Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)

COMMON NAME

Vitamin C | Ascorbic acid | Ascorbate

TOP BENEFITS OF VITAMIN C

  • Supports antioxidant defenses *
  • Supports general immune health *
  • Supports skin health *

WHAT IS VITAMIN C?

Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid or ascorbate, is a vitamin naturally found in a wide variety of fruit and vegetables, particularly citrus fruit (orange, grapefruit), peppers, broccoli, brussels sprouts, and strawberries, for example. Vitamin C is an essential vitamin because, unlike most animals, the human body is unable to synthesize vitamin C and must therefore obtain it from the diet. Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant and plays an important role in cellular antioxidant defenses. Vitamin C, in the form of ascorbate, is also a co-substrate for enzymes needed to produce collagen, carnitine, and the neurotransmitter dopamine [1–3].

NEUROHACKER’S VITAMIN C SOURCING

Vitamin C is non-GMO and vegan.

VITAMIN C DOSING PRINCIPLES AND RATIONALE

Vitamin C is an essential nutrient, which means it can’t be produced by the body and must be obtained consistently through the diet, since it can’t be stored in the body. The recommended daily allowance (RDA) for vitamin C in non-smoking healthy adults is 75 mg for females and 90 mg for males. According to 2001-02 NHANES data the average intake is about 85 mg in females and 110 mg in males. But about 3 out of 10 adults consume less than the recommended amount, while persons in the top 10% of dietary intake would consume about 200 mg on average. Neurohacker believes vitamin C follows a threshold response (see Neurohacker Dosing Principles), which means the majority of functional benefits occur in a range between the RDA amount and the highest dietary intake. Some of the evidence for this threshold response is that plasma vitamin C concentration rises steeply at intakes between 30 and 100 mg a day, and immune cells (e.g., neutrophils, monocytes, and lymphocytes) become saturated at 100 mg daily [4]. We opted for a dose of vitamin C that, when added to what would be in an average diet, comfortably places a person at the high end of this threshold response range.

VITAMIN C KEY MECHANISMS

Antioxidant defenses

  • Free radical scavenger [1]
  • Supports antioxidant defenses [5]
  • Counters oxidative stress and oxidative cellular damage [1,5]

Brain and cognitive function

  • Supports memory and learning [6]
  • Supports cognitive health [6]
  • Supports L-DOPA synthesis [7]
  • Cofactor for dopamine-β-hydroxylase (which converts dopamine to noradrenaline) [2]
  • Supports dopamine signaling [8]
  • Supports noradrenaline signaling [9]
  • Influences glutamate signaling [10–12]
  • Influences serotonin (5-HT) signaling [13]
  • Supports acetylcholine signaling [9,14,15]
  • Supports the differentiation of neuronal progenitors [16]
  • Supports neuronal myelination [2,17–19]
  • Influences neuronal calcium channel activity [20]
  • Supports neuroendocrine signaling [21–26] 
  • Supports antioxidant defenses in the brain [5,27]
  • Supports neuroprotective functions [5,11,27–30]

Immune function

  • Supports general immune health [31,32] 
  • Supports innate immunity [4,33–35]
  • Supports adaptive immunity [4,33,35,36]

Skin health

  • Supports skin antioxidant defenses [37]
  • Supports skin in adapting to UV radiation [38–40]
  • Supports collagen synthesis [41]
  • Supports elastin synthesis [42]

Mood

  • Supports positive affect [5,27,43–47]

Vascular function

  • Supports endothelial nitric oxide synthase activity and NO production [48–50]

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