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Iron prevents ascorbic acid (vitamin C) induced hydrogen peroxide accumulation in copper contaminated drinking water

Iron prevents ascorbic acid (vitamin C) induced hydrogen peroxide accumulation in copper contaminated drinking water

Free Radical Research 39(11): 1233-1239

Ascorbic acid (vitamin C) induced hydrogen peroxide (H(2)O(2)) formation was measured in household drinking water and metal supplemented Milli-Q water by using the FOX assay. Here we show that ascorbic acid readily induces H(2)O(2) formation in Cu(II) supplemented Milli-Q water and poorly buffered household drinking water. In contrast to Cu(II), iron was not capable to support ascorbic acid induced H(2)O(2) formation during acidic conditions (pH: 3.5-5). In 12 out of the 48 drinking water samples incubated with 2 mM ascorbic acid, the H(2)O(2) concentration exceeded 400 microM. However, when trace amounts of Fe(III) (0.2 mg/l) was present during incubation, the ascorbic acid/Cu(II)-induced H(2)O(2) accumulation was totally blocked. Of the other common divalent or trivalent metal ions tested, that are normally present in drinking water (calcium, magnesium, zinc, cobalt, manganese or aluminum), only calcium and magnesium displayed a modest inhibitory activity on the ascorbic acid/Cu(II)-induced H(2)O(2) formation. Oxalic acid, one of the degradation products from ascorbic acid, was confirmed to actively participate in the iron induced degradation of H(2)O(2). Ascorbic acid/Cu(II)-induced H(2)O(2) formation during acidic conditions, as demonstrated here in poorly buffered drinking water, could be of importance in host defense against bacterial infections. In addition, our findings might explain the mechanism for the protective effect of iron against vitamin C induced cell toxicity.

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Accession: 004213983

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PMID: 16298750

DOI: 10.1080/10715760500249861

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