Know Your Genes: SLC23A1 “Vitamin C Gene”


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 this vitamin 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 are believed to have died during the expedition due to scurvy, a condition caused due to the lack of this nutrient. However, cats that were taken as pets during the expedition survived as they could produce this vitamin. 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.

This vitamin is necessary for the biosynthesis of collagen, catecholamine and carnitine, non-heme iron absorption and in the synthesis of anti-oxidants. Its deficiency can lead to scurvy, leading to fatigue and weakness, reduction in bone and muscle strength and poor immunity.

Does your 23andme, Ancestry DNA, FTDNA raw data have SLC23A1 gene variant information?

CHIP Version


23andMe (Use your 23andme raw data to know your SLC23A1 Variant)
v1 23andmePresent
v2 23andmePresent
v3 23andmePresent
v4 23andmePresent
V5 23andme (current chip)Present
AncestryDNA  (Use your ancestry DNA raw data to know your SLC23A1 Variant)
v1 ancestry DNAPresent
V2 ancestry DNA (current chip)Present
Family Tree DNA  (Use your FTDNA raw data to know your SLC23A1 Variant)
OmniExpress microarray chipPresent

Association with active vitamin C levels:

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
  • Ensure sufficient intake of vitamin C from the diet
AGModerate plasma vitamin C levels
  • Include vitamin C rich foods in the diet
  • RDI requirement: 75mg/day for women and 90mg/day for men.
  • Vitamin C rich foods include oranges, broccoli, kale, red peppers, brussels sprouts, grapefruit and strawberries
AA[Limitation] More likely to have lower plasma vitamin C levels



Related Links:


“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.”