Metabolic Functions of Ascorbic Acid

Ascorbic acid has specific and well-defined roles in two classes of enzymes: copper-containing hydroxy-lases and the 2-oxoglutarate-linked, iron-containing hydroxylases. It also increases the activity of a number of other enzymes in vitro—a nonspecific reducing action rather than reflecting a metabolic function of the vitamin. In addition, ascorbic acid has a number of less specific effects due to its action as a reducing agent and oxygen radical quencher. There is also evidence that ascorbate has a role in regulating the expression of connective tissue protein (and some other) genes; its mechanism of action is unknown.

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