A comparison of L-ascorbic acid and L-ascorbyl 6-palmitate utilization in Guinea Pigs and humans

Carol Johnston, Woodrow C. Monte, Rebecca S. Bolton, Mary H. Chard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations


L-Ascorbyl 6-palmitate (AP), a synthetic lipophilic ascorbic acid derivative, is an effective preservative in foods and an effective dietary antitumor promoter in mice. Studies indicate that dietary AP is a source of tissue vitamin C in animals but its antiscorbutic properties have not been established. Thirty mature male guinea pigs were fed a scorbutogenic diet until symptoms of scurvy were apparent. Animals were randomly repleted with equimolar concentrations (2.8 μmol·100 g body wt-1 ·d-1) of AP or L-ascorbic acid (AA) or with placebo. Body weights were recorded daily during the 9 d repletion, and tissue samples were collected at the end of repletion. Daily mean weight loss during repletion in control animals receiving placebo was significantly greater than that for both AA and AP animals for days 3-10 of repletion. Daily mean weight loss for AP animals was significantly greater than that for AA animals on days 5 and 6 of repletion. By comparing areas of the weight-time curve during repletion, AP appeared to be about 50% as effective as AA in reversing scurvy. However, mean tissue vitamin C levels did not differ between AP and AA animals at the end of repletion, and these values were significantly higher than those for control animals. Dietary AP was an effective source of plasma vitamin C in humans fed equimolar concentrations of AP and AA. These data provide evidence that dietary AP possesses weak antiscorbutic activity in guinea pigs and enhances vitamin C nutriture in humans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1465-1471
Number of pages7
JournalNutrition Research
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1994



  • Ascorbic acid
  • Ascorbyl palmitate
  • Bioavailability
  • Guinea pigs
  • Scurvy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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