Vitamin c depletion is associated with alterations in blood histamine and plasma free carnitine in adults

Carol Johnston, R. Elizabeth Solomon, Corinne Corte

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

31 Scopus citations

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine whether carnitine metabolism or histamine degradation would be useful parameters for investigating the optimal requirement for vitamin C. Twenty-two non-scorbutic subjects with subnormal vitamin C status (plasma vitamin C < 28 mumol/L) were placed on a metabolic diet low in vitamin C for 3 weeks and repleted with graded doses of vitamin C: 10, 30 and 60 mg vitamin C daily (group 1) or 10,125 and 250 mg vitamin C daily (group 2) for weeks 1, 2 and 3, respectively. Fasting blood samples were collected weekly and analyzed for plasma vitamin C, plasma free carnitine and blood histamine. Group 1 subjects remained in a subnormal vitamin C state throughout the 3-week study, and blood histamine and plasma free carnitine were not impacted by the experimental treatment. Plasma vitamin C in group 2 subjects rose significantly during the study, and these subjects finished the study with an ample vitamin C status indicative of vitamin C intakes above the recommended dietary allowance. Both blood histamine and plasma free carnitine were inversely related to vitamin C status in group 2 subjects. These data indicate that blood histamine and plasma free carnitine are altered in individuals with subnormal, non-scorbutic vitamin C status and provide evidence that metabolic changes independent of collagen metabolism occur prior to the manifestation of scurvy. Thus utilizing scurvy as an end-point to determine vitamin C requirements may not provide adequate vitamin C to promote optimal health and well-being.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)586-591
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the American College of Nutrition
Volume15
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 1996

Keywords

  • Ascorbic acid
  • Carnitine
  • Histamine
  • Vitamin C

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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