Definitions for vitamin c
This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word vitamin c
Random House Webster's College Dictionary
Category: Biochemistry, Nutrition
Ref: ascorbic acid.
Origin of vitamin C:
vitamin C, C, ascorbic acid(noun)
a vitamin found in fresh fruits (especially citrus fruits) and vegetables; prevents scurvy
The L-enantiomer of ascorbic acid, a water-soluble nutrient essential for life, synthesized by most animals and plants but not humans, although used in our bodies for many purposes. It is plentiful in citrous fruits and many vegetables, and a deficiency causes scurvy.
Vitamin C or L-ascorbic acid, or simply ascorbate, is an essential nutrient for humans and certain other animal species. Vitamin C refers to a number of vitamers that have vitamin C activity in animals, including ascorbic acid and its salts, and some oxidized forms of the molecule like dehydroascorbic acid. Ascorbate and ascorbic acid are both naturally present in the body when either of these is introduced into cells, since the forms interconvert according to pH. Vitamin C is a cofactor in at least eight enzymatic reactions, including several collagen synthesis reactions that, when dysfunctional, cause the most severe symptoms of scurvy. In animals, these reactions are especially important in wound-healing and in preventing bleeding from capillaries. Ascorbate may also act as an antioxidant against oxidative stress. However, the fact that the enantiomer D-ascorbate has identical antioxidant activity to L-ascorbate, yet far less vitamin activity, underscores the fact that most of the function of L-ascorbate as a vitamin relies not on its antioxidant properties, but upon enzymic reactions that are stereospecific. "Ascorbate" without the letter for the enantiomeric form is always presumed to be the chemical L-ascorbate.
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