Ascorbic acid test Indications :
The test is ordered when-
• Vitamin C deficiency
Excess intake of vitamin C is suspected
A fasting blood sample is taken to carry out the vitamin C test.
Physiology : Ascorbic acid
(vitamin C) is a reducing agent and a powerful anti oxidant. It has several body functions. They include-
Formation of neuropeptides
Production of adrenal cortical hormones
Formation of collagen
Metabolism of tyrosine and folate
Lipid and vitamin metabolism
Detoxifying enzymes in the liver
Destruction of free radicals
Preserving and restoring antioxidant potential of vitamin E
Block the formation of carcinogenic nitrosamines
Interpretation : Normal Value
Values <0.3 mg/dL indicate significant vitamin C deficiency while >0.6 mg/dL indicate adequacy.
Inadequate intake of the vitamin
- Prolonged vitamin C deficiency leads to scurvy, a disease that results in inadequate formation of intercellular substance in connective tissues and causes swollen, ulcerative lesions in gums, mouth, and other organs thereby weakening them.
Early symptoms of scurvy-
• Shortness of breath
Pain in the joints, bones, muscles.
Values >3.0 mg/dL indicate excess intake. It has been said that excess of vitamin C is toxic but this is not certain. Uricosuria is a condition that may be found in those with excessive vitamin C values. More Information
The need for vitamin C increases with-
Use of aspirin
Use of tetracycline and other medications
• Psychological stress
Care must be taken to include fresh fruits and vegetables
in the diet of the elderly to avoid a near-scurvy status.