Difference between Ascorbic acid and L-ascorbic acid. Is there any?

Is there any difference between Ascorbic acid and L-ascorbic acid?

If so, in what terms?

Comments

  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    That depends on what characteristic you are talking about.

    From an element standpoint, they have the identical chemical formula

    From a structural standpoint, Ascorbic acid is a blend of l-ascorbic acid and d-ascorbic acid. (isomers).  On a molecular level these compounds are mirror structures like you left hand and right hand.

    From a functional standpoint, reportedly only the l-ascorbic acid isomer is biologically functional.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3673383/

  • ifamujifamuj Member
    Perry said:
    That depends on what characteristic you are talking about.

    From an element standpoint, they have the identical chemical formula

    From a structural standpoint, Ascorbic acid is a blend of l-ascorbic acid and d-ascorbic acid. (isomers).  On a molecular level these compounds are mirror structures like you left hand and right hand.

    From a functional standpoint, reportedly only the l-ascorbic acid isomer is biologically functional.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3673383/

    Thank you for your response!


  • PharmaPharma Member, Pharmacist
    Nature only produces the L-enantiomer of ascorbic acid and most industrial processes also produce exclusively the L-form (starting from glucose and using fermentation). On the other hand, certain synthetic pathways may lead to either enantiopure products or a racemic mixtures but these are speciality syntheses which aren't readily available to everyone or result from the original disused synthetic route, respectively.
    Both enantiomers act as antioxidants equally well whilst enzymes depending on it as co-factor can only use the L-form.
    There's maybe a 99.99% chance that whenever you read or buy ascorbic acid it will be L-ascorbic acid and whenever vitamin C is mentioned, it always refers to the L- form.
  • HerbnerdHerbnerd Member
    There is no difference between Ascorbic Acid and L-Ascorbic acid.

    This molecule exists in two enantiomers. The L-from is Ascorbic acid; the D-form is called erythorbic acid. 
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