What is it?
Vitamin C or L-ascorbate is an essential nutrient for 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.
The presence of ascorbate is required for a range of essential metabolic reactions in all animals and
plants. It is made internally by almost all organisms, humans being the most well-known exception. It is
widely known as the vitamin whose deficiency causes scurvy in humans. It is also widely used as a
food additive. The pharmacophore of this vitamin is the ascorbate ion. In living organisms, ascorbate is an antioxidant, since
it protects the body against oxidative stress, and is a cofactor in several vital enzymatic reactions.
The uses and the daily requirement amounts of this supplement are matters of on-going debate. People consuming
diets rich in ascorbate from natural foods, such as fruits and vegetables, are healthier and have lower
mortality from a number of chronic illnesses. However, 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.
Much more than Vitamin C is discussed back at the Natural Source Vitamins Homepage