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Vitamin C is a polyhydroxy compound with the chemical formula C6H8O6. The structure is similar to that of glucose, and the two adjacent enol hydroxyl groups at 2. and 3. Positions in the molecule are easily dissociated to release H, so that it has the property of an acid also known as L-ascorbic acid.
What are the properties of vitamin C?
What role does vitamin C play?
What role does vitamin C play in the human body?
Vitamin C is a white crystal or crystalline powder, odorless, acidic and gradually yellowish after a long time. Soluble in water, acidic, slightly soluble in ethanol, insoluble in chloroform or ether.
The molecular structure of vitamin C has an endiol structure. Due to the influence of conjugation, C2-OH has a very weak acidity (pK211,57) and C3-OH is acidic (pK14,17), so vitamins generally behave like monoacids and can act with sodium bicarbonate as sodium salt.
3. Optical rotation
The molecular structure of vitamin C contains 2-chiral carbon atoms, therefore it has optical activity.
The endool group in the molecular structure has strong reducibility and is easily oxidized to a diketone group to become dehydroascorbic acid. Dehydroascorbic acid can be further hydrolyzed in alkaline solution or strongly acidic solution to form diketogulonic acid. and lose activity.
1. Promote the formation of antibodies. High concentrations of vitamin C help reduce cystine in food proteins to cysteine, which in turn can synthesize antibodies.
2. Promotion of iron absorption. vitamin C can reduce hard-to-absorb iron to easily absorbable iron, thereby promoting iron absorption. In addition, it can also put the sulfhydryl group of iron(II) complexase and the like into an active state, so that it effectively plays a role, so vitamin C is an important auxiliary drug for the treatment of anemia.
3. Promoting the formation of tetrahydrofolate. vitamin C can promote the breakdown of folic acid into tetrahydrofolate and play a role, thus also has a certain effect on megaloblastic anemia.
4. Maintain thiolase activity.
Absorbed vitamin C is usually absorbed in the upper part of the small intestine (duodenum and upper jejunum), while only a small amount is absorbed by the stomach and a small amount is also absorbed by the mucous membranes in the mouth. Non-absorbed vitamin C is transported directly to the colon. No matter how much vitamin C gets into the large intestine, it is broken down into gaseous substances by intestinal microorganisms. Therefore, if the absorption capacity of the body is fixed, higher absorption is effective. It's like a waste.
The metabolic process and method of conversion of vitamin C in the body are not yet conclusive, but it can be determined that the final metabolite of vitamin C is excreted in the urine. If the concentration of vitamin C in the urine is too high, it can lower the pH value in the urine and prevent the multiplication of bacteria, so it has the effect of avoiding urinary tract infections.
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