Abstract Title:

The sour side of vitamin C might mediate neuroprotective, anticonvulsive and antidepressant-like effects.

Abstract Source:

Med Hypotheses. 2019 Oct ;131:109320. Epub 2019 Jul 20. PMID: 31443769

Abstract Author(s):

Udo Bonnet

Article Affiliation:

Udo Bonnet


In animal experiments, neuroprotective, anticonvulsive and antidepressant-like properties have been increasingly attributed to administrations of ascorbic acid (AA, vitamin C) in at least medium (low millimolar) doses, which however await validation in well controlled clinical studies. In mammalian cortical and subcortical neurons, small to modest acidification (<0.4-0.5 pH-units) is belonging to the key strategies for controlling local excitability and is associated with neuroprotection, e.g. by limiting excitotoxicity. Such acidifications are furthermore involved in the mechanisms of some anticonvulsants and antidepressants. As AA-transport and regulation of intracellular pH (pHi) are closely interwoven on the level of special transmembrane solute carriers, I suppose that the aforementioned beneficial AA-effects might be based upon a discrete"hormetic"acidification of cortical and or subcortical neurons via an AA-mediated weakening of their pHi-regulation. This assumption is supported by findings in non-neuronal cells suggesting both, intracellular acidification and inhibition of a core-element of the pHi-regulation apparatus by millimolar AA. In mammalian subcortical neurons, there is already first evidence of a modest acidification after adding low millimolar AA.

Study Type : Review

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