Ascorbic acid

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Ascorbic acid is the chemical term for vitamin C.

Information about Ascorbic acid

Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is a water soluble vitamin found in citrus fruits and green vegetables and deficiency of which is the cause of scurvy.

Liver safety of Ascorbic acid

There is no evidence that vitamin C, in physiologic or in moderately high doses, causes acute liver injury or jaundice.

Mechanism of action of Ascorbic acid

Vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin known chemically as L-ascorbic acid (as kore' bik as' id). The major role of ascorbic acid is as an electron donor and intracellular antioxidant protecting critical intracellular molecules and enzymes systems against reactive oxygen species. Vitamin C also plays a role as a cofactor in many biochemical synthetic reactions, in collagen cross linking, the synthesis of neuropeptides and hormones, and in non-heme iron absorption.

Sources of Ascorbic acid

Vitamin C is found in many foods, particularly citrus fruits, green vegetables, tomatoes and potatoes.

RDA intake of Ascorbic acid

The recommended daily allowance of vitamin C is 90 mg in adult men and 70 mg in women, an amount that is provided by most American diets. Intakes of more than 2 grams daily are considered excessive and should be avoided.

Deficiency of Ascorbic acid

Vitamin C deficiency is the cause of scurvy which is marked by fatigue, spongy gums, loss of teeth, ecchymosis, petechiae and excessive bleeding including bleeding from the gums, into joints and into internal organs. Scurvy is now rare in the developed world, seen predominantly with severe malnutrition and chronic alcoholism.

Dosage and administration for Ascorbic acid

Vitamin C is available in many over-the-counter forms in concentrations ranging from 25 to 1000 mg and is a component of virtually all multivitamins, typically in concentrations of 60 to 180 mg. Parenteral formulations are available for administration with parenteral nutrition. Despite many claims, there is no convincing evidence that vitamin C supplementation decreases the rate of cancer, heart attacks or strokes or prevents common colds or other viral infections.

Side effects of Ascorbic acid

Physiologic and even excessive intakes up to 2 grams daily have virtually no side effects. Higher doses of vitamin C can be associated with diarrhea, nausea, abdominal discomfort, flushing, dizziness and headache and may be associated with transient serum aminotransferase elevations.

IV administration of Ascorbic acid


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