Confirmation of pauling's theory that vitamin C improves immunity to infection


  • G. N. Ramachandran

    1. Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore 560 012, India and Fogarty International Scholar, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20014, U.S.A
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It is pointed out that the complement Clq, associated with the immune response system, has a part containing about 80 residues with a collagen-like sequence, with Gly at every third location and having also a number of Hyp and Hyl residues in locations before Gly, and that it takes the triple-helical conformation characteristic of collagen. As with collagen biosynthesis, ascorbic acid is therefore expected to be required for its production. Also, collagen itself, in the extracellular matrix, is connected with the fibroblast surface protein (FSP), whose absence leads to cell proliferation, and whose addition leads to suppression of malignancy in tissue culture. All these show the great importance of vitamin C for resistance to diseases, and even to cancer, as has been widely advocated by Pauling.