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Ascorbic Acid

Veterinarian Reviewed on January 9, 2012 by Paulina Nelega, RH
Posted in Uncategorized

Ascorbic Acid


Ascorbic acid is a compound that has antioxidant properties, which are commonly available naturally. It comes in a solid white form and easily dissolves in water to provide a mild acidic mixture. Ascorbic Acid is another form of Vitamin C and Ascorbic literally means “no scurvy”; scurvy being the disease from deficiency in Vitamin C.
Basically, Ascorbic acid is derived from Glucose, which numerous animals produce, but not human beings. There are many other plants and animals that can produce Ascorbic acid, but unfortunately, people has to take them as a form of vitamins in order to get its benefits.

History and Origin

During the 18th century, sailors use Lemon Fruit Extract or lemon juice to prevent scurvy. At that time, people thought that the acid in lemon juice was the one responsible in preventing the disease. However, when they use other acids such as vinegar; the disease was not prevented. In 1907, two Norwegians were able to identify a compound in foods that prevented Beriberi. When the two physicians were testing on guinea pigs, the guinea pigs were infested with scurvy when given the same diet the sailors had when they got scurvy. Later, it was discovered that the chemical needed was called vitamin C.

From 1928 until 1933, some research and studies were made to that particular chemical in vitamin C that prevents scurvy and to learn other benefits. In 1937, the Nobel Prize was given to Norman Haworth for chemistry on his work on discovering the chemical structure of ascorbic acid.

Today, ascorbic acid is widely used in numerous applications. It is also widely manufactured by many laboratories worldwide.

Ancient Uses

In the early days when people didn’t know the particular substance, which is ascorbic acid; they are able to experience its benefits in many different ways. One significant observation was its ability to prevent scurvy among the sailors during the 18th century.
During that period, lemon has many uses. It is used for cooking, as juice drinks, stain remover, and skin softener and refresher.

Modern Uses

Today, ascorbic acid has many different uses. The potassium, sodium, and calcium slats in ascorbic acid are usually used as antioxidant in food additives; which are water-soluble. The majority of the supply of ascorbic acid in the world is manufactured in China.
Ascorbic acid is also used in the manufacture of plastic, as a preservative, and as reducer photographic developer solutions.
Ascorbic acid is also best as metal stain remover, and antioxidant in fluorescent manufacturing.
Another breakthrough in the use of ascorbic acid is its use as vitamin C skin care in the cosmetic industry.

Side Effects

It is common for medicines or drugs to have side-effects. However, some are just temporary. Ascorbic acid is safe for human consumption, but may have some slight symptoms of side-effect on certain individuals.

Common symptoms include : diarrhea, upset stomach, nausea, and vomiting, allergic reactions such as tightness in the chest, hives, swelling of the mouth, lips, face, and tongue. If you experience these symptoms, it is best that you contact your doctor for immediate attention.

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Our Expert

Paulina Nelega, RH
Paulina Nelega, RH, has been in private practice as a Clinical Herbalist for over 15 years. She has developed and taught courses in herbal medicine, and her articles on health have appeared in numerous publications. She is very passionate about the healing power of nature. Ask Dr. Jan

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