Monday, August 2, 2010
the real protector
In living organisms, ascorbate is an anti-oxidant, since it protects the body against oxidative stress.
It is also a cofactor in at least eight enzymatic reactions, including several collagen synthesis reactions that cause the most severe symptoms of scurvy when they are dysfunctional.
In animals, these reactions are especially important in wound-healing and in preventing bleeding from capillaries.
Ascorbate (an ion of ascorbic acid) is required for a range of essential metabolic reactions in all animals and plants.
It is made internally by almost all organisms; notable mammalian group exceptions are most or all of the order chiroptera (bats), and one of the two major primate suborders, the Anthropoidea (Haplorrhini) (tarsiers, monkeys and apes, including human beings).
Ascorbic acid is also not synthesized by guinea pigs, capybaras, and some species of birds and fish. All species that do not synthesize ascorbate require it in the diet. Deficiency in this vitamin causes the disease scurvy in humans.It is also widely used as a food additive.