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Dr Anitra Carr

Anitra Carr Principal Investigator
Senior Research Fellow
Master of Nursing Science Convenor

BSc(Hons)(Cant), PhD(Otago)

Email anitra.carr@otago.ac.nz 
Tel 64 3 364 0649

Research interests

Dr Anitra Carr's research speciality is the role of vitamin C in human health and disease. Dr Carr has a background in biochemistry and biomedical research and now carries out translational ‘bench-to-bedside’ studies. Dr Carr is currently running both observational and interventional studies investigating the bioavailability and health effects of vitamin C. She is particularly interested in the role of vitamin C in the prevention and treatment of acute and chronic diseases such as cancer and severe infection.

Dr Carr obtained a PhD from the Department of Pathology, University of Otago, Christchurch, followed by an American Heart Association Post-doctoral Fellowship which was carried out at the Linus Pauling Institute, Oregon State University, USA. Whilst there she produced a number of high impact publications on the role of vitamin C in human health and disease; two of these supported the most recent increase of the US recommended dietary intakes for vitamin C by the US Food and Nutrition Board of the Institutes of Medicine.

Dr Carr returned to the University of Otago, Christchurch, and was awarded a Sir Charles Hercus Health Research Fellowship from the Health Research Council of New Zealand to undertake research into the role of vitamin C in severe infection, particularly pneumonia and sepsis. Dr Carr has also investigated the effects of intravenous vitamin C on cancer and chemotherapy-related symptoms and quality of life. Dr Carr hopes to not only elucidate the underlying mechanisms of action of vitamin C, but to also improve the outcomes of patients with these conditions.

Research expertise

Vitamin C bioavailability and health effects; recommended dietary intakes; fatigue and quality of life; cancer; severe infection; clinical studies.

Teaching responsibilities

Course Convenor of the Master of Nursing Science

  • Nursing Science Pre-Course
  • Nursing Science 1 (NURS443)

In the media

Radio New Zealand 

The Science Of... Vitamin C aired on Radio New Zealand in August 2017.

Dr Anitra Carr was interviewed by Jesse Mulligan from Radio New Zealand in May 2017.

Kiwifruit Symposium

Dr Anitra Carr presented at the first Kiwifruit Symposium in April 2016.

Major review articles

  • Carr AC, McCall C. The role of vitamin C in the treatment of pain: new insights. J Transl Med. 2017 Apr 14;15(1):77. 
  • Carr A.C., Shaw, G.M., Fowler, A.A., Natarajan, R. Ascorbate-dependent vasopressor synthesis: a rationale for vitamin C administration in severe sepsis and septic shock? Critical Care. 2015. 19, 418.
  • Carr, AC, Vissers MC, Cook, JS. The effect of intravenous vitamin C on cancer- and chemotherapy-related fatigue and quality of life. Frontiers Oncology, 2014. 4 (283), 1-7.
  • Carr, AC, Vissers, MCM. Synthetic or food-derived vitamin C – are they equally bioavailable? Nutrients. 2013. 5, 4284-4304.
  • Carr, A.C., Zhu, B-Z, and Frei, B. Potential anti-atherogenic mechanisms of ascorbate (vitamin C) and alpha-tocopherol (vitamin E). Circ Res. 2000. 87, 349-354.
  • Carr, A.C., Frei, B. The role of natural antioxidants in preserving the biological activity of endothelium-derived nitric oxide. Free Radic Biol Med. 2000. 28, 1806-1814.
  • Carr, A.C., McCall, M.R., Frei, B. Oxidation of LDL by myeloperoxidase and reactive nitrogen species: reaction pathways and antioxidant protection. Arterio Thromb Vasc Biol. 2000. 20, 1716-1723.
  • Carr, A.C.,Frei, B. Toward a new recommended dietary allowance for vitamin C based on antioxidant and health effects in humans. Am J Clin Nutr. 1999. 69, 1086-1107.
  • Carr, A.C., Frei, B. Does vitamin C act as a pro-oxidant under physiological conditions? FASEB J. 1999. 13, 1007-1024.

