vit C may change the course of neurological diseases and display potential therapeutic roles. The aim of this review is to update the current state of knowledge of the role of vitamin C on neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, multiple sclerosis and amyotrophic sclerosis, as well as psychiatric disorders including depression, anxiety and schizophrenia. The particular attention is attributed to understanding of the mechanisms underlying possible therapeutic properties of ascorbic acid in the presented disorders. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vitamin C in Health and Disease) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessReview Vitamin C and Infections
Nutrients 2017, 9(4), 339; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu9040339
Received: 31 January 2017 / Revised: 24 February 2017 / Accepted: 15 March 2017 / Published: 29 March 2017
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Abstract
In the early literature, vitamin C deficiency was associated with pneumonia. After its identification, a number of studies investigated the effects of vitamin C on diverse infections. A total of 148 animal studies indicated that vitamin C may alleviate or prevent infections caused
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In the early literature, vitamin C deficiency was associated with pneumonia. After its identification, a number of studies investigated the effects of vitamin C on diverse infections. A total of 148 animal studies indicated that vitamin C may alleviate or prevent infections caused by bacteria, viruses, and protozoa. The most extensively studied human infection is the common cold. Vitamin C administration does not decrease the average incidence of colds in the general population, yet it halved the number of colds in physically active people. Regularly administered vitamin C has shortened the duration of colds, indicating a biological effect. However, the role of vitamin C in common cold treatment is unclear. Two controlled trials found a statistically significant dose–response, for the duration of common cold symptoms, with up to 6–8 g/day of vitamin C. Thus, the negative findings of some therapeutic common cold studies might be explained by the low doses of 3–4 g/day of vitamin C. Three controlled trials found that vitamin C prevented pneumonia. Two controlled trials found a treatment benefit of vitamin C for pneumonia patients. One controlled trial reported treatment benefits for tetanus patients. The effects of vitamin C against infections should be investigated further. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vitamin C in Health and Disease) Printed Edition available
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