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Vitamin C supplementation Vitamin C supplementation
Vitamin C supplementation Vitamin C supplementation

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DNA methylation in central airway epithelial cells may mediate vitamin C's effects on lung function in the offspring of pregnant women who smoke, indicating a potential mechanistic link between vitamin C and respiratory health.

Significant findings have emerged regarding the effects of vitamin C supplementation on lung health in the offspring of pregnant smokers in a recent study issued in the Clinical Epigenetics journal. 

Built upon previous research about vitamin C and the effects of smoking in pregnancy; this current study by Lyndsey E. Shorey-Kendrick et al. sought to explain whether buccal cell DNA methylation is linked with daily intake of vitamin C 500 mg on the respiratory outcomes (such as, lung function and wheeze) in kids up to 5 years of age.

Through meticulous epigenome-wide association studies (EWAS) involving 158 people (78 in the Vitamin C group and 80 in the Placebo group), the researchers uncovered enthralling evidence linking vitamin C intake to improved lung function and diminished occurrence of wheezing in offspring. Notably, the improvements in lung function were intricately associated with DNA methylation during early childhood years.

The intake of Vitamin C led to significant discrepancies in DNA methylation patterns, with 457 differentially methylated CpGs (DMCs) and 53 differentially methylated regions (DMRs) identified. A notable association between lung function, as measured by forced expiratory flow between 25 and 75% of expired volume, and distinctive DNA methylation patterns was also revealed.

Interestingly, the researchers also observed that buccal DNA methylation signatures associated with vitamin C supplementation and improved lung function were largely persistent from the prenatal period. This suggests that the benefits of vitamin C supplementation during pregnancy extend beyond infancy and persist into early childhood (5 years of age).

Furthermore, the study shed light on the functional relevance of these methylation signatures, as they were found to be enriched for loci associated with vitamin C.


Clinical Epigenetics


Improvements in lung function following vitamin C supplementation to pregnant smokers are associated with buccal DNA methylation at 5 years of age


Lyndsey E. Shorey-Kendrick et al.

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