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Publications

Wilson, R., Willis, J., Gearry, R., Skidmore, P., Fleming, E., Frampton, C., & Carr, A. (2017). Inadequate vitamin C status in prediabetes and type 2 diabetes mellitus: Associations with glycaemic control, obesity, and smoking. Nutrients, 9(9), 997. doi: 10.3390/nu9090997

Pullar, J. M., Carr, A. C., Bozonet, S. M., Rosengrave, P., Kettle, A. J., & Vissers, M. C. M. (2017). Elevated seminal plasma myeloperoxidase is associated with a decreased sperm concentration in young men. Andrology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1111/andr.12327

Pullar, J. M., Carr, A. C., & Vissers, M. C. M. (2017). The roles of vitamin C in skin health. Nutrients, 9(8), 866. doi: 10.3390/nu9080866

Pearson, J. F., Pullar, J. M., Wilson, R., Spittlehouse, J. K., Vissers, M. C. M., Skidmore, P. M. L., Willis, J., Cameron, V. A., & Carr, A. C. (2017). Vitamin C status correlates with markers of metabolic and cognitive health in 50-year-olds: Findings of the CHALICE Cohort Study. Nutrients, 9(8), 831. doi: 10.3390/nu9080831

Conner, T. S., Brookie, K. L., Carr, A. C., Mainvil, L. A., & Vissers, M. C. M. (2017). Let them eat fruit! The effect of fruit and vegetable consumption on psychological well-being in young adults: A randomized controlled trial. PLoS ONE, 12(2), e0171206. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0171206

Chapter in Book - Research

Vissers, M. C. M., Carr, A. C., Pullar, J. M., & Bozonet, S. M. (2013). The bioavailability of vitamin C from kiwifruit. In M. Boland & P. J. Moughan (Eds.), Advances in food and nutrition research (Vol. 68): Nutritional benefits of kiwifruit. (pp. 125-147). Waltham, MA: Academic Press. doi: 10.1016/b978-0-12-394294-4.00007-9

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Journal - Research Article

Wilson, R., Willis, J., Gearry, R., Skidmore, P., Fleming, E., Frampton, C., & Carr, A. (2017). Inadequate vitamin C status in prediabetes and type 2 diabetes mellitus: Associations with glycaemic control, obesity, and smoking. Nutrients, 9(9), 997. doi: 10.3390/nu9090997

Conner, T. S., Brookie, K. L., Carr, A. C., Mainvil, L. A., & Vissers, M. C. M. (2017). Let them eat fruit! The effect of fruit and vegetable consumption on psychological well-being in young adults: A randomized controlled trial. PLoS ONE, 12(2), e0171206. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0171206

Pearson, J. F., Pullar, J. M., Wilson, R., Spittlehouse, J. K., Vissers, M. C. M., Skidmore, P. M. L., Willis, J., Cameron, V. A., & Carr, A. C. (2017). Vitamin C status correlates with markers of metabolic and cognitive health in 50-year-olds: Findings of the CHALICE Cohort Study. Nutrients, 9(8), 831. doi: 10.3390/nu9080831

Pullar, J. M., Carr, A. C., & Vissers, M. C. M. (2017). The roles of vitamin C in skin health. Nutrients, 9(8), 866. doi: 10.3390/nu9080866

Pullar, J. M., Carr, A. C., Bozonet, S. M., Rosengrave, P., Kettle, A. J., & Vissers, M. C. M. (2017). Elevated seminal plasma myeloperoxidase is associated with a decreased sperm concentration in young men. Andrology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1111/andr.12327

Carr, A. C., Pullar, J. M., Bozonet, S. M., & Vissers, M. C. M. (2016). Marginal ascorbate status (Hypovitaminosis C) results in an attenuated response to vitamin C supplementation. Nutrients, 8(6), 341. doi: 10.3390/nu8060341

Brookie, K. L., Mainvil, L. A., Carr, A. C., Vissers, M. C. M., & Conner, T. S. (2016). The development and effectiveness of an ecological momentary intervention to increase daily fruit and vegetable consumption in low-consuming young adults. Appetite, 108, 32-41. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2016.09.015

