The strong antioxidant nature of Vitamin C has been documented as beneficial in numerous diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, whereby oxidative damage is a pathogenic factor. Now, researchers from the Department of Experimental Medical Science at Lund University have shown that the vitamin C benefits by having a more direct role in slowing Alzheimer’s disease, by dissolving amyloid plaques.
Amyloids are insoluble proteins of various shapes. When they accumulate abnormally in organs and tissues, it is thought that the shear bulkiness of the protein aggregates causes a loss in cellular function, triggering cell death (apoptosis). Such is the case in Alzheimer’s disease, where Beta-Amyloid plaques accumulate in the brain, and are believed to be the pathogenic culprit behind Alzheimer’s disease.
In the study, when brain tissue with Alzheimer’s was treated with Vitamin C, an interesting result was observed–the toxic Beta-Amyloid plaques dissolved. While the finding offers no solution in the cure of the chronic neurodegenerative disease, it offers hope in palliating and slowing the disease progression. It also brings to light the importance of Vitamin C in the prevention of the disease, by breaking up amyloid formations in the brain before a disease process is triggered.
We can now add “Anti-Amyloid” to the ever growing list of beneficial actions of Vitamin C. So, remember to eat your fruits and vegetables, and take your vitamin supplements–it will do your brain right!
1. F. Cheng, R. Cappai, G. D. Ciccotosto, G. Svensson, G. Multhaup, L.-A. Fransson, K. Mani. Suppression of Amyloid β A11 Antibody Immunoreactivity by Vitamin C: Possible Role Of Heparan Sulfate Oligosaccharides Derived From Glypican-1 By Ascorbate-induced, Nitric Oxide (NO)-catalyzed Degradation. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 2011; 286 (31): 27559 DOI: 10.1074/jbc.M111.243345