Intravenous High-Dose Ascorbic Acid Reduces the Expression of Inflammatory Markers in Peripheral Mononuclear Cells of Subjects with Metabolic Syndrome

Abstract: Chronic hyper nutrition is associated with marked oxidative stress and inflammation. Recent studies show that intravenously administered ascorbic acid (IVC), which has been used to treat conditions including fatigue, infection, and cancer, can have an effect on gene expression and epigenetic phenomena. Hence, we analyzed the effect of IVC on mRNA levels of several genes involved in inflammation and stress response. The gene expression modulation in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from 20 overweight or obese subjects was determined. Participants were infused twice with 15 grams ascorbic acid (AA), with a one-day interval between treatments. The expression profile of several genes related to the inflammation and anti-oxidative enzymes was quantified by real time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR). Total AA and dehydroascorbic acid (DHA) were measured in plasma before and after each treatment. Lipid profile and C-reactive protein (CRP) were measured by Bio-Center Laboratory of the Riordan Clinic by standard procedures. We confirmed that, in our subjects expression of mRNA levels of Interleukin 4 (IL-4) and Interleukin 6 (IL-6) correlated with inflammation, as indicated by CRP levels. Moreover, mRNA expression of these genes tended to correlate with body mass index (BMI) and high blood lipid levels. Treatments by IVC resulted in significant increase of blood AA and DHA concentrations. Analysis of mRNA levels on PBMC before and after IVC showed down-regulation of genes coding for Interleukin 8 (IL-8) and up-regulation of Nuclear factor erythroid-derived 2 (NRf2), IL-4, Interleukin 10 (IL-10), Tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), and Interferon gamma (IFN-γ). IVC treatment yielded regulation of immunological genes in PBMCs, suggesting potential benefits in regulating inflammation and redox potential.