Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid) Biochemistry

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Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid) is a water-soluble vitamin important as a cofactor for hydroxylase enzymes. It is a cofactor for dopamine beta-hydroxylase, facilitating the conversion of dopamine to norepinephrine. Vitamin C is also involved in collagen synthesis, as a cofactor for hydroxylation of proline and lysine residues. As an antioxidant, Vitamin C also plays an important role in the reduction of iron (III) to iron (II), which is required for enteric absorption of iron. This property also makes vitamin C useful as an ancillary treatment for methemoglobinemia.

Key Points

  • Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C)
    • Water-soluble antioxidant found in fruits and vegetables
    • Reduces iron: Fe3+ to Fe2+
      • Facilitates iron absorption at GI tract
      • Mechanism of treatment for methemoglobinemia
    • Key roles in hydroxylase enzymes

Find Vitamin C Biochemistry and other Vitamins among Pixorize's visual mnemonics for the USMLE Step 1 and NBME shelf exams.