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Vitamin C or L-ascorbic acid is an essential nutrient for humans, a large number of higher primate species, a small number of other mammalian species (notably guinea pigs and bats), a few species of birds, and some fish.[1]

Ascorbate (an ion of ascorbic acid) is required for a range of essential metabolic reactions in all animals and plants. It is made internally by almost all organisms, apes and humans being a notable exception. Deficiency in this vitamin causes scurvy in humans.[2][3][4] It is also widely used as a food additive.

The pharmacophore of vitamin C is the ascorbate ion. In living organisms, ascorbate is an anti-oxidant, since it protects the body against oxidative stress,[5] and is a cofactor in several vital enzymatic reactions.[6]

Scurvy has been known since ancient times. People in many parts of the world assumed it was caused by a lack of fresh plant foods. The British Navy started giving sailors lime juice to prevent scurvy in 1795.[7] Ascorbic acid was finally isolated by 1933 and synthesized in 1934. The uses and recommended daily intake of vitamin C are matters of on-going debate. A recent meta-analysis of 68 reliable antioxidant supplementation experiments involving a total of 232,606 individuals concluded that consuming additional ascorbate from supplements may not be as beneficial as thought.[8]

Vitamin C or L-ascorbic acid is an essential nutrient for humans, a large number of higher primate species, a small number of other mammalian species (notably guinea pigs and bats), a few species of birds, and some fish.[1]

Ascorbate (an ion of ascorbic acid) is required for a range of essential metabolic reactions in all animals and plants. It is made internally by almost all organisms, apes and humans being a notable exception. Deficiency in this vitamin causes scurvy in humans.[2][3][4] It is also widely used as a food additive.

The pharmacophore of vitamin C is the ascorbate ion. In living organisms, ascorbate is an anti-oxidant, since it protects the body against oxidative stress,[5] and is a cofactor in several vital enzymatic reactions.[6]

Scurvy has been known since ancient times. People in many parts of the world assumed it was caused by a lack of fresh plant foods. The British Navy started giving sailors lime juice to prevent scurvy in 1795.[7] Ascorbic acid was finally isolated by 1933 and synthesized in 1934. The uses and recommended daily intake of vitamin C are matters of on-going debate. A recent meta-analysis of 68 reliable antioxidant supplementation experiments involving a total of 232,606 individuals concluded that consuming additional ascorbate from supplements may not be as beneficial as thought.[8]

See alsoEdit

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