Naked Science Forum

Life Sciences => Plant Sciences, Zoology & Evolution => Topic started by: evan_au on 05/11/2015 17:45:15

Title: Could we engineer humans so that Vitamin C is no longer a Vitamin?
Post by: evan_au on 05/11/2015 17:45:15
Most species of animals can synthesise their own Abscorbic Acid (Vitamin C); it plays a major role in maintaining collagen in skin, wound healing, and spine maintenance. In fact, everything that falls apart in the disease "scurvy".

However, humans and most primates have a corrupted genetic pathway  (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vitamin_C#Evolution)to synthesise Abscorbic Acid. This makes it a "Vital Amine" or "Vitamin" in the human diet.

Could we restore the genetic pathway to produce Abscorbic acid, making "Vitamin C" no longer a "Vitamin"?

As a side-benefit, continuous high levels of this antioxidant may reduce the incidence of cancer.
Title: Re: Could we engineer humans so that Vitamin C is no longer a Vitamin?
Post by: tkadm30 on 18/05/2017 18:09:18
This might interest you: https://geneticliteracyproject.org/2014/02/11/the-latest-on-rewriting-genomes-humans-included/
Title: Re: Could we engineer humans so that Vitamin C is no longer a Vitamin?
Post by: Bored chemist on 18/05/2017 20:43:06
"Could we restore the genetic pathway to produce Abscorbic acid, making "Vitamin C" no longer a "Vitamin"?"
Perhaps, but it wouldn't take me long to find a dozen better things we could do with that ability.

"As a side-benefit, continuous high levels of this antioxidant may reduce the incidence of cancer."
Or not.
http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v461/n7260/full/nature08268.html
Title: Re: Could we engineer humans so that Vitamin C is no longer a Vitamin?
Post by: puppypower on 21/05/2017 13:51:05
Another way to look at the human loss of the ability to make vitamin C may be connected to environmental interaction. Being omnivores, this would expose humans to sufficient external sources of Vitamin C, to cause its synthesis to become redundant at an internal level. It is sort of like clothing reducing the need for skin pigmentation.

This puts a new spin on natural selection where the brain leads and selection becomes based on choices made by the group. If they all choice to migrate toward the cold, selection has a new path.