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Could early vitamin C deficiency impair development? Lykkesfeldt et al. (2009). American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 90, 540-546.

Paper

 

Could early vitamin C deficiency impair development? Lykkesfeldt et al. (2009). American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 90, 540-546.

 

Details

A new Danish animal study suggests that vitamin C deficiency in the first weeks and months of life may impair the development of neurones in the brain and decrease spatial memory.  Guinea pigs subjected to moderate vitamin C deficiency were found to have 30 per cent fewer hippocampal neurons and poorer spatial memory, compared with guinea pigs given a normal diet.  The Danish researchers used guinea pigs because, like humans, the animals cannot synthesise vitamin C, and can only obtain it via the diet.

“Although a direct extrapolation of this new phenomenon to humans is not currently possible, we found that the relatively high prevalence of vitamin C deficiency in humans, including infants and toddlers, warrants future clinical studies to clarify whether a similar link to brain development exists in humans,  …….. We speculate that the lack of vitamin C supplementation in high-risk individuals, such as pregnant women and newborns with poor vitamin C status, could be detrimental to normal brain development and lead to neurologic disabilities later in life.” wrote the researchers, led by Jens Lykkesfeldt, professor of pharmacology and toxicology at the University of Copenhagen.

Click here for the abstract