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|by mouth, IM, IV, subQ|
|Bioavailability||rapid & complete|
|Biological half-life||varies according to plasma concentration|
|Synonyms||L-ascorbic acid, ascorbic acid, ascorbate|
|E number||E300 (antioxidants, ...)|
|Chemical and physical data|
|Molar mass||176.12 g/mol|
|3D model (Jmol)|
|Melting point||190 °C (374 °F)|
|Boiling point||553 °C (1,027 °F)|
Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid and L-ascorbic acid, is a vitamin found in food and used as a dietary supplement. As a supplement it is used to treat and prevent scurvy. Evidence does not support use in the general population for the prevention of the common cold. It may be taken by mouth or by injection.
It is generally well tolerated. Large doses may cause gastrointestinal upset, headache, trouble sleeping, and flushing of the skin. Normal doses are safe during pregnancy. Vitamin C is an essential nutrient involved in the repair of tissue. Foods that contain vitamin C include citrus fruit, tomatoes, and potatoes.
Vitamin C was discovered in 1912, isolated in 1928, and first made in 1933. It is on the World Health Organization's List of Essential Medicines, the most effective and safe medicines needed in a health system. Vitamin C is available as a generic medication and over the counter. The wholesale cost in the developing world is about 0.19 to 0.54 USD per month. In some countries ascorbic acid may be added to foods such as breakfast cereal.
A 2012 Cochrane review found no effect of vitamin C supplementation on overall mortality.
A 2014 review found that, "Currently, the use of high-dose IV vitamin C [as an anticancer agent] cannot be recommended outside of a clinical trial."
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