Ascorbic Acid

Ascorbic acid is also known as vitamin C and is denoted by C6H8O6 . It is a natural water-soluble vitamin. Ascorbic acid is called as a potent reducing and antioxidant agent which functions to fight against the bacterial infections helps to detoxify the reactions and helps in the formation of collagen in the fibrous tissues, connective tissues, bones, capillaries, and skin. Ascorbic acid is found mostly in citrus fruits and vegetables. It cannot be produced or stored by humans and should be ingested in the diet. In this article, we will learn about the ascorbic acid information in detail which would mainly include what is ascorbic acid and its physical and chemical properties.

Ascorbic Acid Formula

Ascorbic acid also called as vitamin C or ascorbate is a vitamin that is found in several food items and is also taken as a food supplement. It is used in the prevention and treatment of scurvy. Ascorbic acid is a vital nutrient which is involved in the repairing of tissue and the enzymatic production of the neurotransmitters. It is needed for the functioning of several enzymes in the body and is essential for the functioning of the immune system. It also acts as an antioxidant.

Ascorbic Acid Structure

Let us now take a look at the ascorbic acid molecule structure.

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Let us look at the physical as well as the chemical properties of ascorbic acid. Take a look at the table given below:

Properties of Ascorbic Acid

Ascorbic acid chemical formula


Ascorbic acid common name

Vitamin C and ascorbate

Ascorbic acid molecular weight / ascorbic acid molar mass

176.12 g/mol

Density of ascorbic acid

1.694 g/cm3

Melting point of ascorbic acid

190 °C

Boiling point of ascorbic acid

553 °C

Uses of Ascorbic Acid

Ascorbic acid is used in several ways. Let us look at each one of them.

  1. It is widely used in the treatment of the disease scurvy

  2. It is used to form the collagen fibres in the connective tissues, fibrous tissues, teeth, and bones.

  3. It helps to fight against bacterial infections

  4. It functions to detoxify the reactions

  5. It is used for the prevention of the transfer of HIV from the expectant mothers to babies

  6. It is also used in the treatment of pimples, acne and gum infection

  7. It is used for the prevention of the gallbladder disease

  8. It is also used for treating the stomach ulcers that are caused by Helicobacter pylori

Side Effects of Ascorbic Acid

Ascorbic acid is a water-soluble vitamin, and with the dietary excesses that are not absorbed, and the excesses in the blood is rapidly excreted in the urine, it exhibits under these conditions a remarkably low acute toxicity. More than 2 to 3 grams of vitamin C may even cause indigestion, particularly when you take it on an empty stomach. However, taking ascorbic acid in the form of sodium ascorbate or calcium ascorbate may tend to minimize this effect. 

Other symptoms that are reported for large doses of vitamin C include nausea, diarrhoea, abdominal cramps. These effects happen due to the osmotic effect of the unabsorbed vitamin C that passes through the intestine. In theory, a higher vitamin C intake may even cause excessive absorption of iron in the body.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What is the Formula of Ascorbic Acid?

The formula of ascorbic acid is C6H8O6. The ascorbic acid mass is 176.12 g/mol and its density is 1.694 g/cm3

2. Can Ascorbic Acid Increase the Acid in the Stomach?

Ascorbic acid has an increased acidity and if you consume it on an empty stomach it can cause several gastrointestinal side effects. Since the ascorbic acid has a very low pH, neutralized vitamin C, also called calcium ascorbate is used for reducing the epigastric effects in the body.