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BY-NC-ND 3.0 license Open Access Published by De Gruyter Open Access December 16, 2010

A short overview of vitamin C and selected cells of the immune system

  • Voja Pavlovic EMAIL logo and M. Sarac
From the journal Open Medicine


Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is an essential water-soluble nutrient that primarily exerts its effect on a host defense mechanisms and immune homeostasis and is the most important physiological antioxidant. Stable intake of vitamin C is essential for life in humans because the body does not synthesize it. Even the numerous studies have demonstrated that vitamin C supplementation stimulates the immune system, prevents DNA damage and significantly decreases the risk of a wide range of pathologies; the potential protective mechanisms are still largely unknown. This review summarizes the recently known facts about the role of vitamin C on the selected cells of the immune system and potential molecular mechanisms involved. Further, in this review, many new data about the positive effects of vitamin C on the immune system, potential toxicological effects, vitamin C supplementation in disease development, as well as some proposed mechanisms of vitamin C activity, are discussed.

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Published Online: 2010-12-16
Published in Print: 2011-2-1

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