Plasma Vitamin C Concentrations and Cognitive Function: A Cross-Sectional Study

Travica, N, Ried, K, Sali, A, Hudson, I, Scholey, A and Pipingas, A 2019, 'Plasma Vitamin C Concentrations and Cognitive Function: A Cross-Sectional Study', Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, vol. 11, pp. 1-21.

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title Plasma Vitamin C Concentrations and Cognitive Function: A Cross-Sectional Study
Author(s) Travica, N
Ried, K
Sali, A
Hudson, I
Scholey, A
Pipingas, A
Year 2019
Journal name Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience
Volume number 11
Start page 1
End page 21
Total pages 21
Publisher Frontiers Research Foundation
Abstract Vitamin-C is a water soluble molecule that humans have lost the ability to produce. Vitamin-C plays a role in CNS functions such as neuronal differentiation, maturation, myelin formation and modulation of the catecholaminergic systems. A recent systematic review by our team indicated the need for further research into the relationship between plasma vitamin C and cognition in cognitively intact participants using plasma vitamin C concentrations instead of estimates derived from food-frequency-questionnaires (FFQ), and more sensitive cognitive assessments suitable for cognitive abilities vulnerable to aging. It was hypothesized that higher plasma vitamin C concentrations would be linked with higher cognitive performance. This cross-sectional trial was conducted on healthy adults (n = 80, Female = 52, Male = 28, 2496 years) with a range of plasma Vitamin C concentrations. Cognitive assessments included The Swinburne-University-Computerized-Cognitive-Assessment-Battery (SUCCAB) and two pen and paper tests, the Symbol-Digits-Modalities-Test (SDMT) and Hopkins-Verbal-Learning-Test-Revised (HVLT-R). The pen and paper assessments were conducted to establish whether their scores would correlate with the computerized tasks. Plasma-Vitamin C concentrations were measured using two biochemical analyses. Participants were grouped into those with plasma vitamin-C concentrations of adequate level (≥28 μmol/L) and deficient level (<28 μmol/L). The SUCCAB identified a significantly higher performance ratio (accuracy/reaction-time) in the group with adequate vitamin-C levels vs. deficient vitamin-C on the choice reaction time (M = 188 ± 4 vs. 167 ± 9, p = 0.039), immediate recognition memory (M = 81 ± 3 vs. 68 ± 6, p = 0.03), congruent Stroop (M = 134 ± 3 vs. 116 ± 7, p = 0.024), and delayed recognition tasks (M = 72 ± 2 vs. 62 ± 4, p = 0.049), after adjusting for age (p < 0.05). Significantly higher scores in immediate recall on the HVLT-R (M = 10.64 ± 0.16 vs. 9.17 ± 0.37, p = 0.0
Subject Applied Statistics
Keyword(s) vitamin C
ascorbic acid
total recall
central nervous system
DOI - identifier 10.3389/fnagi.2019.00072
Copyright notice Copyright © 2019 Travica, Ried, Sali, Hudson, Scholey and Pipingas. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY)
ISSN 1663-4365
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