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September 17, 1938

THE PHYSIOLOGY OF VITAMIN C

Author Affiliations

PITTSBURGH

From the University of Pittsburgh.

JAMA. 1938;111(12):1098-1101. doi:10.1001/jama.1938.72790380007010
Abstract

ORIGIN AND PHYSIOLOGIC CONTROL  Dry seeds contain practically no ascorbic or dehydroascorbic acid but, when they are moistened and warmed, ascorbic acid appears within a few hours in the areas where the sprouting processes are apparently initiated.1 Unripe, rapidly growing seeds, such as green peas, are relatively rich sources of the vitamin, but as ripening advances the concentration approaches zero. An extensive literature2 indicates that all actively growing parts of the higher plants (roots, stems, buds and pods), all fresh green leaves, many of the algae3 and perhaps even bacteria4 contain significant quantities of the vitamin. The carotenoid pigments are frequently accompanied by high concentrations of ascorbic acid in both plant and animal tissues, as in rose hips, paprikas and corpora lutea, but there are many exceptions to such a relationship, as in vitamin rich, nonpigmented sprouts.Of the extensive number of animals studied, only man,

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