Ascorbic acid is a naturally occurring organic compound with antioxidant properties. It is a white solid, but impure samples can appear yellowish. It dissolves well in water to give mildly acidic solutions. Ascorbic acid is one form ("vitamer") of vitamin C. The name is derived from a- (meaning "no") and scorbutus (scurvy), the disease caused by a deficiency of vitamin C. It was noted that drinking lemon juice helped ward off scurvy in early sailors, at first they thought it was just due to the acidic properties of the lemon juice, however other acids like vinegar did not have the same benefits. The benefits of the lemon juice on scurvy was due to the vitamin C in the lemon juice. Because it is derived from glucose, many animals are able to produce it, but humans require it as part of their nutrition. Other vertebrates lacking the ability to produce ascorbic acid include primates, guinea pigs, teleost fishes, bats, and birds, all of which require it as a dietary micronutrient (that is, a vitamin).

It is important to inform your health care provider of certain health aspects before taking this medicine such as:
-pregnant or trying to get pregnant
-diabetes
-low sodium diet
-kidney stones
-breast-feeding
-anemia
-certain allergic reactions to certain medicines

Ascorbic acid and its sodium, potassium, and calcium salts are commonly used as antioxidant food additives. These compounds are water-soluble and thus cannot protect fats from oxidation: For this purpose, the fat-soluble esters of ascorbic acid with long-chain fatty acids (ascorbyl palmitate or ascorbyl stearate) can be used as food antioxidants. Eighty percent of the world's supply of ascorbic acid is produced in China.


Artificial Sources vs. Natural Sources
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