New year, new vitamin C discovery: It 'cures' mice with accelerated aging disease

Jan 04, 2010

A new research discovery published in the January 2010 print issue of the FASEB Journal suggests that treatments for disorders that cause accelerated aging, particularly Werner's syndrome, might come straight from the family medicine chest. In the research report, a team of Canadian scientists show that vitamin C stops and even reverses accelerated aging in a mouse model of Werner's syndrome, but the discovery may also be applicable to other progeroid syndromes. People with Werner's syndrome begin to show signs of accelerated aging in their 20s and develop age-related diseases and generally die before the age of 50.

"Our study clearly indicates that a healthy organism or individuals with no health problems do not require a large amount of vitamin C in order to increase their lifespan, especially if they have a balanced diet and they exercise," said Michel Lebel, Ph.D., co-author of the study from the Centre de Recherche en Cancerologie in Quebec, Canada. "An organism or individual with a mutation in the WRN gene or any gene affected by the WRN protein, and thus predisposes them to several age-related diseases, may benefit from a diet with the appropriate amount of vitamin C."

Scientists treated both normal mice and mice with a mutation in the gene responsible for Werner's syndrome (WRN gene) with vitamin C in drinking water. Before treatment, the mice with a mutated WRN gene were fat, diabetic, and developing and cancer. After treatment, the were as healthy as the normal mice and lived a normal lifespan. Vitamin C also improved how the mice stored and burned fat, decreased tissue inflammation and decreased oxidative stress in the WRN mice. The healthy mice did not appear to benefit from vitamin C.

"Vitamin C has become one of the most misunderstood substances in our medicine cabinets and food," said Gerald Weissmann, M.D., Editor-in-Chief of the . "This study and others like it help explain how and why this chemical can help to defend some, but certainly not all, people from premature senescence."

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More information: Laurent Massip, Chantal Garand, Eric R. Paquet, Victoria C. Cogger, Jennifer N. O'Reilly, Leslee Tworek, Avril Hatherell, Carla G. Taylor, Eric Thorin, Peter Zahradka, David G. Le Couteur, and Michel Lebel. Vitamin C restores healthy aging in a mouse model for Werner syndrome. FASEB J. 2010 24: 158-172. www.fasebj.org/cgi/content/abstract/24/1/158

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deatopmg
1 / 5 (1) Jan 04, 2010
Mice, and most other organisms, produce their own Vit. C and do not need any additional from their diet unlike primates who do not produce C.

It is unclear if the WRN modified mice still produce as much C as normal mice. If not, then the conclusion that C may help Humans w/ Werner's syndrome is un-warranted.

If the researchers do no know if the WRN mice produce the same or less C then this is just sloppy research.