[Vitamin C and its physiological role with respect to the components of the immune system]

Vnitr Lek. 2012 Oct;58(10):743-9.
[Article in Czech]


Vitamin C is a water soluble micronutrient commonly found in our diet which orchestrates the function of both innate and adaptive immune system, influencing both cellular and humoral immune responses. Vitamin C inhibits excessive activation of the immune system to prevent tissue damage, but also supports antibacterial activity, stimulates NK cells and differentiation of Th0 subset into Th1 characterized by interferon γ production. In addition, vitamin C interferes with the synthesis of proinflammatory cytokines, or with the expression of adhesive molecules. Moreover, vitamin C as an antioxidat protects the immune cells against intracellular ROS (reactive oxygen species) formed in the inflammatory response. Vitamin C as an enzymatic cofactor is extremely important in maintaining tissue integrity, and plays a crucial role in formation of skin, epithelial and endothelial barriers.

Publication types

  • English Abstract
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adaptive Immunity / physiology
  • Ascorbic Acid / physiology*
  • Collagen / biosynthesis
  • Dendritic Cells / physiology
  • Humans
  • Immune System / physiology*
  • Phagocytes / physiology


  • Collagen
  • Ascorbic Acid