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Structure, Sources, Functions, Deficiency - Vitamin C | 11th Biochemistry : Vitamins

Chapter: 11th Biochemistry : Vitamins

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is called as ascorbic acid.

Vitamin C


Vitamin C is called as ascorbic acid. Ascorbic acid is an enediol-lactone of an acid with configuration similar to that of the sugar L-glucose.




Citrus fruits like orange, lemon are especially rich in vitamin C. Water melons, tomatoes, grape and leafy vegetables are also good sources.


Amla – 600-700mg/100g


Guava- 200-300mg/100g




·     Vitamin C is involved in cellular oxidation-reduction reactions inside the cell as hydrogen carrier.

·     Vitamin C is essential for building collagen, the connective tissue protein which cements the cells and tissues together.


·     It regulates carbohydrate metabolism.


·     Vitamin C is required as coenzyme for the enzyme dopamine hydroxylase which catalyzes the conversion of dopamine to nor-epinephrine.


·     It is involved in the maturation of red blood cells.


·     The absorption of iron is significantly enhanced by the presence of vitamin C.


·     It has a general antioxidant role , especially in the regeneration of oxidized vitamin E in membranes.


Absorption and storage


Ascorbic acid is rapidly absorbed from the intestines and passed on through the portal vein to the general circulation. Vitamin C is found in highest concentrations in the adrenals, the pituitary and retina than in circulation. Excessive intake of the vitamin do not increase beyond the optimal levels.




Scurvy is the classical syndrome of vitamin C deficiency. It is related to defective collagen synthesis which is indicated by fragile skin, muscle weakness, bleeding of the gums, loose teeth and delayed wound healing.

Table 8.1. Recommended Daily Allowances(RDA) of fat and water soluble vitamins for Adults

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11th Biochemistry : Vitamins : Vitamin C | Structure, Sources, Functions, Deficiency

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