Ascorbic Acid: Uses and Benefits

05 December, 2019
The pharmaceutical industry uses ascorbic acid to make all sorts of dosage forms and vitamin C tablets. Learn more about it in this article.

Ascorbic acid, commonly known as vitamin C, is a compound with a high antioxidant capacity. This antioxidant effect of a substance refers to its ability to delay or prevent the oxidation of other cells.

Some think that oxidative stress contributes to the development of a wide range of diseases. In many cases, it’s unclear whether oxidants trigger the disease, or if these are just a consequence. Either way, antioxidants are very important for your health. This is not only to maintains the proper functioning of your body but also to prevent possible disorders.

The consumption of ascorbic acid also has to do with the formation of a protective shield against infections and viruses. Also, it’s a highly effective adjuvant in iron absorption and the strengthening of your bone tissue.

Physical aspects of ascorbic acid

Ascorbic acid is a natural element commonly present in fruit sugar, vegetables and, to a lesser extent, in proteins. When isolated, it has the appearance, of dust or yellowish crystals. It’s colorless, odorless, solid and soluble.

It’s an essential antioxidant and its pH is from 2.1 to 2.6. Therefore, as the name implies, it’s an acidic substance. So, this acidic character comes from its acidic hydrogen content. As we mentioned above, it’s water-soluble and so is the commercial form as vitamin C.

What’s ascorbic acid for?

This substance has applications in many different industries. So, they’re different and vary according to the objectives of these companies. In this regard we can list:

Cosmetic industry

As we said above, ascorbic acid is a great antioxidant. This is a very useful property when manufacturing cosmetic products. It’s mainly used to stimulate the activity of the regenerative enzymes of the tissues and producers of collagen in the skin. Together with vitamin E, this is an essential component in anti-aging beauty products, among others.

You may also be interested in reading: Fruits to Fight Dry, Cracked Skin

Food industry

Ascorbic acid is naturally present in many food items and is a fundamental nutrient for optimal health and fitness. Even so, many people don’t consume the amounts they should so they meet their minimum nutritional requirements.

For this reason, food manufacturers and beverage packaging companies often introduce this compound and its mineral salts. They do this to strengthen the food’s antioxidant capacity.

Pharmaceutical industry

People in this industry use ascorbic acid to make all sorts of dosage forms and for making vitamin C tablets. Since the discovery of this vitamin in 1932, it became a nutritional supplement. It’s also reinforcement for certain biochemical processes of the body. These supplements are commonly a must for those people who can’t ingest the necessary amount because their bodies can’t synthesize it.

The benefits of ascorbic acid

The benefits of this nutrient are closely related to how you use it.

In this regard, it’s essential for skincare. You can notice its effects almost immediately because of its antioxidant content. Thus, it delays skin aging. Also, it stimulates the production of natural collagen, which improves skin and tissue appearance. Collagen is an unstable protein substance that requires hydroxylation to regenerate any damage in your body.

The organs and tissues of the body begin to degenerate when there’s not enough collagen. So, if you don’t have enough ascorbic acid, then you’re more likely to suffer from scurvy, a disease that affects your skin, gums, and hair.

Furthermore, ascorbic acid is essential for the proper functioning of the metabolism, as it helps metabolize the following substances:

  • Cholesterol
  • Bile acids
  • Amino acids
  • Carbohydrates

Also, it works toward the digestion of another series of substances as well as the maintenance of bone structures in perfect condition. For instance, it even strengthens teeth by keeping them healthy.

Read also: Nutrition Advice for Patients at Risk of Osteoporosis

Other benefits of ascorbic acid are its ability to improve the elasticity of blood vessels, tendons and ligaments and the help it provides to vasodilation and coagulation prevention.

As you can see, it helps people with hypertension and atherosclerosis, by allowing them to avoid ischemic problems.

Conclusion

Finally, ascorbic acid or vitamin C is a fundamental compound in your body. You must consume the necessary amounts through a proper diet. However, if it isn’t possible, then there are always supplements that can help you.

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  • Head, K. A. (1998). Ascorbic acid in the prevention and treatment of cancer. Alternative Medicine Review.
  • Michels, A. J. (2018). Vitamin C | Linus Pauling Institute | Oregon State University.