Carr, A. C., Shaw, G. M., Fowler, A. A., & Natarajan, R. (2015). Ascorbate-dependent vasopressor synthesis: A rationale for vitamin C administration in severe sepsis and septic shock? Critical Care, 19, 418. doi: 10.1186/s13054-015-1131-2

Bozonet, S. M., Carr, A. C., Pullar, J. M., & Vissers, M. C. M. (2015). Enhanced human neutrophil vitamin C status, chemotaxis and oxidant generation following dietary supplementation with vitamin C-rich SunGold kiwifruit. Nutrients, 7(4), 2574-2588. doi: 10.3390/nu7042574

Carr, A. C., Vissers, M. C. M., & Cook, J. S. (2014). The effect of intravenous vitamin C on cancer- and chemotherapy-related fatigue and quality of life. Frontiers in Oncology, 4, 283. doi: 10.3389/fonc.2014.00283

Carr, A. C., Bozonet, S. M., Pullar, J. M., Simcock, J. W., & Vissers, M. C. M. (2013). Human skeletal muscle ascorbate is highly responsive to changes in vitamin C intake and plasma concentrations. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 97, 800-807. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.112.053207

Carr, A. C., Bozonet, S. M., Pullar, J. M., & Vissers, M. C. M. (2013). Mood improvement in young adult males following supplementation with gold kiwifruit, a high-vitamin C food. Journal of Nutritional Science, 2, e24. doi: 10.1017/jns.2013.12

Carr, A. C., Bozonet, S. M., & Vissers, M. C. M. (2013). A randomised cross-over pharmacokinetic bioavailability study of synthetic versus kiwifruit-derived vitamin C. Nutrients, 5(11), 4451-4461. doi: 10.3390/nu5114451

Carr, A. C., Bozonet, S. M., Pullar, J. M., Simcock, J. W., & Vissers, M. C. M. (2013). A randomized steady-state bioavailability study of synthetic versus natural (kiwifruit-derived) vitamin C. Nutrients, 5(9), 3684-3695. doi: 10.3390/nu5093684

Carr, A. C., & Vissers, M. C. M. (2013). Synthetic or food-derived vitamin C—are they equally bioavailable? Nutrients, 5(11), 4284-4304. doi: 10.3390/nu5114284

Carr, A. C., Pullar, J. M., Moran, S., & Vissers, M. C. M. (2012). Bioavailability of vitamin C from kiwifruit in non-smoking males: Determination of ‘healthy’ and ‘optimal’ intakes. Journal of Nutritional Science, 1, e14. doi: 10.1017/jns.2012.15

Vissers, M. C. M., Carr, A. C., & Winterbourn, C. C. (2001). Fatty acid chlorohydrins and bromohydrins are cytotoxic to human endothelial cells. Redox Report, 6, 49-55. doi: 10.1179/135100001101536030

Carr, A., van den Berg, J. J. M., & Winterbourn, C. C. (1998). Differential reactivities of hypochlorous and hypobromous acids with purified E.coli phospholipid: formation of haloamines and halohydrins. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta: General Subjects, 1392, 254-264.

Vissers, M. C. M., Carr, A. C., & Chapman, A. L. P. (1998). A comparison of human red cell lysis by hypochlorous and hypobromous acid: insights into the mechanism of lysis. Biochemical Journal, 330, 131-138. doi: 10.1042/bj3300131

Domigan, N. M., Carr, A. C., Lewis, J. G., Elder, P. A., & Winterbourn, C. C. (1997). A monoclonal antibody recognizing the chlorohydrin derivatives of oleic acid for probing hypochlorous acid involvement in tissue injury. Redox Report, 3(2), 111-117.

Carr, A., Winterbourn, C. C., Blunt, J. W. W., Phillips, A., & Abell, A. D. (1997). Nuclear magnetic resonance characterization of 6a-chloro-5b-cholestane-3b, 5-diol formed from the reaction of hypochlorous acid with cholesterol. Lipids, 32(4), 363-367.

