High vitamin C intake may help elderly maintain immune cells

Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Gerontology February 20, 2022

Long-term high-dose vitamin C supplementation could help maintain immune functions in ageing, according to research in mice. The Japanese researchers supplemented the diet of vitamin-C deficient mice with either the recommended 20 mg/kg of vitamin C per day or a high dose of 200 mg/kg per day for a year. The results showed a high vitamin C intake could inhibit the age-related decrease in the size of the thymus and maintain thymic output, meaning stable immune cell counts as the mice aged. They said the finding could point to solutions for maintaining immune functions in elderly people. T cells counts were significantly higher in the high dose vitamin C group when compared to the lower dose. They said the change to the thymus may be due to vitamin C's promotion of the production of fibronectin, laminin and collagen.