Medical Research Council - London Institute of Medical Sciences

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Gimme a C!
01 September 2014

Gimme a C!

There is some truth in the old saying, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”. Vitamin C – pictured here in crystalline form – is produced in the liver of many animals, but not humans. Keeping ourselves topped up is essential – vitamin C (also known as L-ascorbic acid) has several important roles in the body and is hard at work inside every cell in the brain. It’s a very effective anti-oxidant, able to ‘mop up’ volatile molecules produced in energetic brain regions such as the hippocampus. Recent research suggests that as well as having this protective role, vitamin C is directly involved in producing energy inside nerve cells and may reduce the risk of epileptic seizures. So “an apple a day” is good advice, but a couple of strawberries would be even better – they contain up to ten-times as much of this vital vitamin.

Written by John Ankers

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