Ascorbic acid intake and oxalate synthesis

Academic Article


  • In humans, approximately 60 mg of ascorbic acid (AA) breaks down in the body each day and has to be replaced by a dietary intake of 70 mg in women and 90 mg in men to maintain optimal health and AA homeostasis. The breakdown of AA is non-enzymatic and results in oxalate formation. The exact amount of oxalate formed has been difficult to ascertain primarily due to the limited availability of healthy human tissue for such research and the difficulty in measuring AA and its breakdown products. The breakdown of 60 mg of AA to oxalate could potentially result in the formation of up to 30 mg oxalate per day. This exceeds our estimates of the endogenous production of 10–25 mg oxalate per day, indicating that degradative pathways that do not form oxalate exist. In this review, we examine what is known about the pathways of AA metabolism and how oxalate forms. We further identify how gaps in our knowledge may be filled to more precisely determine the contribution of AA breakdown to oxalate production in humans. The use of stable isotopes of AA to directly assess the conversion of vitamin to oxalate should help fill this void.
  • Published In

  • Urolithiasis  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 21271531
  • Author List

  • Knight J; Madduma-Liyanage K; Mobley JA; Assimos DG; Holmes RP
  • Start Page

  • 289
  • End Page

  • 297
  • Volume

  • 44
  • Issue

  • 4