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Am J Clin Nutr. 1996 Sep;64(3):336-46.

Effects of erythorbic acid on vitamin C metabolism in young women.

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Department of Nutrition Sciences, University of Alabama at Birmingham 35294-3360, USA.


Erythorbic acid, an epimer of L-ascorbic acid, is used in the United States as a food additive. Studies were conducted to determine whether the ingestion of erythorbic acid in the diet had any beneficial or adverse effects on the human requirement for vitamin C. Young women were fed diets that contained controlled amounts of erythorbic acid and ascorbic acid. In pharmacokinetic evaluations, erythorbic acid and ascorbic acid were rapidly absorbed with little interaction. Erythorbic acid cleared from the body more rapidly than ascorbic acid. Some subjects received diets deficient in vitamin C for periods < or = 30 d. Increasing intakes of erythorbic acid or prolonged intakes of < or = 1 g erythorbic acid/d did not indicate any interactions with ascorbic acid. Consumption of erythorbic acid resulted in the presence of erythorbic acid in mononuclear leukocytes. Ascorbic acid concentrations in these cells were not affected by the presence of erythorbic acid. Erythorbic acid disappeared quickly from these cells with cessation of erythorbic acid supplements. Prolonged ingestion of erythrobic acid by young women neither antagonized nor spared their vitamin C status.

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