Vitamin C is water-soluble, and probably the most famous of all the vitamins. Even before its discovery in 1932, physicians recognised that there must be a compound in citrus fruits preventing scurvy, a disease that killed as many as 2 million sailors between 1500 and 1800. Later researchers discovered that man, other primates and the guinea pig depend on external sources to cover their Vitamin C requirements. Most other animals are able to synthesise Vitamin C from glucose and galactose in their body. The most prominent role of Vitamin C is its immune stimulating effect, which is important for the defence against infections such as common colds. It also acts as an inhibitor of histamine, a compound that is released during allergic reactions. As a powerful antioxidant it can neutralise harmful free radicals and aids in neutralising pollutants and toxins.
Cuevas VM, Calzado YR, Guerra YP, Yera AO, Despaigne SJ, Ferreiro RM, Quintana DC. Effects of grape seed extract, Vitamin C, and Vitamin E on ethanol- and aspirin-induced ulcers. 1. Adv Pharmacol Sci. 2011;2011:740687. Epub 2011 Nov 20.
Effects of GSE and vitamins C and E on aspirin- and ethanol-induced gastric ulcer and associated increases of lipid peroxidation in rats were compared. Two experiments were conducted. Rats were randomized into eight groups: a negative control and seven groups that received aspirin or ethanol for ulcer induction: one positive control (vehicle) and six with VC, VE, or GSE (25 and 250?mg/kg). Ulcer indexes and gastric levels of malondialdehyde (MDA) were quantified. VC, VE, and GSE (25 and 250?mg/kg) decreased aspirin, and ethanol-induced ulcers and MDA values compared with positive control group. The magnitude of aspirin ulcer reduction was comparable for all treatments, and MDA decrease with GSE was higher than with VC and tended to be greater, albeit none significantly, than with VE. GSE was more effective than VC and VE for lowering the ethanol ulcers, while the decrease of MDA levels with GSE was greater than with VC, but comparable to that achieved with VE. GSE protected against ethanol-induced gastric ulcers more effectively than VC or VE, while its protection against aspirin ulcers was comparable for all treatments. GSE produced the greatest reductions of gastric MDA in both models.