Vitamin C in disease prevention and cure: an overview.
The recognition of vitamin C is associated with a history of an unrelenting search for the cause of the ancient haemorrhagic disease scurvy. Isolated in 1928, vitamin C is essential for the development and maintenance of connective tissues. It plays an important role in bone formation, wound healing and the maintenance of healthy gums. Vitamin C plays an important role in a number of metabolic functions including the activation of the B vitamin, folic acid, the conversion of cholesterol to bile acids and the conversion of the amino acid, tryptophan, to the neurotransmitter, serotonin. It is an antioxidant that protects body from free radical damage. It is used as therapeutic agent in many diseases and disorders. Vitamin C protects the immune system, reduces the severity of allergic reactions and helps to fight off infections. However the significance and beneficial effect of vitamin C in respect to human disease such as cancer, atherosclerosis, diabetes, neurodegenerative disease and metal toxicity however remains equivocal. Thus further continuous uninterrupted efforts may open new vistas to understand its significance in disease management.