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Associate Professor Anitra Carr

Anitra Carr 2021 imageDirector, Nutrition in Medicine Research Group
Principal Investigator

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

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

Research interests

Associate Professor Anitra Carr's area of research expertise is the role of vitamin C in human health and disease. Associate Professor Carr has a background in biomedical research and carries out translational ‘bench-to-bedside’ studies. She is currently running both observational and interventional studies investigating the requirements for vitamin C in different disorders and the potential health effects of both oral and intravenous vitamin C. She is particularly interested in the role of vitamin C in the prevention and treatment of acute and chronic conditions such as severe infection, cancer and metabolic disorders.

Associate Professor 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; one 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.

Associate Professor 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, specifically pneumonia and sepsis. She has also investigated the effects of intravenous vitamin C on cancer and chemotherapy-related symptoms and quality of life. Associate Professor 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.

In the media

Review articles

  • Carr, A.C and Rowe, S. The emerging role of vitamin C in the prevention and treatment of COVID-19. Nutrients. 2020. 12, 3286. doi:10.3390/nu12113286.
  • Rowe S. and Carr A.C. Global vitamin C status and prevalence of deficiency: A cause for concern? Nutrients, 2020, 12, 2008, 20 pages. doi.org/10.3390/nu12072008
  • Carr A.C. and Rowe S. Factors affecting vitamin C status and prevalence of deficiency: a global health perspective. Nutrients, 2020, 12, 1963, 19 pages. doi:10.3390/nu12071963
  • Carr AC and Lykkesfeldt, J. Discrepancies in global vitamin C recommendations: A review of RDA criteria and underlying health perspectives. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr, 2020, 14 pages. doi.org/10.1080/10408398.2020.1744513.
  • Liugan M and Carr AC. Vitamin C and neutrophil function: findings from randomized controlled trials. Nutrients, 2019, 11, 2102; doi:10.3390/nu11092102.
  • Carr AC and Cook J. Intravenous vitamin C for cancer therapy – identifying the current gaps in our knowledge. Frontiers in Physiology. 2018. 9 (article 1182), 1-16. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2018.01182.
  • Carr AC and Maggini S. Vitamin C and immune function. Nutrients. 2017. 9 (11). pii: E1211. doi: 10.3390/nu9111211.
  • 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

Hemilä, H., Carr, A., & Chalker, E. (2021). Vitamin C may increase the recovery rate of outpatient cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection by 70%: Reanalysis of the COVID A to Z randomized clinical trial. Frontiers in Immunology, 12, 674681. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2021.674681

Rowe, S., Collins, P. D., Stacey, S. E., & Carr, A. C. (2021). Micronutrients and respiratory infections: The biological rationale and current state of clinical evaluation. British Journal of Hospital Medicine, 82(4). doi: 10.12968/hmed.2020.0730

Pearson, A. G., Pullar, J. M., Cook, J., Spencer, E. S., Vissers, M. C. M., Carr, A. C., & Hampton, M. B. (2021). Peroxiredoxin 2 oxidation reveals hydrogen peroxide generation within erythrocytes during high-dose vitamin C administration. Redox Biology, 43, 101980. doi: 10.1016/j.redox.2021.101980

Carr, A. C. (2021). Is "mega-dose" IV vitamin C required for septic and critical coronavirus disease 2019 patients? Critical Care Medicine, 49(4), e477-e478. doi: 10.1097/ccm.0000000000004873

Carr, A. (2021). Optimal nutrition to maximize immune function: Relevance to COVID-19 [Plenary]. In S. Iuliano, K. Livingstone, W. Stonehouse & A. Coates (Eds.) Proceedings, 72(1), 1.2. doi: 10.3390/proceedings2021072001

Carr, A. C. (2020). Vitamin C in pneumonia and sepsis. In Q. Chen & M. C. M. Vissers (Eds.), Vitamin C: New biochemical and functional insights. (pp. 115-135). Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.

