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Redox Rep. 2009;14(1):2-6. doi: 10.1179/135100009X392412.

Does vitamin C deficiency result in impaired brain development in infants?

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  • 1Section of Biomedicine, Department of Disease Biology, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark.


Scurvy, the rare but potentially mortal manifestation of severe and prolonged lack of vitamin C, is often confused with hypovitaminosis C, i.e. the mere definition of vitamin C deficiency. While the latter condition can be diagnosed in millions, the clinical consequences (if they exist) remain largely unknown, since only a tiny fraction of those deficient in vitamin C actually develop clinical scurvy. Is hypovitaminosis C itself a problem at all then? Yes, it may well be in some cases. Recent data from our laboratory suggest that the neonatal brain is particularly susceptible to vitamin C deficiency and that this condition may adversely affect early brain development.

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