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Published January 1, 1937 | Published
Journal Article Open

The oxidation of ascorbic acid and its reduction in vitro and in vivo


The outstanding chemical property of ascorbic acid (vitamin C) is that it is a reducing agent. The suggestion is obvious that its physiological function may be associated with this property, and, if it is oxidized reversibly, with its behavior in an oxidation-reduction system. It is desirable therefore to know the oxidation-reduction potential of ascorbic acid.

Additional Information

© 1937 American Society of Biological Chemists. Received for publication, June 8, 1936. The authors wish to thank Mr. A. J. Lorenz, Research Director of the California Fruit Growers Exchange, for his helpfulness during the course of this work, and for the fellowships which made the participation of two of the authors possible. We are indebted to Dr. A.G. Foord and Miss L. Randall, of the Huntington Memorial Hospital, for their cheerful assistance on numerous occasions. Nearly all of the work described in this paper, with the exception of the glutathione experiments, was presented at the meeting of the American Chemical Society at San Francisco, August, 1935. Its submission for publication was delayed for the sake of presenting a more complete treatment of the reducing mechanism of oxidized ascorbic acid in the tissues. A preliminary account of some of the glutathione experiments has appeared (I). [H.W.D. and R.C.W. were] California Fruit Growers Exchange Fellow[s].

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