This report about autoimmune disorders focuses on a family of three human enzymes called ten-eleven translocation (TET) enzymes.
Vitamin C stimulates production of TET proteins (ten-eleven translocation enzymes), important in the control of the immune system and in particular heading off autoimmune disorders.
Lo and behold, a recent report entitled “Harnessing The Combined Power Of Vitamin C And Tet Proteins May Give Scientists A Leg Up In Treating Autoimmune Diseases,” says “You can’t make a banana split without bananas and you can’t generate stable regulating T-cells (thymus cells) without vitamin C or enzymes called TET proteins.”
This has been known for almost a decade now, but researchers act like it is a new revelation. In fact, these same researchers say they are “looking for more small molecules to stabilize TET enzymes that regulate T-regs,” when vitamin C is almost completely overlooked in treatment plans for autoimmune disorders.
Regulatory T-cells (called T-regs) calm inflammation and regulate the immune system. In autoimmune disorders, the immune system can’t determine “self” from “foreign” and the body turns against itself.
Regulatory T-cells suppress excess immunity against a number of antigens (generators of an immune response).
It is now recognized that low vitamin C blood levels may “predispose individuals to autoimmune disease secondary to decreased function of T-regs produced in the thymus gland (paraphrased).
The instillation of T-reg cells would be a more direct way of boosting immunity and thwarting autoimmunity, but T-reg cells are unstable without vitamin C.
T-cells are produced from B-cells (made in bone marrow) in the thymus gland. Stem cells mature into T-cells with the aid of vitamin C.
Vitamin C prevents death of T-cells in three different biological pathways.
Shrinkage of the thymus gland
One of the dramatic changes in the aging immune system is the involution (collapse or shrinkage) of the thymus gland which results in fewer naïve (uncommitted) T-cells that can produce long-term memory immunity.
Vitamin C heads off this attrition of the thymus gland among older animals in the laboratory. In lab animals it took 200 milligrams of vitamin C per kilogram of body weight to retard thymus atrophy (shrinkage) which is equivalent to 14,000 milligrams per day in 154-lb. (70 kilogram) humans. That would amount to take fourteen 1000-milligram vitamin C pills per day! A ten-times lower dose of vitamin C (1,400 mg) was not effective.
It should also be recognized that Vitamin C protects the thymus gland from injury caused by diabetes.
Quelling the current pandemic
In regard to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, vitamin C has critical value in clearing viruses, even in mildly infected patients (96.5%), and reduces inflammation which is predominant factor in mortal cases. Researchers are now calling for therapies like vitamin C that “improve T-cell numbers.. as T-cells have a dominant role” in sparing infected patients from mortal outcomes.
The first link between enhancement and stability of TET enzymes by vitamin C was noted in 2013. There are at the present time, 894 published scientific reports involving TET enzymes, 53 which mention vitamin C, that initially were described in 2009. Mutated TET enzymes are involved in blood cancers and to a lesser extent, in solid tumors.
There are one-hundred-plus autoimmune diseases, largely categorized by their anatomical location, and range from rare to common, and include rheumatoid arthritis, celiac, lupus, Sjogren’s, multiple sclerosis, Type I diabetes, psoriasis, Kawasaki disease (low thyroid), to name a few. An expansive list is available from the American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association, Inc.
Just how vitamin C therapy is ignored in the maintenance of human health boggles the mind given it is the primary antioxidant (electron donor) in mammals, being internally produced in the liver, whereas in humans vitamin C is inherently deficient due to a genetic flaw, which is not even closely made up for by dietary consumption.
Most animals endogenously produce vitamin C from their liver, exceptions being guinea pigs, fruit bats, primate monkeys and humans.
A novel development is the discovery that an array of herbal and nutritional factors known as FORMULA-216 that can double blood levels of vitamin C without reliance upon dietary or supplemental vitamin C, which suggests correction of the gene mutation that has plagued mankind for centuries.
Animals that internally produce vitamin C generate thousands of milligrams of this antioxidant. For example, a goat produces ~17,000 milligrams of vitamin C per day and more under stress.