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

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


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.

MeSH terms

  • Ascorbic Acid / metabolism*
  • Ascorbic Acid Deficiency / diagnosis
  • Ascorbic Acid Deficiency / metabolism*
  • Ascorbic Acid Deficiency / physiopathology
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Brain / pathology
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Models, Biological
  • Scurvy / diagnosis
  • Scurvy / metabolism
  • Scurvy / physiopathology


  • Ascorbic Acid