II. Sources

  1. Citrus fruits
    1. Orange Juice (8 ounces contains 100 mg)
    2. Lemons
    3. Grapefruit
  2. Dark-green leafy vegetables
    1. Asparagus
    2. Broccoli
  3. Tomatoes

III. Signs of Deficiency

  1. See Scurvy

IV. Doses (Ascorbic Acid per day)

  1. Recommended Daily Allowance: 200 mg/day
  2. Minimum (Scurvy prevention)
    1. Formula fed infants: 35 mg/day
    2. Lactating mothers: 100 mg/day
    3. Other children and adults: 45-60 mg/day

V. Mechanism

  1. Antioxidant and pro-oxidant effects

VI. Potential benefits of high intake

  1. Reduced risk of Senile Cataract
  2. Reduced risk of Cancer
  3. Reduced risk of Coronary Artery Disease
  4. Higher HDL Cholesterol concentrations

VII. Disproved Myths: non-benefits

  1. Does NOT prevent Upper Respiratory Infections
    1. Studied with short term studies

VIII. Adverse Effects of high doses of Vitamin C (>1 gram)

  1. Poorly absorbed
  2. Diarrhea
  3. Increased urinary oxylate excretion
    1. Nephrolithiasis risk

IX. References

  1. Behrman (2000) Nelson Pediatrics, p. 182-4

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Ontology: Ascorbic Acid (C0003968)

Definition (MEDLINEPLUS)

Vitamin C is an antioxidant. Antioxidants are substances that may protect your cells against the effects of free radicals. Free radicals are molecules produced when your body breaks down food, or by environmental exposures like tobacco smoke and radiation. Vitamin C is important for your skin, bones, and connective tissue. It promotes healing and helps the body absorb iron.

Vitamin C comes from fruits and vegetables. Good sources include citrus, red and green peppers, tomatoes, broccoli, and greens. Some juices and cereals have added vitamin C.

Some people may need extra vitamin C:

  • Pregnant/breastfeeding women
  • Smokers
  • People recovering from surgery
  • Burn victims
Definition (NCI_NCI-GLOSS) A nutrient that the body needs in small amounts to function and stay healthy. Ascorbic acid helps fight infections, heal wounds, and keep tissues healthy. It is an antioxidant that helps prevent cell damage caused by free radicals (highly reactive chemicals). Ascorbic acid is found in all fruits and vegetables, especially citrus fruits, strawberries, cantaloupe, green peppers, tomatoes, broccoli, leafy greens, and potatoes. It is water-soluble (can dissolve in water) and must be taken in every day. Ascorbic acid is being studied in the prevention and treatment of some types of cancer.
Definition (NCI) A natural water-soluble vitamin (Vitamin C). Ascorbic acid is a potent reducing and antioxidant agent that functions in fighting bacterial infections, in detoxifying reactions, and in the formation of collagen in fibrous tissue, teeth, bones, connective tissue, skin, and capillaries. Found in citrus and other fruits, and in vegetables, vitamin C cannot be produced or stored by humans and must be obtained in the diet. (NCI04)
Definition (NCI_CRCH) The functional and primary form of vitamin C; it is the enolic form of an alpha-ketolactone.
Definition (MSH) A six carbon compound related to glucose. It is found naturally in citrus fruits and many vegetables. Ascorbic acid is an essential nutrient in human diets, and necessary to maintain connective tissue and bone. Its biologically active form, vitamin C, functions as a reducing agent and coenzyme in several metabolic pathways. Vitamin C is considered an antioxidant.
Definition (PDQ) A natural water-soluble vitamin (Vitamin C). Ascorbic acid is a potent reducing and antioxidant agent that functions in fighting bacterial infections, in detoxifying reactions, and in the formation of collagen in fibrous tissue, teeth, bones, connective tissue, skin, and capillaries. Found in citrus and other fruits, and in vegetables, vitamin C cannot be produced or stored by humans and must be obtained in the diet. Check for "http://www.cancer.gov/Search/ClinicalTrialsLink.aspx?id=39737&idtype=1" active clinical trials or "http://www.cancer.gov/Search/ClinicalTrialsLink.aspx?id=39737&idtype=1&closed=1" closed clinical trials using this agent. ("http://nciterms.nci.nih.gov:80/NCIBrowser/ConceptReport.jsp?dictionary=NCI_Thesaurus&code=C285" NCI Thesaurus)
Concepts Pharmacologic Substance (T121) , Vitamin (T127) , Organic Chemical (T109)
MSH D001205
SnomedCT 46123006, 326586001, 329313003, 43706004
English Acid, Ascorbic, Acid, L-Ascorbic, Ascorbic Acid, L Ascorbic Acid, L-Ascorbic Acid, Vitamin C, Ascorbic acid [nutrition], Ascorbic acid [urine ph - no drugs here], Ascorbic acid [urine ph], vitamin C, ascorbic acid (medication), vitamins ascorbic acid, ascorbic acid, 2-(1,2-dihydroxyethyl)-4,5-dihydroxy-furan-3-one, ASCORBIC ACID, Ascorbic Acid [Chemical/Ingredient], vitamin-c, ascorbic acid (vit C), Ascorbic acid [nutrition] (product), Ascorbic acid [urine ph - no drugs here] (product), Ascorbic acid, L-Ascorbic acid, Ascorbic acid preparation, Ascorbic acid product, Vitamin C product, VITC - Ascorbic acid, Ascorbic acid (substance), Vitamin C preparation (product), Vitamin C preparation, Vitamin C preparation, NOS, Ascorbic acid [nutrition] (substance), Ascorbic acid [urine ph - no drugs here] (substance), Vitamin C preparation (substance), VIT C, C Vitamin, Vitamin-C, VITAMIN C
Swedish C-vitamin
Czech vitamin C, kyselina askorbová
Finnish Askorbiinihappo
Italian Acido-L-ascorbico, Vitamina C, Acido ascorbico
Russian ASKORBINOVAIA KISLOTA, VITAMIN C, АСКОРБИНОВАЯ КИСЛОТА, ВИТАМИН C
Japanese アスコルビン酸, ビタミンC
Spanish preparado con ácido ascórbico, vitamina C (producto), preparado con vitamina C (producto), preparado con vitamina C, ácido ascórbico [pH urinario - no hay fármacos aquí], ácido ascórbico (uso nutricional), ácido ascórbico [pH urinario - no hay fármacos aquí] (producto), ácido ascórbico (uso nutricional) (producto), preparado de vitamina C (sustancia), vitamina C (sustancia), vitamina C, ácido ascórbico (nutrición) (producto), ácido ascórbico (nutrición), ácido ascórbico, Vitamina C, Ácido Ascórbico
Croatian ASKORBINSKA KISELINA, VITAMIN C
French Vitamine C, Acide ascorbique
Polish Witamina C, Kwas askorbinowy
German Vitamin C, Ascorbinsäure
Portuguese Vitamina C, Ácido Ascórbico