Chapter in Book - Research

Carr, A., & Cheng, C. P. (2019). Veins of the upper body. In C. P. Cheng (Ed.), Handbook of vascular motion. (pp. 225-246). London, UK: Academic Press. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-815713-8.00011-5

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.), Nutritional benefits of kiwifruit. (pp. 125-147). Waltham, MA: Academic Press. doi: 10.1016/b978-0-12-394294-4.00007-9

Chapter in Book - Research

Dachs, G. U., Gandhi, J., Wohlrab, C., Carr, A. C., Morrin, H. R., Pullar, J. M., Bayer, S. B., Eglinton, T. W., Robinson, B. A., & Vissers, M. C. M. (2021). Vitamin C administration by intravenous infusion increases tumor ascorbate content in patients with colon cancer: A clinical intervention study. Frontiers in Oncology, 10, 600715. doi: 10.3389/fonc.2020.600715

Journal - Research Article

Hemilä, H., Carr, A., & Chalker, E. (2021). Vitamin C may increase the recovery rate of outpatient cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection by 70%: Reanalysis of the COVID A to Z randomized clinical trial. Frontiers in Immunology, 12, 674681. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2021.674681

Journal - Research Article

Pearson, A. G., Pullar, J. M., Cook, J., Spencer, E. S., Vissers, M. C. M., Carr, A. C., & Hampton, M. B. (2021). Peroxiredoxin 2 oxidation reveals hydrogen peroxide generation within erythrocytes during high-dose vitamin C administration. Redox Biology, 43, 101980. doi: 10.1016/j.redox.2021.101980

Journal - Research Article

Rowe, S., Collins, P. D., Stacey, S. E., & Carr, A. C. (2021). Micronutrients and respiratory infections: The biological rationale and current state of clinical evaluation. British Journal of Hospital Medicine, 82(4). doi: 10.12968/hmed.2020.0730

Journal - Research Article

Baxter-Parker, G., Gaddam, R. R., Moltchanova, E., Carr, A. C., Shaw, G., Chambers, S., & Gieseg, S. P. (2020). Oxidative stress and immune cell activation quantification in sepsis and non-sepsis critical care patients by neopterin/7,8-dihydroneopterin analysis. Pteridines, 31(1), 68-82. doi: 10.1515/pteridines-2020-0015

Journal - Research Article

Carr, A. C., Spencer, E., Das, A., Meijer, N., Lauren, C., MacPherson, S., & Chambers, S. T. (2020). Patients undergoing myeloablative chemotherapy and hematopoietic stem cell transplantation exhibit depleted vitamin C status in association with febrile neutropenia. Nutrients, 12(6), 1879. doi: 10.3390/nu12061879

Journal - Research Article

Carr, A. C., Spencer, E., Hoskin, T. S., Rosengrave, P., Kettle, A. J., & Shaw, G. (2020). Circulating myeloperoxidase is elevated in septic shock and is associated with systemic organ failure and mortality in critically ill patients. Free Radical Biology & Medicine, 152, 462-468. doi: 10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2019.11.004

Journal - Research Article

Carr, A. C., Spencer, E., Mackle, D., Hunt, A., Judd, H., Mehrtens, J., … Beaumont, M., Kaur, S., … Young, P. J. (2020). The effect of conservative oxygen therapy on systemic biomarkers of oxidative stress in critically ill patients. Free Radical Biology & Medicine. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2020.06.018

Journal - Research Article

Pullar, J. M., Dunham, S., Dachs, G. U., Vissers, M. C. M., & Carr, A. C. (2020). Erythrocyte ascorbate is a potential indicator of steady-state plasma ascorbate concentrations in healthy non-fasting individuals. Nutrients, 12(2), 418. doi: 10.3390/nu12020418

