Vitamin C Status and Cognitive Function: A Systematic Review

  title={Vitamin C Status and Cognitive Function: A Systematic Review},
  author={Nikolaj Travica and Karin Ried and Avni Sali and Andrew Scholey and Irene Hudson and Andrew Pipingas},
Vitamin C plays a role in neuronal differentiation, maturation, myelin formation and modulation of the cholinergic, catecholinergic, and glutaminergic systems. [] Key Method We searched the PUBMED, SCOPUS, SciSearch and the Cochrane Library from 1980 to January 2017, finding 50 studies, with randomised controlled trials (RCTs, n = 5), prospective (n = 24), cross-sectional (n = 17) and case-control (n = 4) studies.

Figures and Tables from this paper

Gender Differences in Plasma Vitamin C Concentrations and Cognitive Function: A Pilot Cross-Sectional Study in Healthy Adults

A novel finding was that the performance of males with inadequate plasma vitamin C was poorer on tasks involving components of memory (short/delayed), inhibition, and visual perception, whereas females presenting with inadequate vitamin C were more compromised on tasks including psychomotor performance/motor speed.

Relationship between Vitamin C Deficiency and Cognitive Impairment in Older Hospitalised Patients: A Cross-Sectional Study

Vitamin C deficiency is common and is associated with cognitive impairment in older hospitalised patients and logistic regression analysis suggested that vitamin C deficiency was 2.9-fold more likely to be associated with Cognitive impairment after adjustment for covariates.

A quantitative meta-analysis of vitamin C in the pathophysiology of Alzheimer’s disease

It can be deduced that the deficiency of vitamin C is involved in disease progression and supplementation is a plausible preventive and treatment strategy.

Efficacy of Vitamins on Cognitive Function of Non-Demented People: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Taking B vitamins and possibly antioxidant vitamins may be beneficial for the cognitive function of non-demented people.

Positive Association of Ascorbate and Inverse Association of Urate with Cognitive Function in People with Parkinson’s Disease

Overall, this study showed ascorbate status was positively associated with cognitive function in Parkinson’s disease, suggesting that longitudinal studies investigating the temporal sequence of cognitive decline and ascorBate status are warranted.

Nutritional aspects of cognitive impairment

Although low vitamin D blood levels were associated with a higher risk of developing dementia, vitamin D supplementation alone was not sufficient to improve cognitive outcomes and research findings indicate protective effects in individuals with cognitive decline.

The effects of surgery on plasma vitamin C concentrations and cognitive function: a protocol for a prospective, observational study

Findings from this observational study will provide insight into whether there is a concomitant depletion in post-operative plasma vitamin C concentrations and cognition function, and may prompt future, extensive randomized controlled trials to assess whether vitamin C supplementation can alleviate or even prevent post-operatively cognitive complications.

Dietary and Serum Level of Antioxidants in the Elderly with Mild Impaired and Normal Cognitive Function: A Case-Control Study

The subjects with mild cognitive impairment had a significantly lower serum levels of lycopene beta-carotene antioxidants compared with healthy subjects, and there was a positive correlation between serum level of vitamin C and Lycopene and also vitamin C dietary intake and scores in the MMSE-12 test.

The neuropsychiatric effects of vitamin C deficiency: a systematic review

The vitamin C blood levels associated with depression and cognitive impairment are higher than those implicated in clinical manifestations of scurvy, and mental health clinicians should be alerted to the possibility of vitamin C deficiency in patients with depression or cognitive impairment.

The effects of knee arthroplasty on plasma vitamin C concentrations and cognitive function: a case study

A case study of a 72-year-old male who underwent total knee replacement surgery is presented, providing the justification for larger, cohort studies to determine whether post-operative plasma vitamin C depletions could contribute to cognitive deficits post-operatively.



Vitamin C, Mood and Cognitive Functioning in the Elderly.

Increases in vitamin C were associated at 12 months with more positive mood, greater improvements in global assessments of intellectual functioning and a reduction in everyday errors of memory, attention and action.

Cohort study of vitamin C intake and cognitive impairment.

To test the hypothesis that vitamin C protects against cognitive impairment, the authors conducted a cohort study (n=117) in a retirement community in Sydney, Australia. Vitamin C intake was assessed

Dietary antioxidants and cognitive function in a population-based sample of older persons. The Rotterdam Study.

Cross-sectional observations are compatible with the view that beta-carotene-rich foods may protect against cognitive impairment in older people and reflect unmeasured confounding, measurement error, or a change in food habits that resulted from rather than preceded the onset of cognitive impairment.

Effect of One-Year Vitamin C- and E-Supplementation on Cerebrospinal Fluid Oxidation Parameters and Clinical Course in Alzheimer’s Disease

It is concluded that supplementation with vitamins E and C did not have a significant effect on the course of AD over 1 year despite of a limited antioxidant effect that could be observed in CSF.

Lowered plasma vitamin C, but not vitamin E, concentrations in dementia patients.

Plasma vitamin C levels were lower in subjects with dementia compared to controls, which was not explained by their dietary vitamin C intakes, and supports the free radical theory of oxidative neuronal damage.

Diet and cognitive decline at middle age: the role of antioxidants.

Within the range of a habitual dietary intake, higher intake of lignans is associated with less cognitive decline at middle age, and higher intakes of flavonoid intake was associated with greater decline in cognitive flexibility.

A cross-sectional study of vitamin C and cognitive function in older adults: the differential effects of gender.

Mixed results do not provide strong evidence of an association between vitamin C concentrations or intake and cognitive function, though total vitamin C intake was generally associated with higher MMSE scores, though it was not significant.

Use of Vitamin E and C Supplements for the Prevention of Cognitive Decline

This analysis suggests that the use of vitamin E and C supplements is associated with a reduced risk of cognitive decline, and further investigations are needed to determine their value as a primary prevention strategy.

Association of vitamin E and C supplement use with cognitive function and dementia in elderly men

Results suggest that vitamin E and C supplements may protect against vascular dementia and may improve cognitive function in late life.

Nutritional status and cognitive functioning in a normally aging sample: a 6-y reassessment.

Although associations were relatively weak in this well-nourished and cognitively intact sample, the pattern of outcomes suggests some direction for further research on cognition-nutrition associations in aging.