Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)

Overview:
Ascorbic acid is a naturally occurring essential vitamin with strong neuroprotective and antioxidant effects. Ascorbic acid is able to decrease fatigue and improve mood.

Scientific Name:
(5R)-[(1S)-1,2-Dihydroxyethyl]-3,4-dihydroxyfuran-2(5H)-one

  • Crosses the blood brain barrier and accumulates most significantly in the hippocampus cerebellum and in the frontal and parietal cortices[1]
  • Is a cofactor for dopamine-β-hydroxylase – optimizes the production of dopamine, adrenaline and noradrenaline[2]
  • Is a cofactor in the production of the hormones oxytocin, vasopressin and α-Melanocyte-stimulating hormone[3]
  • NMDA glutamate receptor inhibition – neuroprotection against excitotoxicity[4]
  • Potent antioxidant activity by binding free radicals and increasing antioxidant enzymes’ production[5]
  • Increases blood flow by reducing NO oxidation[6]
  • Synergistic with potassium channel blockers[7]
References

[1] Spector R (1977). Vitamin homeostasis in the central nervous system. N Engl J Med, 296(24):1393-8. doi: 10.1056/NEJM197706162962409
[2] Kuo CH, et al (1979). Effect of ascorbic acid on release of acetylcholine from synaptic vesicles prepared from different species of animals and release of noradrenaline from synaptic vesicles of rat brain. Life Sci, 24(10):911-5. doi: 10.1016/0024-3205(79)90341-2
[3] Wilson LG (1975). The clinical definition of scurvy and the discovery of vitamin C. J Hist Med Allied Sci, 30(1):40-60. doi: 10.1093/jhmas/XXX.1.40
[4] Majewska MD, Bell JA (1990). Ascorbic acid protects neurons from injury induced by glutamate and NMDA. Neuroreport, 1(3-4):194-6. PMID: 1983355
[5] Figueroa-Méndez R, Rivas-Arancibia S (2015). Vitamin C in Health and Disease: Its Role in the Metabolism of Cells and Redox State in the Brain. Front Physiol, 6:397. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2015.00397
[6] Heller R, et al (2001). L-ascorbic acid potentiates endothelial nitric oxide synthesis via a chemical stabilization of tetrahydrobiopterin. J Biol Chem, 276(1):40-7. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M004392200
[7] Moretti M, et al (2012). Ascorbic acid treatment, similarly to fluoxetine, reverses depressive-like behavior and brain oxidative damage induced by chronic unpredictable stress. 46(3):331-40. doi: 10.1016/j.jpsychires.2011.11.009