Information & articles
Vitamin C Basics
Vitamin C has long been a means for enhancing the immune system and supporting the body during periods of infection or disease.
It has been used in many conditions, including viral infections (e.g. colds, herpes,
shingles, hepatitis, HIV, meningitis), bacterial infections (e.g. Helicobacter pylori, E. coli), allergies, asthma, arthritis, pneumonia, chronic fatigue, glandular fever and tuberculosis.
Vitamin C deficiency is a common factor in many chronic and acute illnesses.
It is important for promoting the function of immune cells and protecting them from oxidation.
Clinical trials support the positive role of vitamin C on the immune system: for
example, vitamin C supplementation may reduce the severity and duration of common cold symptoms.
Vitamin C has an anti-bacterial and anti-viral effect due to interaction
with metal transition ions (particularly copper) creating a selectively pro-oxidant environment that kills or inactivates pathogens through the production of hydrogen peroxide, without
causing significant toxicity to healthy cells.
Vitamin C: Evidence, application and commentary
Vitamin C is classically seen as a vitamin taken in small doses to prevent scurvy and support the immune system. However, there is increasing evidence showing that vitamin C has a much greater role to play in human health, particularly when pharmacological doses are administered either orally or intravenously for patients with a wide range of conditions, including infections, cancer, car- diovascular diseases, wounds, diabetes and anaemia.
The science of vitamin C
What is vitamin C and why do we need it? Which foods have the most vitamin C? Should we pop pills when we think we’re getting a cold, or are we just producing expensive urine? And can vitamin C really cure cancer, or is it all hype? Alison Ballance and Simon Morton are on the case.
Access the interview on Radio New Zealand here.
Interview with Dr. Anitra Carr about her vitamin C research
Dr Anitra Carr’s research speciality is the role of micronutrients in human health and disease. Dr Carr has a background in biochemistry and basic biomedical research and now carries out translational (‘bench-to-bedside’) studies.
More information on her research and the interveiw can be found here.