The inhibition of autoxidation of plasma lipids by vitamin C (ascorbic acid) has been studied. The ascorbate stoichiometric factor, n, i.e., the number of peroxyl radicals trapped by each ascorbate molecule, decreases as the concentration of ascorbate increases. This is attributed to the fact that ascorbate not only acts as a radical-trapping antioxidant, but can also undergo autoxidation. The data indicate that n----2.0 as [ascorbate]----0 and that n----0 as [ascorbate]----infinity. This concentration-dependent behaviour accounts for the wide variation of n values reported in the literature. It is suggested that this autoxidative destruction of ascorbate may play a role regulating its concentration in blood plasma.