The Immunostimulatory, Anti-Inflammatory and Anti-Allergic Properties of Ascorbate

  • Ronald Anderson
Part of the Advances in Nutritional Research book series (ASIB, volume 110)


Assessment of the effects of single nutrient supplements given to normal or immunocompromised individuals and of single nutrient deficiency states on cellular and humoral immune functions is a field of considerable interest which has led to the development of the science of nutritional immunology. Of the vitamins investigated, ascorbate has received most attention. Interest in ascorbate as an immunostimulatory agent is due largely to the wide publicity given to the theories and claims of Linus Pauling. However, the role of ascorbate as a potentially important immunomodulator remains controversial. Many investigators have attempted to evaluate the vitamin in the therapy and prevention of various diseases such as the common cold and in individuals with different types of cancer. In most investigations no attempt was made to identify which components of the immune system were compromised in individuals with the various diseases studied or which cellular and humoral immune functions are altered during ingestion of large doses of vitamin C. Furthermore, many studies have been performed using dosages of ascorbate ranging from milligram amounts to 70 g daily or greater in the absence of adequate data relating to the in vivo for enhancement of specific immune functions.


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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ronald Anderson
    • 1
  1. 1.The Immunology Section, Department of Medical Microbiology, Institute of PathologyUniversity of PretoriaRepublic of South Africa

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