Re: Vitamin C

Joao Pedro (
Sun, 04 Jan 1998 23:40:55 -0800


John K Clark wrote:
> All mammal species can make their own vitamin C, well OK, if you want to
> split hairs there are a few very minor exceptions, the gibbon, orangutan,
> chimpanzee, gorilla, and an odd bipedal animal with a big head. Apparently
> there was a mutation that destroyed the manufacturing metabolism for that
> chemical, but these organisms ate a lot of fruit and fruit has gobs of
> ascorbic acid, so the mutation was not harmful and may even have been helpful,
> no point in wasting effort making something if you can find it for free.

And Harvey Newstrom also wrote:
> Chimps and guinea pigs can produce their own ascorbic acid, which screwed
> up many early vitamin C studies on them.

John is right and I was wrong, most mammals can produce ascorbic acid.
Harvey is wrong, at least judging from my sources -- "Biochemistry" by
Lubert Stryer (1995) page 454 --, primates and guinea pigs cannot
synthesize ascorbic acid. Anyway, this was just an example, I can think
of many others biochemical differences between humans and non-aging

         Hasta la vista...

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