Vitamin C

Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is a water soluble vitamin that is a coenzyme for the formation of the structure protein collagen, particularly creating cross-linking of collagen fibers which greatly increases its tensile strength. It also acts as an antioxidant.

History and etymology

Vitamin C was discovered by Albert Szent-Györgyi (1893-1986), a Hungarian biochemist and (non-practising) physician, who emigrated to the USA after World War II. For his vitamin C work he was awarded the Nobel Prize for medicine or physiology in 1937 3.

Related pathology

Pathological manifestations occur primarily with deficiency:

  • hypovitaminosis C: scurvy
  • hypervitaminosis C: true toxicity has not been observed, although megadosing (>2 g per day has been associated with nausea, abdominal cramps, diarrhea and kidney stones)
    • in vitro experimentation has found that ascorbic acid causes cell apoptosis at only 100-200 times the recommended daily allowance 2

Article information

rID: 49233
Section: Pathology
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Ascorbate
  • Ascorbic acid

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