HERETOFORE, interest in the vitamin C levels in the plasma of the mother, fetus and newborn infant has centered about the function of vitamin C in embryonic and fetal development, the function of the placenta in controlling the supply of the vitamin during gestation and the vitamin C requirements of the newborn infant and of the mother during pregnancy and lactation. Any phase of vitamin C metabolism is complicated by the uncertainty concerning the relative activity in the human body of reduced ascorbic acid and its oxidized form, dehydroascorbic acid. The instability of ascorbic acid also has hindered both the development of accurate methods of quantitative determination and the establishment of the precise requirement for the vitamin by persons of all ages and under various conditions.
Needham,1 in discussing the relation of ascorbic acid to morphogenetic mechanisms, referred to the ability of the avian and amphibian embryos to synthesize
HAMIL BM, MUNKS B, MOYER EZ, KAUCHER M, WILLIAMS HH. VITAMIN C IN THE BLOOD AND URINE OF THE NEWBORN AND IN THE CORD AND MATERNAL BLOOD. Am J Dis Child. 1947;74(4):417-433. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1947.02030010430002