Mechanism of action

There is now good evidence which indicates that part of the immunostimulatory properties of vitamin C are related to the antioxidant activity of ascorbate. During the activation of neutrophils, reactive oxidants are generated for the killing of phagocytosed microorganisms. Neutrophils are susceptible to damage by these self-produced oxidants. Protection against autooxidative neutrophil dysfunction is provided by ascorbate together with other antioxidants. The protection afforded by ascorbate does not compromise the bactericidal activity of neutrophils. Clearly, it is crucial that leukocytes possess antioxidant mechanisms to protect themselves from auto-oxidation during mobilization of host defenses.

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