A team of Canadian scientists showed that Vitamin C 'cured' mice of symptoms of accelerated aging disease, in a new study.
Researchers at the Centre de Recherche en Cancerologie in Quebec said vitamin C reversed accelerated aging in a mouse model of Werner's syndrome.
People with Werner's syndrome show signs of accelerated aging in their 20s, develop age-related diseases and generally die before age 50.
The study findings suggested that vitamin C might be helpful in other age-related diseases as well.
"Our study clearly indicates that a healthy organism or individuals with no health problems do not require a large amount of vitamin C in order to increase their lifespan, especially if they have a balanced diet and they exercise," said Michel Lebel, co-author of the study from the Centre de Recherche en Cancerologie in Quebec, Canada.
"An organism or individual with a mutation in the WRN gene or any gene affected by the WRN protein, and thus predisposes them to several age-related diseases, may benefit from a diet with the appropriate amount of vitamin C," Lebel added.
Scientists treated both normal mice and mice with a mutation in the gene responsible for Werner's syndrome (WRN gene) with vitamin C in drinking water.
Before treatment, the mice with a mutated WRN gene were fat, diabetic, and developing heart disease and cancer.
After treatment, the mutant mice were as healthy as the normal mice and lived a normal lifespan.
Vitamin C also improved how the mice stored and burned fat, decreased tissue inflammation and decreased oxidative stress in the WRN mice. The healthy mice did not appear to benefit from vitamin C.
The study has been published in the January 2010 print issue of the FASEB Journal.