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July 1979

Vitamin C Absorption

Author Affiliations

Salford, England

Arch Intern Med. 1979;139(7):832. doi:10.1001/archinte.1979.03630440090038

To the Editor.—  I enjoyed reading the article by Chesley Hines, Jr, MD, on "Vitamins: Absorption and Malabsorption" in the April Archives (138:619-621, 1978). However, there seems to be some disparity in his statements regarding the absorption of vitamin C (ascorbic acid) that could lead to confusion. Initially, vitamin C is stated to be one of four watersoluble vitamins that are absorbed by active transport, while the other five water-soluble vitamins are stated to be absorbed by passive diffusion across the intestinal mucosa. Later, when absorption of water-soluble vitamins is discussed in more detail, vitamin C is then stated to be absorbed passively through the jejunal mucosa.As vitamin C is a simple sugar with a molecular weight of 176 and is water soluble, it has been thought to be absorbed passively mainly in the proximal part of the small bowel.1 Nicholson and Chornock (1942)2 showed that vitamin