The Solute Carrier Family 23 Member 1 (SLC23A1) gene is associated with the synthesis of Solute Carrier Family 23 Member 1(SLC23A1) protein, a transporter which is found to be associated with the absorption of vitamin C and distribution to the rest of the body.
Most mammals synthesize ascorbic acid (vitamin C) on their own, however, humans cannot produce this vitamin and depend on dietary sources. One of the well-known historical anecdotes associated with vitamin C requirement is that of the exploration by Ferdinand Magellan. This Spanish explorer was the first to travel around the world with his crew, showing that the world was indeed round and not flat as was commonly believed. Most of his crew is believed to have died during the expedition due to scurvy, a condition caused due to the lack of vitamin C. However, cats which were taken as pets during the expedition survived as they could produce vitamin C. Some people are shown to be associated with an increased requirement for vitamin C, based on the variant of the SLC23A1 gene that they carry.
Vitamin C is necessary for the biosynthesis of collagen, catecholamine and carnitine, non-heme iron absorption and in the synthesis of anti-oxidants. Deficiency of vitamin C can lead to scurvy, leading to fatigue and weakness, reduction in bone and muscle strength and poor immunity.
In a study conducted on 15,087 individuals, people with the A variant of the gene were shown to be associated with a reduction in the amount of circulating levels of l-ascorbic acid. In a similar study conducted on 97,203 individuals, people with the G variant of the gene were shown to be associated with 11% higher vitamin C than people with the A variant.
|GG||[Advantage] More likely to have higher plasma vitamin C levels|
|AG||Moderate plasma vitamin C levels|
|AA||[Limitation] More likely to have lower plasma vitamin C levels|
“Nutrigenetics, fitness genetics, health genetics are all nascent but rapidly growing areas within human genetics. The information provided herein is based on preliminary scientific studies and it is to be read and understood in that context.”