Vitamins

Neurons and glia have the same functional demands for vitamins as do other cells in the body. Their access to brain is thus an important consideration, particularly given the existence of the BBB. Water-soluble vitamins are transported across the BBB and, in some cases, the blood-CSF barrier, most often by nonenergy requiring carriers. After they are taken up into neurons and glial cells, most are rapidly converted into their biologically active derivatives, namely cofactors in enzyme-mediated reactions. Since cofactors are recycled, dietary deficiencies in one or another vitamin do not immediately lead to brain dysfunction, inasmuch as cofactor pools may take extended periods of time to become depleted. Although fat-soluble vitamins are lipid soluble, their passage through the BBB most likely involves more than simply diffusion.

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