Eat your oranges

Multipurpose vitamin C also fights arsenic

FROM common cold to cancer, the role of vitamin C in combating diseases has long been hailed. Recent research has shown that it can also alleviate arsenic-induced toxic effects. People living in high-risk arsenic contaminated areas can now use the cheap and easily available vitamin C (also known as ascorbic acid) as a dietary supplement.
Arsenic is toxic to the liver, kidney, spleen and heart, leading to a significant increase in the level of reactive oxygen species (ros) in the bloodstream. ros are free radicals that include oxygen ions and peroxides. When their levels are high they can damage cell structures, ultimately leading to cancers.
Studies have shown vitamin C to be a well-known antioxidant that can protect the body from damage by ros. A recent study found vitamin C to inhibit dna damage in mice caused by arsenic toxicity. This led researchers from the University of Kalyani, West Bengal and Boiron Lab, Sainte-Foy-Les-Lyon, France to embark on the present study.
The researchers divided mice into four groups; the first group was normal and untreated, the second group was dosed only with vitamin C, the third group was injected with arsenic trioxide and the fourth received both arsenic trioxide and vitamin C. At different points of the study period, the animals were killed and their blood samples were analyzed.

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