Carr, A., & Winterbourn, C. C. (1997). Oxidation of neutrophil glutathione and protein thiols by myeloperoxidase-derived hypochlorous acid. Biochemical Journal, 327(1), 275-281.

Carr, A. C., Vissers, M. C., Domigan, N. M., & Winterbourn, C. C. (1997). Modification of red cell membrane lipids by hypochlorus acid and haemolysis by preformed lipid chlorohydrins. Redox Report, 3, 263-271.

Carr, A., van den Berg, J. J. M., & Winterbourn, C. C. (1996). Chlorination of cholesterol in cell membranes by hypochlorous acid. Archives of Biochemistry & Biophysics, 332, 63-69.

Carr, A., Winterbourn, C. C., & van den Berg, J. J. M. (1996). Peroxidase-mediated bromination of unsaturated fatty acids to form bromohydrins. Archives of Biochemistry & Biophysics, 327, 227-233.

Inder, T. E., Carr, A. C., Winterbourn, C. C., Austin, N. C., & Darlow, B. A. (1995). Vitamin A and E status in very low birth weight infants: Development of an improved parenteral delivery system. Journal of Pediatrics, 126(1), 128-131. doi: 10.1016/S0022-3476(95)70515-5

Kettle, A. J., Carr, A. C., & Winterbourn, C. C. (1994). Assays using horseradish peroxidase and phenolic substrates require superoxide dismutase for accurate determination of hydrogen peroxide production by neutrophils. Free Radical Biology & Medicine, 17(2), 161-164.

Thomas, C., Carr, A. C., & Winterbourn, C. C. (1994). Free radical inactivation of rabbit muscle creatinine kinase: Catalysis by physiological and hydrolized ICRF-187 (ICRF-198) iron chelates. Free Radical Research, 21(6), 387-397.

Winterbourn, C. C., & Carr, A. C. (1993). Myeloperoxidase-dependent loss of malondialdehyde: A limitation for detecting neutrophil-mediated lipid peroxidation. Archives of Biochemistry & Biophysics, 302(2), 461-467. doi: 10.1006/abbi.1993.1240

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Journal - Research Other

Carr, A. C., Vissers, M. C. M., & Cook, J. S. (2015). Parenteral vitamin C relieves chronic fatigue and pain in a patient with rheumatoid arthritis and mononeuritis multiplex secondary to CNS vasculitis. Case Reports in Clinical Pathology, 2(2), 57-61. doi: 10.5430/crcp.v2n2p57

Carr, A. C., Vissers, M. C. M., & Cook, J. (2014). Relief from cancer chemotherapy side effects with pharmacologic vitamin C. New Zealand Medical Journal, 127(1388). Retrieved from http://www.nzma.org.nz/journal

Dachs, G. U., Munn, D. G., Carr, A. C., Vissers, M. C. M., & Robinson, B. A. (2014). Consumption of vitamin C is below recommended daily intake in many cancer patients and healthy volunteers in Christchurch. New Zealand Medical Journal, 127(1390). Retrieved from http://www.nzma.org.nz/journal

Carr, A. C., Vissers, M. C. M., & Cook, J. (2014). Parenteral vitamin C for palliative care of terminal cancer patients. New Zealand Medical Journal, 127(1396). Retrieved from http://www.nzma.org.nz/journal

Carr, A., Pullar, J., Forbes, L., & Rosengrave, P. (2014). Working mothers are disadvantaged by limited funding for health research. New Zealand Medical Journal, 127(1398). Retrieved from http://www.nzma.org.nz/journal

Carr, A. C., Pullar, J. M., & Vissers, M. C. M. (2013). Beating the blues: The association between fruit and vegetable intake and improved mood. New Zealand Medical Journal, 126(1384). Retrieved from http://www.nzma.org.nz/journal

Pullar, J. M., Carr, A. C., & Vissers, M. C. M. (2013). Vitamin C supplementation and kidney stone risk. New Zealand Medical Journal, 126(1384). Retrieved from http://www.nzma.org.nz/journal

