New York, April 1, 1998 -- Ever since vitamin C was found to prevent scurvy -- a disease that has killed millions of people throughout history -- scientists have known that the vitamin plays an essential role in the body's defense against disease. Immune cells, for example, are known to accumulate and retain high levels of vitamin C, but just how this process occurs, has largely remained a mystery. Now, researchers at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center have found that the same class of proteins -- called growth factors -- which are known to control growth and production of immune cells also increase their ability to take up vitamin C. The findings, which are reported in the April issue of the journal Blood, shed new light on the connection between vitamin C and the immune system, showing how growth factors can increase the amount of vitamin C in immune cells.
The above story is based on materials provided by Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.
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