AbstractVitamin C stimulates the formation of PGE1 in human platelets. The effect occurs over the physiologically relevant range of concentrations. PGE1 is required for T lymphocyte function and plays a major part in the regulation of immune responses. PGE1 is also important in the regulation of collagen and ground substance metabolism, in cholesterol metabolism and in regulation of responsiveness to insulin. It is proposed that defective formation of PGE1 could account for many of the features of scurvy and for many of the reported therapeutic effects of vitamin C. If correct, vitamin C will be of value only in conjunction with an adequate supply of dihomogammalinolenic acid, the precursor of PGE1. Essential fatty acids, pyridoxine and zinc are all required to achieve this.
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