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Ascorbic Acid: Its Role in Immune System and Chronic Inflammation Diseases

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Ascorbic acid (AA), also known as vitamin C, was initially identified as the factor preventing the scurvy disease, and became very popular for its antioxidant properties. It is an important co-substrate of a large class of enzymes, and regulates gene expression by interacting with important transcription factors. AA is important in all stressful conditions that are linked to inflammatory processes and involve immunity. It has been known for decades that the persistence of an inflammatory stimulus is responsible for the onset of many diseases. AA is essential to stimulate the immune system by increasing the strength and protection of the organism. Therefore, its immunostimulant, antinflammatory, antiviral and antibacterial roles are well known, we have summarized its main functions in different types of diseases related to the immune system and chronic inflammation. We can conclude that AA, due to its effects and diversity of regulated pathways, is suitable for use in various fields of medicine including immunology, toxicology, radiobiology and others. AA is not preferable to be used as an isolated mode of treatment, but it can be co-applied as an adjuvant to regulate immunity, gene expression and other important physiological processes. However, we propose that future studies will take into consideration the research of new combinations of antioxidant natural substances and drugs.
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Keywords: Antinflammatory role; antiviral role; ascorbic acid; chronic diseases; immune system; inflammation

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 April 2014

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  • The aim of Mini-Reviews in Medicinal Chemistry is to publish short reviews on the important recent developments in medicinal chemistry and allied disciplines.

    The scope of Mini-Reviews in Medicinal Chemistry will cover all areas of medicinal chemistry including developments in rational drug design, synthetic chemistry, bioorganic chemistry, high-throughput screening, combinatorial chemistry, drug targets, and natural product research and structure-activity relationship studies.

    Mini-Reviews in Medicinal Chemistry is an essential journal for every medicinal and pharmaceutical chemist who wishes to be kept informed and up-to-date with the latest and most important developments.
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