Carr, A. C. (2012). Depressed mood associated with gluten sensitivity: Resolution of symptoms with a gluten-free diet. New Zealand Medical Journal, 125(1366). Retrieved from http://www.nzma.org.nz/journal

Carr, A. C., & Vissers, M. C. M. (2012). Good nutrition matters: Hypovitaminosis C associated with depressed mood and poor wound healing. New Zealand Medical Journal, 125(1362). Retrieved from http://www.nzma.org.nz/journal

Carr, A. C., Vissers, M. C. M., Lewis, J., & Elder, P. (2012). Multiple nutrient insufficiencies: Hypovitaminosis D and C in young adult New Zealand males. New Zealand Medical Journal, 125(1364). Retrieved from http://www.nzma.org.nz/journal

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Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Vissers, M. C. M., Campbell, E. J., Kuiper, C., Carr, A. C., Wohlrab, C., Bozonet, S. M., Morrin, H., Robinson, B. A., & Dachs, G. U. (2016). Ascorbate as an anti-cancer therapy? Investigations into feasibility and potential mechanism of action. Proceedings of the Diagnostics, Drugs, Devices, Discovery (D4) Conference. Retrieved from http://www.otago.ac.nz/d4/index.html

Brookie, K., Carr, A., Vissers, M., & Conner, T. (2015). Can an apple a day keep the psychologist away? The role of fruit and vegetable consumption in psychological well-being of young adults. Proceedings of the Psycolloquy Seminar. (pp. 12). Dunedin, New Zealand: Department of Psychology, University of Otago. Retrieved from http://www.otago.ac.nz/psychology/research/otago059081.html

Carr, A., Pullar, J., Bozonet, S., & Vissers, M. (2015). Marginal ascorbate status (hypovitaminosis C) results in an attenuated response to supplementation. Proceedings of the Nutrition Society of Australia, 39, (pp. 71). Sydney, Australia: Nutrition Society of Australia. [Abstract]

Carr, A. C., Pullar, J. M., Bozonet, S. M., Moran, S., & Vissers, M. C. M. (2013). Bioavailability of vitamin C from a common food source (kiwifruit) in young adult males. Australasian Medical Journal, 6(11), (pp. 658). [Abstract]

Carr, A. C., Bozonet, S. M., Pullar, J. M., & Vissers, M. C. M. (2013). Mood and vitality improvement in young adult males following supplementation with gold kiwifruit, a high vitamin C food. Australasian Medical Journal, 6(11), (pp. 667). [Abstract]

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Conference Contribution - Poster Presentation (not in published proceedings)

Carr, A. C., Bozonet, S. M., Pullar, J. M., & Vissers, M. C. M. (2013, August). Mood improvement and reduced fatigue in young adult males following supplementation with kiwifruit, a high vitamin C food. Poster session presented at the Queenstown Molecular Biology (QMB) Meetings, Queenstown, New Zealand.

Carr, A. C., Bozonet, S. M., Pullar, J. M., Simcock, J. W., & Vissers, M. C. M. (2013, August). Human skeletal muscle ascorbate is highly responsive to changes in vitamin C intake and plasma concentrations. Poster session presented at the Queenstown Molecular Biology (QMB) Meetings, Queenstown, New Zealand.

Carr, A. C., Vissers, M. C. M., & Cook, J. (2013, August). Pharmacologic vitamin C improves fatigue and quality of life in cancer patients: Two case reports. Poster session presented at the Queenstown Molecular Biology (QMB) Meetings, Queenstown, New Zealand.

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Conference Contribution - Verbal presentation and other Conference outputs

Vissers, M. C. M., Kuiper, C., Dachs, G. U., Campbell, E., Pujary, U.-R., Bozonet, S. M., Pullar, J. M., & Carr, A. C. (2013, August). The role of vitamin C in managing metabolic stress and its impact in tumour biology and inflammation. Verbal presentation at the Queenstown Molecular Biology (QMB) Meetings, Queenstown, New Zealand.

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