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    Severe and long-term vitamin C deficiency can lead to fatal scurvy, which is fortunately considered rare today. However, a moderate state of vitamin C (vitC) deficiency (hypovitaminosis C)-defined as a plasma concentration below 23 μM-is estimated to affect up to 10% of the population in the Western world, albeit clinical hallmarks in addition to scurvy have not been linked to vitC deficiency. The brain maintains a high vitC content and uniquely high levels during deficiency, supporting vitC's importance in the brain. Actions include both antioxidant and co-factor functions, rendering vitamin C deficiency likely to affect several targets in the brain, and it could be particularly significant during development where a high cellular metabolism and an immature antioxidant system might increase sensitivity. However, investigations of a non-scorbutic state of vitC deficiency and effects on the developing young brain are scarce. This narrative review provides a comprehensive overview of the complex mechanisms that regulate vitC homeostasis in vivo and in the brain in particular. Functions of vitC in the brain and the potential consequences of deficiency during brain development are highlighted, based primarily on findings from experimental animal models. Perspectives for future investigations of vitC are outlined.


    Pernille Tveden-Nyborg. Vitamin C Deficiency in the Young Brain-Findings from Experimental Animal Models. Nutrients. 2021 May 15;13(5)

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    PMID: 34063417

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