In the mid 18th century it was discovered that lemon and lime juice could help prevent sailors from getting scurvy. At first it was thought that the acid properties were responsible, however it soon became clear that other food acids, such as vinegar, had no such benefits. In 1907 two Norwegian physicians investigating diet-deficiency diseases discovered a distinct compound in foods that was eventually called vitamin C. By early 1932 scientist had isolated the chemical adrenal hexuronic acid in animals and proved it to have the antiscorbutic factor also proving it to be vitamin C. In honour of the compounds antiscorbutic properties it was renamed a-scorbic acid. It was finally named L-ascorbic acid when finally proven through synthesis In 1937 some of the scientists who had worked on the discoveries were awarded Noble Prizes. Walter Norman Haworth was awarded the Noble Prize for chemistry for his work in determining the structure of ascorbic acid. Albert Szent-Gyrogyiwas awarded the Noble Prize for Physiology or Medicine for his studies of the biological functions of L-ascorbic acid.
Ascorbic is required by our bodies for a range of essential metabolic reactions. It is naturally made in almost all organisms with a few exceptions; most bats, all guinea pigs, capybaras, and the Haplorrhini (one of the two major primate suborders, consisting of monkeys, humans and apes). Ascorbic is required in the diet and a deficiency causes the disease scurvy in humans.
Non Food Uses
Ascorbic Acid has many other uses such as a dissolving metal stains, e.g. iron stains from fibreglass swimming pool surfaces, plastic manufacture, as a reductant in developer solutions and as a preservative in photography.
Other Health Benefits
Ascorbic Acid plays a vital role in maintaining the health of your skin. When incorporated into your daily routine of well-formulated products containing vitamin C it can provide a range of benefits
•Reduce the appearance of brown spots and other types of sun damage •Helps boost healthy collagen production •Reduce inflammation and irritation •Fade post-breakout red marks by improving skin’s natural healing response •Helps create scar tissue and ligaments and your skin repair itself •Brightens and tightens the skin