Ascorbic acid, commonly known as vitamin C, is an essential water-soluble vitamin found mainly in fruits and vegetables, particularly in citrus fruits such as oranges. Vitamin C functions as a reducing agent and thereby demonstrates potent antioxidant activity. Vitamin C deficiency can lead to the disease scurvy, which involves the deterioration of elastic tissue, demonstrating the important role of ascorbic acid in the synthesis of connective tissues such as collagen in bones 1. Dietary vitamin C is efficiently absorbed through the intestine.
Vitamin C is generally recognized as safe (GRAS) by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) (21CFR182.8013). The U.S. FDA has established a Reference Daily Intake (RDI) of 60 mgs vitamin C for adults and children 4 or more years of age (21CFR101.9). RDIs are a set of dietary references for essential vitamins and minerals that are considered amounts sufficient to meet the daily requirements of healthy individuals. RDIs serve as the basis for calculating the percent daily value (%DV) amounts found on dietary supplement and food labels.