Journal - Research Article

Spencer, E. S., Pitcher, T., Veron, G., Hannam, T., MacAskill, M., Anderson, T., Dalrymple-Alford, J., & Carr, A. C. (2020). Positive association of ascorbate and inverse association of urate with cognitive function in people with Parkinson’s disease. Antioxidants, 9(10), 1-13. doi: 10.3390/antiox9100906

Journal - Research Article

Bozonet, S. M., & Carr, A. C. (2019). The role of physiological vitamin C concentrations on key functions of neutrophils isolated from healthy individuals. Nutrients, 11(6), 1363. doi: 10.3390/nu11061363

Journal - Research Article

Zawari, M., Poller, B., Walker, G., Pearson, A., & Carr, A. C. (2019). Formulation of broccoli sprout powder in gastro-resistant capsules protects against the acidic pH of the stomach in vitro but does not increase isothiocyanate bioavailability in vivo. Antioxidants, 8(9), 359. doi: 10.3390/antiox8090359

Journal - Research Article

Carr, A. C., & Cook, J. (2018). Intravenous vitamin C for cancer therapy: Identifying the current gaps in our knowledge. Frontiers in Physiology, 9, 1182. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2018.01182

Journal - Research Article

Prier, M., Carr, A. C., & Baillie, N. (2018). No reported renal stones with intravenous vitamin C administration: A prospective case series study. Antioxidants, 7(5), 68. doi: 10.3390/antiox7050068

Journal - Research Article

Pullar, J. M., Bayer, S., & Carr, A. C. (2018). Appropriate handling, processing and analysis of blood samples is essential to avoid oxidation of vitamin C to dehydroascorbic acid. Antioxidants, 7(2), 29. doi: 10.3390/antiox7020029

Journal - Research Article

Pullar, J. M., Carr, A. C., Bozonet, S. M., & Vissers, M. C. M. (2018). High vitamin C status is associated with elevated mood in male tertiary students. Antioxidants, 7(7), 91. doi: 10.3390/antiox7070091

Journal - Research Article

Wilson, R., Willis, J., Gearry, R. B., Hughes, A., Lawley, B., Skidmore, P., Frampton, C., Fleming, E., Anderson, A., Jones, L., Tannock, G. W., & Carr, A. C. (2018). SunGold kiwifruit supplementation of individuals with prediabetes alters gut microbiota and improves Vitamin C status, anthropometric and clinical markers. Nutrients, 10, 895. doi: 10.3390/nu10070895

Journal - Research Article

Brookie, K. L., Mainvil, L. A., Carr, A. C., Vissers, M. C. M., & Conner, T. S. (2017). 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

Journal - Research Article

Carr, A. C., & Maggini, S. (2017). Vitamin C and Immune Function. Nutrients, 9(11), 1211. doi: 10.3390/nu9111211

Journal - Research Article

Carr, A. C., Rosengrave, P. C., Bayer, S., Chambers, S., Mehrtens, J., & Shaw, G. M. (2017). Hypovitaminosis C and vitamin C deficiency in critically ill patients despite recommended enteral and parenteral intakes. Critical Care, 21, 300. doi: 10.1186/s13054-017-1891-y

Journal - Research Article

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

Journal - Research Article

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

Journal - Research Article

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

Journal - Research Article

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, 5(3), 431-438. doi: 10.1111/andr.12327

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

Journal - Research Article

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

Journal - Research Article

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

Journal - Research Article

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

Journal - Research Article

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

Journal - Research Article

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

Journal - Research Article

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

Journal - Research Article

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

Journal - Research Article

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

Journal - Research Article

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

Journal - Research Article

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

Journal - Research Article

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

Journal - Research Article

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.

Journal - Research Article

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

Journal - Research Article

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.

Journal - Research Article

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

Journal - Research Article

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.

Journal - Research Article

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.

Journal - Research Article

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.

Journal - Research Article

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.

Journal - Research Article

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

Journal - Research Article

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.

Journal - Research Article

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.

Journal - Research Article

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