Can Vitamin C Suppress Cortisol Levels?

There is evidence that vitamin C is able to suppress blood levels of cortisol in humans. In one study a group of researchers administered synthetic corticotropin (a hormone that causes the release of cortisol) to a group of children as an intramuscular injection. However one group of children received 1 gram of ascorbic acid delivered intradermally. The results of the study showed that those children who received the ascorbic acid had significantly lower cortisol levels than those who did not receive the ascorbic acid. This supports other evidence that shows that modest oral doses of vitamin C can lower cortisol levels following intense exercise in healthy physically fit men. Vitamin C therefore appears to blunt the adrenal secretion of cortisol following artificial and natural stimulation, and this may explain why vitamin C is able to limit physiological consequences of chronic stress such as may occur in mood disorders. However, it is unclear how vitamin C may exert its beneficial effects. 

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Liakakos, D., Doulas, N. L., Ikkos, D., Acnoussakis, C., Vlachos, P. and Jcouramani, G. 1975. Inhibitory effect of ascorbic acid (vitamin C) on cortisol secretion following adrenal stimulation in children. Clinica Chimica Acta. 65(3): 251-255

About Robert Barrington

Robert Barrington is a writer, nutritionist, lecturer and philosopher.
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