David T. Clark

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Biology



Physical Description

1 online resource (71 p.)


Aging, Vitamin C, Lipids




The role of ascorbic acid with regard to lipid peroxidation and aging has been examined. A thorough literature analysis indicates that free radical-induced lipid peroxidation is a plausible biochemical explanation for aging. Lipid peroxidation causes cellular damage due to altered enzyme activities, error-prone nucleic acid metabolism, and membrane dysfunction, as well as the accumulation of aging pigments in the lysomes. Ascorbic acid, a water soluble free radical quencher, was examined with regard to carbon tetra-chloride-induced lipid peroxidation and in vivo aging. Carbon tetrachloride, a well-known free radical inducer, caused marked increases in the ration of oxidized/reduced vitamin C only in the organs which metabolize carbon tetrachloride to the free radical form. Vitamin C treatment, 250 mg% in the drinking water, reduced the extent of carbon tetrachloride=induced lipid peroxidation. Aging is associated with marked increases in the ration of oxidized/reduced vitamin C in all organs examined with the exception of thymus. In organs exposed to high oxygen tensions, or in those exposed to high levels of free radicals, the ration of oxidized/reduced vitamin C exceeded the in vitro ration, indicating extensive lipid peroxidation. Vitamin C treatment reduced the extent of lipid peroxidation in vivo as determined by the ratio of oxidized/reduced vitamin C.


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