Vitamin C is indispensible for life: without it, an individual develops the fatal disease scurvy. We obtain all our vitamin C from out diet and several tightly regulated processes control the level of vitamin C in our bodies. One protein known to be involved in controlling vitamin C levels is Slc23a1, but the in vivo importance of this has not been determined.
However, Mark Levine and colleagues, at the NIH, Bethesda, have now identified several crucial functions for Slc23a1 in mice. For example, Slc23a1 had a key role in absorption of vitamin C by the kidney and in perinatal survival.
Although the data on perinatal survival are provocative, the authors warn that appropriate clinical data need to be collected before it can be determined whether low levels of vitamin C in women who are pregnant contribute to either perinatal morbidity or mortality.
The research appears in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.
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