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According to animal research, even mild vitamin C deficiency may impact fetal hippocampal development, a part of the brain crucial for learning and memory.
From the article:
“Even marginal vitamin C deficiency in the mother stunts the fetal hippocampus, the important memory centre, by 10-15 per cent, preventing the brain from optimal development,” says Professor Jens Lykkesfeldt.
“People with low economic status who eat poorly – and perhaps also smoke – often suffer from vitamin C deficiency. Comparatively speaking, their children risk being born with a poorly developed memory potential. These children may encounter learning problems, and seen in a societal context, history repeats itself because these children find it more difficult to escape the environment into which they are born,” says Jens Lykkesfeldt.
From an earlier study’s press release:
Guinea pigs subjected to moderate vitamin C deficiency have 30 per cent less hippocampal neurones and markedly worse spatial memory than guinea pigs given a normal diet. […] The highest concentration of vitamin C is found in the neurons of the brain and in case of a low intake of vitamin C, the remaining vitamin is retained in the brain to secure this organ.
Vitamin C deficiency is widespread and may impact early development:
In some areas in the world, vitamin C deficiency is very common – population studies in Brazil and Mexico have shown that 30 to 40 per cent of the pregnant women have too low levels of vitamin C, and the low level is also found in their foetuses and new-born babies.