Vitamin C Linked to Eye and Brain Health
Vitamin C, long believed to be beneficial to the immune system, has now been linked to playing an important role in eye and brain health as well.
The research was conducted at the Oregon Health and Science University and was published in the Journal of Neuroscience on June 29, 2011.
The scientists conducted their research on goldfish eyes due to the biological similarities to human eyes. They discovered that the removal of vitamin C from the retina resulted in the eye ceasing to function properly.
As the retina is part of the central nervous system, this discovery led the scientists to hypothesize that vitamin C may be more involved in brain function than previously believed. They also noted that removing vitamin C resulted in gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors to stop functioning properly. GABA receptors modulate rapid communication between cells in the brain.
The scientists believe that the antioxidant properties of vitamin C work to preserve the receptors and from premature breakdown. They note that these findings could have important implications for glaucoma and epilepsy. Both conditions occur as a result of the dysfunction of nerve cells in the retina and brain due to GABA receptors not working properly.
Vitamin C has been linked to immune system function, heart health and improved mood. It can be found in high levels in citrus fruits and dark leafy greens. If you’re having a hard time integrating more of those foods into your diet, always consider a high quality supplement.