Ascorbic acid is a low molecular weight antioxidant well known as anti-scorbut acting vitamin C in humans, primates and guinea pigs. This review summarizes basic data about ascorbic acid in its physiological action point of view. It is divided into biochemistry of ascorbic acid synthesis, mechanism of antioxidant action and participation in anabolism, pharmacokinetics and excretion, exogenous ascorbic acid immunomodulatory effect and participation in infectious diseases, impact on irradiation and intoxication pathogenesis, and supplementary demands. The primary intention was to consider ascorbic acid not only as an antioxidant but also as a chemical compound affecting multiple pathways with a potential beneficial impact in many diseases and processes in human body.
Keywords: Vitamin C, low molecular weight antioxidant, oxidative stress, inflammation, reactive oxygen species, intoxication pathogenesis, anabolism, pharmacokinetics, pyrophosphorylase, Ascorbic acid, phylogenesis, -tocopherol, lymphocyte proliferation
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