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Anal Biochem. 1987 Aug 15;165(1):102-7.

A highly sensitive high-performance liquid chromatography method for the estimation of ascorbic and dehydroascorbic acid in tissues, biological fluids, and foods.

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  • 1Bureau of Nutritional Sciences, Health and Welfare Canada, Ottawa, Ontario.


A highly sensitive procedure for determining ascorbic acid (AA) and dehydroascorbic acid (DHAA) by high-performance liquid chromatography with electrochemical detection in biological fluids, tissues, and foods is described. AA is separated in a C18 reverse-phase column after extraction from the sample with metaphosphoric acid. An aliquot of 20 microliter of diluted extract is injected into the column for the estimation of AA. DHAA is indirectly estimated by converting it to AA after reduction with DL-homocysteine at pH 7.0-7.2 for 30 min at 25 degrees C. After dilution, a 20-microliter aliquot is injected into the column to obtain total vitamin C (AA + DHAA). The concentration of DHAA is calculated by subtraction. AA can be reproducibly quantified at concentrations as low as 50 pg/20 microliter of sample extract. The method described here used a specially designed mobile phase, gave greater stability and a noiseless baseline, and increased substantially the sensitivity and precision. The procedure is rapid, analysis being completed within 10 min after sample preparation, and has been successfully applied to biological fluids, tissues, and foods.

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