Vitamin C May Help IVF, Embryonic Cells, Cancers

UTSD-logoVitamin C may increase the success rate of in vitro fertilization, improve the quality of human embryonic stem cells and help treat some cancers. These findings by a team including three San Diego scientists were published Sunday in the journal Nature. (Click the link to read the study).

The study examined the effect of vitamin C on the growth of mouse and human embryonic stem cells in the laboratory. Mouse embryonic stem cells are grown without vitamin C; while human embryonic stem cells are grown with vitamin C, the study noted. Adding vitamin C improved genetic activity in the mouse cells.

These results have important implications for preparing whole human embryos for implantation, senior author Miguel Ramalho-Santos of UC San Francisco said by email.

“The current media for culturing human embryos in IVF clinics don’t contain vitamin C, and our work shows that Vitamin C is important for maintaining appropriate levels of gene activity in embryonic stem cells,” Ramalho-Santos said. “The fact that vitamin C is a safe and natural nutrient may make it easier to investigate its application to new clinical settings.”

The full article is located at UT San Diego

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