Korean J Physiol Pharmacol.  2018 Jan;22(1):35-42. 10.4196/kjpp.2018.22.1.35.

Alleviation of ascorbic acid-induced gastric high acidity by calcium ascorbate in vitro and in vivo

  • 1Department of Physical Pharmacy, College of Pharmacy, Chungnam National University, Daejeon 34134, Korea. eicosa@cnu.ac.kr
  • 2Department of Pharmacology, College of Pharmacy, Chungnam National University, Daejeon 34134, Korea. cm8r@cnu.ac.kr
  • 3PHARMCROSS Co., Ltd., Chuncheon 24398, Korea.


Ascorbic acid is one of the most well-known nutritional supplement and antioxidant found in fruits and vegetables. Calcium ascorbate has been developed to mitigate the gastric irritation caused by the acidity of ascorbic acid. The aim of this study was to compare calcium ascorbate and ascorbic acid, focusing on their antioxidant activity and effects on gastric juice pH, total acid output, and pepsin secretion in an in vivo rat model, as well as pharmacokinetic parameters. Calcium ascorbate and ascorbic acid had similar antioxidant activity. However, the gastric fluid pH was increased by calcium ascorbate, whereas total acid output was increased by ascorbic acid. In the rat pylorus ligation-induced ulcer model, calcium ascorbate increased the gastric fluid pH without changing the total acid output. Administration of calcium ascorbate to rats given a single oral dose of 100 mg/kg as ascorbic acid resulted in higher plasma concentrations than that from ascorbic acid alone. The area under the curve (AUC) values of calcium ascorbate were 1.5-fold higher than those of ascorbic acid, and the C(max) value of calcium ascorbate (91.0 ng/ml) was higher than that of ascorbic acid (74.8 ng/ml). However, their T(max) values were similar. Thus, although calcium ascorbate showed equivalent antioxidant activity to ascorbic acid, it could attenuate the gastric high acidity caused by ascorbic acid, making it suitable for consideration of use to improve the side effects of ascorbic acid. Furthermore, calcium ascorbate could be an appropriate antioxidant substrate, with increased oral bioavailability, for patients with gastrointestinal disorders.


Antioxidant; Ascorbic acid; Bioavailability; Calcium ascorbate; Gastric pH

MeSH Terms

Ascorbic Acid
Biological Availability
Gastric Juice
Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
In Vitro Techniques*
Models, Animal
Pepsin A
Ascorbic Acid
Pepsin A
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