Antiviral and Immunomodulatory Activities of Ascorbic Acid

  • Raxit J. Jariwalla
  • Steve Harakeh
Part of the Subcellular Biochemistry book series (SCBI, volume 25)


It has been known since the early days of ascorbic acid research that the appearance of scurvy, which is caused by deficiency of this vitamin, is associated with decreased resistance to infection (Reid and Briggs, 1953). Over the years, it has become well recognized that ascorbate can bolster the natural defense mechanisms of the host and provide protection not only against infectious disease, but also against cancer and other chronic degenerative diseases. The functions involved in ascorbate’s enhancement of host resistance to disease include its biosynthetic (hy-droxylating), antioxidant, and immunostimulatory activities. In addition, ascorbate exerts a direct antiviral action that may confer specific protection against viral disease. The vitamin has been found to inactivate a wide spectrum of viruses as well as suppress viral replication abd expression in infected cell. In this article we review the antiviral and immunotimulatory effects of ascorbate and their relevance to control of acute and chronic viral infections. Detailed discussion of thr biosynthetic activities of ascorbate has been presented in a review by England and Seifter (1986). The antinoxidant function of ascorbate has been reviewed recently by Bendich (1988)


Acquire Immune Deficiency Syndrome Chronic Granulomatous Disease Common Cold Experimental Allergic Encephalomyelitis Immunomodulatory Activity 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.





cluster of differentiation


Chediak-Higashi syndrome

Con A



experimental allergic encephalomyelitis


human immunodeficiency virus


human T-cell leukemia virus-1


human T-cell leukemia virus-1






N-acetyl cysteine


neurotrophic factor-k beta


peripheral blood mononuclear cells


phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate


polymorphonuclear neutrophil


reverse transcriptase


tumor necrosis factor alpha


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Raxit J. Jariwalla
    • 1
  • Steve Harakeh
    • 1
  1. 1.Virology and Immunodeficiency Research ProgramLinus Pauling Institute of Science and MedicinePalo AltoUSA

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