Vitamin C: antioxidant or pro-oxidant in vivo?

Free Radic Res. 1996 Nov;25(5):439-54. doi: 10.3109/10715769609149066.


Ascorbic acid has a multiplicity of antioxidant properties, but it can exert pro-oxidant effects in vitro, usually by interaction with transition metal ions. It is as yet uncertain that these pro-oxidant effects have any biological relevance: some of the available data are summarized.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antioxidants / pharmacology*
  • Ascorbic Acid / pharmacology*
  • Ascorbic Acid / toxicity
  • Humans
  • Oxidants / pharmacology*


  • Antioxidants
  • Oxidants
  • Ascorbic Acid