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Ascorbic Acid

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jan 23, 2023.

Excipient (pharmacologically inactive substance)

What is it?

L-ascorbic acid or vitamin C (C6H806) is found naturally in foods including citrus fruits and berries, tomatoes, potatoes, and some green, leafy vegetables. Vitamin C is important for the growth of bones and connective tissues, muscles, and blood vessels. As a vitamin it is a necessary nutrient in the diet of all humans of any age group.

Vitamin C is often used as a supplement to prevent Vitamin C deficiency. Vitamin C deficiency can lead to scurvy, a condition characterized by general weakness, anemia, gum disease (gingivitis), and skin hemorrhages resulting from a lack of Vitamin C in the diet. Scurvy is now most frequently seen in older, malnourished adults. Vitamin C also helps the body absorb iron, which is needed for red blood cell production.

Ascorbic acid is available as an injection and in oral formulations such as tablets, capsules, chewable tablets and chewing gum. Vitamin C should normally not be utilized in doses greater than 2 grams per day when taken as a supplement.[1]

L-ascorbic acid and its sodium salt are antioxidants and they are extensively used as preservatives, color stabilizers and for related functions in various foods and beverages. Vitamin C in normal quantities is a safe food product for consumption, and is listed in the FDA’s Generally Regarded as Safe GRAS listing.[2]

List of medications using Ascorbic Acid


  1. Vitamin C. Accessed April 8, 2012.
  2. FDA’s SCOGS database; L-ascorbic acid; SCOGS-Report Number: 59; Accessed March 26, 2012.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.