Tag Archives: vitamin C

Vitamin C may be critical for eye health

New research indicates that Vitamin C may be critical to maintaining good eye health and could be protective for those at risk of glaucoma.

The study done by Oregon Health & Science University indicates that Vitamin C may be needed for correct functioning of retinal cells.

The study, published in the Journal of Neuroscience, found that cells in the central nervous system need to be bathed in Vitamin C and because the retina is part of the central nervous system, there is likely an important role for Vitamin C.

Retinal cells share some characteristics with brain cells, one of which is special receptors called GABA-type receptors that help manage the rapid transfer of information between cells. The research shows that in retinal cells these receptors stop functioning properly if there is insufficient Vitamin C.

This new research used goldfish retinas which the researchers claim have the same overall biological structure as human retinas.

Dr Peter Hadden, Refractive-Cataract Surgery and Retinal Surgery Specialist at Eye Institute says Lutein, beta-carotene and biliberry extracts as well as dietary antioxidants such as Vitamins A and E have been used in eye health supplementation.

“Now recent evidence suggests that Vitamin C is also essential to eye health and may have potential for general maintenance and protection of those at risk of glaucoma.

“While there is still much to learn about the impact of Vitamin C on eye health, anyone that has a genetic predisposition to age-related macular degeneration or glaucoma may wish to consider taking supplements, including Vitamin C, to postpone or prevent the vision-disabling consequences of both these diseases,” says Dr Hadden.

Michelle Palmer, Executive Director of Natural Products New Zealand says that while more research is needed to establish the extent of benefits from using Vitamin C for eye health, early indications would suggest that the antioxidant could provide positive results.

“Vitamin C is one of the safest and most effective nutrients. It is an extremely versatile mineral that has multiple benefits, from protection against immune system deficiencies, and cardiovascular disease, prenatal health and healthy skin. We know that it is required to help the human eye function properly and this latest research demonstrates that perhaps regular supplementation of Vitamin C could be preventative to eye health issues,” says Mrs Palmer.

Vitamin C more important than known for eye, brain health

Vitamin C has an important role for eye and possibly brain health, finds a new investigation. Scientists at Oregon Health & Science University (OSHU) recently discovered the cells in the eye are bathed in the vitamin. In their research, scientists found high doses of vitamin C are necessary to keep the retina of the eye, and probably the brain, functioning properly.

Because nerve cells in the eye also communicate with the brain, the scientists speculate much more needs to be learned about the role of vitamin C for brain health.

Vitamin C might have a role for treating eye disease

In studies the scientists found removing vitamin C from cells in the retina of the eye caused them to stop functioning properly.

For their research, the scientists used goldfish retinas because of biological similarities with human eyes.

The finding means vitamin C might be protective for individuals at risk for glaucoma.

According to Henrique von Gersdorff, Ph.D., a senior scientist at OHSU’s Vollum Institute and a co-author of the study.

“Because the retina is part of the central nervous system, this suggests there’s likely an important role for vitamin C throughout our brains, to a degree we had not realized before.”

Removing vitamin C from cells in the eye caused gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors, which are present throughout the brain, to stop functioning properly. The researchers note vitamin C stays in the brain longer than anywhere else in the body.

“Perhaps the brain is the last place you want to lose vitamin C,” von Gersdorff said. Lack of vitamin C that causes scurvy is also linked to depression. Von Gersdorff speculated it may be lack of vitamin C that causes depression associated with the disease.

Vitamin C is important for a variety of bodily functions, but until now researchers were unaware of the potential neuroprotective properties for eye function and possibly the brain.

Von Gersdorff said, “This is speculative and there is much to learn. But this research provides some important insights and will lead to the generation of new hypotheses and potential treatment strategies.”

GABA receptors in the eye and brain inhibit rapid firing of neurons. In the retina of the eye, GABA receptors send signals to other cells.

The OSHU researchers found vitamin C ‘bathes’ cells in the retina and is necessary for proper eye function. Because the retina is part of the central nervous system, vitamin C may be more important for brain health that previously known.