Indirect effects via maintenance of vitamin E

Apart from direct effects, vitamin C may improve immune responses by protecting the antioxidant capacity of vitamin E, a potent immunoenhancing nutrient in its own right. Chronic vitamin C deficiency lowers the vitamin E levels in tissues and plasma. The free radical scavenging action by vitamin E is associated with the production of a vitamin E radical. Vitamin C reacts with the free radical of vitamin E and regenerates the reduced form, while being oxidized. The net result is a decrease in ascorbate and a maintenance of the antioxidant vitamin E level.

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