Open Access

Effects of Vitamin C on health: a review of evidence

Giuseppe Grosso1,2,Roberto Bei3,*,Antonio Mistretta1,Stefano Marventano1,Giorgio Calabrese4,Laura Masuelli5,Maria Gabriella Giganti3,Andrea Modesti3,Fabio Galvano2,Diego Gazzolo6,7
Department of G.F. Ingrassia, Section of Hygiene and Public Health, University of Catania, Catania, Italy
Department of Drug Sciences, Section of Biochemistry, University of Catania, Catania, Italy
Department of Clinical Sciences and Translational Medicine, University of Rome "Tor Vergata", Rome, Italy
Department of Biology, Piemonte Orientale University, Alessandria, Italy
Department of Experimental Medicine, University of Rome “Sapienza”, Rome, Italy
Department of Maternal, Fetal and Neonatal Medicine, Cesare Arrigo Children's Hospital, Alessandria, Italy
Department of Pediatric Cardiac Surgery IRCCS, San Donato Milanese Hospital, San Donato Milanese, Italy
DOI: 10.2741/4160 Volume 18 Issue 3, pp.1017-1029
Published: 01 June 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary approaches to prevent chronic-degenerative diseases)
*Corresponding Author(s):  
Roberto Bei

Vitamin C is an essential dietary nutrient for the biosynthesis of collagen and a co-factor in the biosynthesis of catecholamines, L-carnitine, cholesterol, amino acids, and some peptide hormones. The lack of vitamin C causes scurvy, a pathological condition leading to blood vessel fragility and connective tissue damage due to failure in producing collagen, and, finally, to death as result of a general collapse. Vitamin C is potentially involved also in cancer and cardiovascular diseases prevention. In addition, vitamin C effects on nervous system and chronically ill patients have been also documented. This review attempts to summarize recent and well established advances in vitamin C research and its clinical implications. Since vitamin C has the potential to counteract inflammation and subsequent oxidative damage that play a major role in the initiation and progression of several chronic and acute diseases, it represents a practical tool to administer for the early prevention of these pathologic conditions.

Key words

Vitamin C, Ascorbic Acid, Cardiovascular Disease, Cancer, Anti-Inflammation, Antioxidant, Review

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Giuseppe Grosso, Roberto Bei, Antonio Mistretta, Stefano Marventano, Giorgio Calabrese, Laura Masuelli, Maria Gabriella Giganti, Andrea Modesti, Fabio Galvano, Diego Gazzolo. Effects of Vitamin C on health: a review of evidence. Frontiers in Bioscience-Landmark. 2013. 18(3); 1017-1029.