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Vitamin C: Its Chemistry and Biochemistry.

VITAMIN C: Its Chemistry and Biochemistry by Michael B Davies, John Austin and David A Partridge. 154 pages with index. Price: 16.50 [pounds]. (UK: Royal Society of Chemistry)

One is tempted to say that surely by now enough is known about vitamin C but that it just not the case. Although it is a relatively simple molecule, interest in it is widespread because of the beneficial effects attributed to it; regrettably, this means that some claims may have been exaggerated. However, its chemistry is now better understood, although its biochemistry is still poorly understood. Found widely in nature, the synthetic version is used in food products primarily for its anti-oxidant properties, yet perhaps it greatest claim to fame has been that only minute amounts need to be ingested to cure scurvy. A lot of new work has gone on in recent times to try and find out just how this vitamin helps the human organism and indeed other members of the animal kingdom. Recent work has revealed that ascorbic acid has benefits on root growth and germination. Even fish, an animal that cannot synthesize this vitamin, must have a small daily intake to remain healthy. Relatively simple questions, like how much does a human being need each day, have yet to be answered with any degree of certainty, so there is much to learn from the latest thoughts on this subject.

Following an introduction, the chapter titles run: History of vitamin C and its role in the prevention and cure of scurvy; Discovery and structure of vitamic C; Synthesis, manufacture and further chemistry of vitamin C; Biochemistry of vitamin C; Medical aspects of vitamin C; and Inorganic and analytical aspects of vitamin C Chemistry.

Interested readers will be able to read all about how this vitamin is important medically, alongside its structure and synthesis in this soft cover book.
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Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Food Trade Review
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Jan 1, 1992
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