alexa Vitamin C: More than Just an Antioxidant and Preventing Scurvy

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Vitamin C: More than Just an Antioxidant and Preventing Scurvy

 The anti-scurvy properties of oranges and lemons were first reported in 1747 by Dr. John Lind, a ship’s surgeon in the British Royal Navy, in his Treatise on the Scurvy. It took almost two hundred years before ascorbic acid or vitamin C was chemically identified and synthesized in 1933. For this work Szent-Gyorgyi and Walter Norman Haworth shared the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1937. This vitamin has since been shown to be essential for a number of enzymatic reactions including collagen formation, wound-healing as well as for its antioxidant properties [1].

During the 1970’s Linus Pauling promoted the beneficial health effects of megadoses of vitamin C against such diseases as cancer [2]. Clinical trials by Cameron and Pauling [3] concluded that intravenous megadoses of vitamin C (10 g/d) delayed the death of 100 terminal cancer patients. A follow up study by Cameron and Pauling [2] reported a survival time of almost a year for cancer patients compared to controls which represented a fourfold increase in the survival period. Researchers at the Mayo Clinic, however, were unable to confirm these findings when the same mega doses of vitamin C (10 g/d) were given orally [4,5]). A possible discrepancy between these studies, however, was likely the much higher plasma levels of vitamin C in cancer patients given the vitamin intravenously compared to those taking it orally. The anti-cancer properties of vitamin C were subsequently confirmed by Chen and co-workers [6] who recorded decreases in the growth and weight of human, rat, and murine tumor xenografts in athymic, nude mice following i.p. injection of pharmacologic doses of vitamin C

Citation: Micheal Eskin (2015) Vitamin C: More than Just an Antioxidant and Preventing Scurvy. Vitam Miner 4:e140. doi: 10.4172/2376-1318.1000e140

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