Using acetaldehyde and xanthine oxidase as the source of suPeroxide radical, the second order rate constant for the reaction between ascorbic acid and superoxide radical was estimated to be 8.2 X 107 M-1 s-1. In rats, the average tissue concentration of ascorbic acid was of the order of 10-3 M and that of superoxide dismutase was of the order of 10-6 M. So, taking together both the rate constants and the tissue concentrations, the efficacy of ascorbic acid for scavenging superoxide radical in animal tissues appears to be better than that of suPeroxide dismutase. The significance of ascorbic acid as a scavenger of superoxide radical has been discussed from the point of view of the evolution of ascorbic acid synthesizing capacity of terrestrial vertebrates.
Volume 46, 2021
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