Ascorbic Acid: Its Role in Immune System and Chronic Inflammation Diseases
Angela Sorice, Eliana Guerriero, Francesca Capone, Giovanni Colonna, Giuseppe Castello and Susan Costantini
Affiliation: Centro Ricerche Oncologiche di Mercogliano, Istituto Nazionale Per Lo Studio E La Cura Dei Tumori “Fondazione Giovanni Pascale”, IRCCS, Italy.
Keywords: Antinflammatory role, antiviral role, ascorbic acid, chronic diseases, immune system, inflammation.
Ascorbic acid (AA), also known as vitamin C, was initially identified as the factor preventing the scurvy
disease, and became very popular for its antioxidant properties. It is an important co-substrate of a large class of enzymes,
and regulates gene expression by interacting with important transcription factors. AA is important in all stressful
conditions that are linked to inflammatory processes and involve immunity. It has been known for decades that the
persistence of an inflammatory stimulus is responsible for the onset of many diseases. AA is essential to stimulate the
immune system by increasing the strength and protection of the organism. Therefore, its immunostimulant,
antinflammatory, antiviral and antibacterial roles are well known, we have summarized its main functions in different
types of diseases related to the immune system and chronic inflammation. We can conclude that AA, due to its effects and
diversity of regulated pathways, is suitable for use in various fields of medicine including immunology, toxicology,
radiobiology and others. AA is not preferable to be used as an isolated mode of treatment, but it can be co-applied as an
adjuvant to regulate immunity, gene expression and other important physiological processes. However, we propose that
future studies will take into consideration the research of new combinations of antioxidant natural substances and drugs.
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