Vitamin C and Brain Development

Vitamin C deficiency during the first weeks of life may impair early brain development, according to a new animal study.

In the study, 30 newborn guinea pigs were randomly assigned to receive a standard diet or a vitamin C-deficient diet for two months. Guinea pigs, like humans, are only able to obtain vitamin C through the diet.

Spatial memory was assessed using a water maze and nerve cells in the brain (called hippocampal neurons) were evaluated with brain scans. The researchers found that vitamin C-deficient guinea pigs had significantly poorer spatial memory and 30 percent fewer hippocampal neurons than the control group.

Because vitamin C concentrations are the highest in neurons compared to other cells in the body, the authors suggested that the vitamin may play an important role in brain activity. However, it is unclear if similar results would occur in humans.

For more information about vitamin C, please visit Natural Standard's Foods, Herbs & Supplements database.

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From Natural Standard

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