ArticlesSpecial Article

THE MECHANISM OF THE VIRUCIDAL ACTION OF ASCORBIC ACID

Science  08 Jun 1945:
Vol. 101, Issue 2632, pp. 587-589
DOI: 10.1126/science.101.2632.587

Abstract

The theoretical yield of H2O2 formed during the oxidation of a virucidal solution of ascorbic acid approximates the virucidal action of an equivalent amount of H2O2. Both the action of ascorbic acid and H2O2 are completely neutralized by catalase. The action of ascorbic acid against influence A virus may therefore be explained as being due to the H2O2 formed during the Cu catalyzed oxidation of ascorbic acid.

The observed in vitro virucidal activity of ascorbic acid obviously can not be utilized therapeutically because of the presence of catalase in body tissues.

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