Mediterranean Journal Of Pharmacy And Pharmaceutical Sciences

Vitamin c and human diseases: an overview

  • Authors Details :  
  • Suhera M. Aburawi

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Vitamin C is associated with history of the cause of the ancient hemorrhagic disease scurvy. Vitamin C is an essential nutrient with important antioxidant properties. It is required by the body for normal physiological function. The body cannot synthesize vitamin C, it is present in nature through foods and other natural sources and it exists as a nutritional food supplement. The antioxidant activity of vitamin C protects the body from free radical damage. Vitamin C is essential for the development and maintenance of connective tissues. It is used as therapeutic agent in many diseases and disorders. Vitamin C plays an important role in several metabolic functions, as the conversion of the amino acid, tryptophan, to the neurotransmitter, serotonin, and the conversion of cholesterol to bile acids. Vitamin C supplementation resulted in a significant increase in vitamin C levels in populations; its high intake is associated with positive effects on cardiovascular risk factors. Vitamin C protects the immune system, reduces the severity of allergic reactions and helps to fight infections. It has an important role in bone formation, wound healing and the maintenance of healthy gums. There is profound beneficial effect of vitamin C in respect to human diseases as cancer, atherosclerosis, diabetes, neurodegenerative disease and many metal toxicities. Several vitamin C analogs have been produced as anticancer and antioxidant activity. Vitamin C is useful if it is used as adjuvant therapy for several chronic diseases. Thus, this review summarizes the importance of vitamin C in the body’s physiology and biochemistry, in addition, the different mechanisms that vitamin C is implicated to treat different acute and chronic diseases. Future exploration should pay attention to chronic disease management by vitamin C.

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