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February 1981

Ineffectiveness of Intravenous Ascorbic Acid as an Acidifying Agent in Man

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Medicine (Drs Barton and Vaziri and Mr Byrne and Ms Ryan) and the Poison Control Center (Drs Sterling and Thomas), University of California, Irvine.

Arch Intern Med. 1981;141(2):211-212. doi:10.1001/archinte.1981.00340020073020

• The acidifying effect of intravenous (IV) ascorbic acid was studied in seven healthy adult volunteers. After obtaining baseline urine and blood samples, 2-g IV doses of ascorbic acid were administered to each subject during a 20-minute period. Venous blood samples were obtained at times 0.5, 1, and 2 hours, and urine was collected at times 0.5, 1, 2, and 3 hours. Our results show that venous blood pH, plasma bicarbonate concentration, urine Pco2, and urine bicarbonate excretion did not change significantly during the study period. Urinary titratable acidity, ammonium excretion, and net hydrogen ion excretion decreased, and urinary pH actually showed a significant rise at two hours. We therefore conclude that IV ascorbic acid administered in recommended doses does not effectively acidify urine.

(Arch Intern Med 141:211-212, 1981)