Ascorbic Acid (Sodium Ascorbate, Vitamin C)
Vitamin C is the L-enantiomer of ascorbic acid. Commercial vitamin C is often a mix of ascorbic acid, sodium ascorbate and/or other ascorbates. Ascorbic acid is an organic acid and antioxidant also known as vitamin C.
Ascorbic acid is easily oxidized and so is used as a reductant in photographic developer solutions (among others) and as a preservative. The L enantiomer of ascorbic acid is also known as vitamin C (the name "ascorbic" comes from its property of preventing and curing scurvy). Primates (including humans) and a few other species, such as the guinea pig, cannot synthesise vitamin C from glucose. Ascorbic acid and its sodium, potassium, and calcium salts are commonly used as antioxidant food additives. These compounds are water soluble and thus cannot protect fats from oxidation: for this purpose, the fat-soluble esters of ascorbic acid with long-chain fatty acids (ascorbyl palmitate or ascorbyl stearate) can be used as food antioxidants.
Vitamin C is one of the most ubiquitous vitamins ever discovered. Besides playing a paramount role as an anti-oxidant and free radical scavenger, it has been suggested to be an effective antiviral agent by some very respected scientists. Although the antiviral properties of vitamin C remain the subject of great debate in some circles, this water-soluble vitamin remains one of the most popular and important vitamins. Vitamin C is commonly found naturally in peppers, citrus fruits, tomatoes, melons, broccoli, and green leafy vegetables such as spinach, turnip, and mustard greens. The primary function of vitamin C is to assist in the production of collagen, although it is rapidly becoming identified as a key player in detoxifying the body from foreign substances. Although there is somewhat limited documentation, other reported uses of vitamin C are healing wounds and burns, accelerate healing after surgery, decreasing blood cholesterol, reduce blood clotting, offer protection against cancer agents, and extend life. As a participant in hydroxylation, vitamin C is needed for the production of collagen in the connective tissue. These fibres are ubiquitous throughout the body; providing firm but flexible structure. Some tissues have a greater percentage of collagen, especially: skin , mucous membranes , teeth and bones. Vitamin C is required for synthesis of dopamine, noradrenaline and adrenaline in the nervous system or in the adrenal glands. Vitamin C is also needed to synthesise carnitine, important in the tranfer of energy to the cell mitochondria. It is a strong antioxidant. The tissues with greatest percentage of vitamin C — over 100 times the level in blood plasma — are the adrenal glands, pituitary , thymus , corpus luteum, and retina. The brain, spleen, lung, testicle, lymph nodes, liver, thyroid, small intestinal mucosa, leukocytes, pancreas, kidney and salivary glands usually have 10 to 50 times the concentration present in plasma.
Sodium ascorbate is ascorbic acid that has been buffered (neutralized) with sodium until the taste is very bland. Sodium ascorbate generally provides 131 mg of sodium per 1,000 mg of ascorbic acid (1,000 mg of sodium ascorbate contains 889 mg of ascorbic acid and 111 mg of sodium). Individuals following low-sodium diets(e.g. for high blood pressure) are generally advised to keep their total dietary sodium intake to less than 2,500 mg/day. Megadoses of sodium ascorbate could significantly increase sodium intake.
The most plentiful tissue in the body is collagen, which is a connective tissue. The primary role of Vitamin C is to help this connective tissue. Because collagen is the defense mechanism against disease and infection, and because Vitamin C helps build collagen, it makes sense that it is also a remedy for scurvy by contributes to hemoglobin production. It promotes the production of red-blood-cell in bone marrow. Ascorbic Acid also supports healthy capillaries, gums, teeth, and even helps heal wounds, burns, and broken tissues. It contributes to hemoglobin and red-blood-cell production in bone marrow while even preventing blood clots. The list goes on. It helps heal urinary-tract infections, and helps treat anemia.
Another large benefit of this vitamin is the fact that it plays a large role in the production of antibodies. When the immune system is being overworked, for example when a cold strikes or when your body is wounded, Vitamin C comes in to play by beefing up the white blood cell count and function. It also functions as a promoter of interferon, a compound that fights cancer. An example of this would be blocking production of nitrosamines which are thought to be carcinogenic
Synonyms: Vitamin C, numerous trade names, l-ascorbic acid, l-(+)-ascorbic acid, l,3-ketothreohexuronic acid
Molecular formula: C6H8O6
CAS No: 50-81-7