The discovery of vitamin C

by | September 3, 2022 | Past

Dr. Albert Szent-Györgyi was a Hungarian physician, biochemist who is credited with the discovery of Vitamin C in the 1930s. Born in Budapest, Hungary in 1893, Szent-Györgyi studied medicine at the University of Budapest, but his interests shifted to research, and he received a PhD in organic chemistry from the University of Groningen in the Netherlands.

Albert Szent-Györgyi
Dr. Albert Szent-Györgyi (1893-1986), physician and biochemist, Nobel Prize and Kossuth Prize Laureate in 1950 – photo: Fortepan

Szent-Györgyi was interested in the biochemistry of muscles and how they worked, and he conducted experiments to isolate and study a compound called hexuronic acid. He found that this compound had many properties of Vitamin C, including the ability to prevent and cure scurvy, a disease that had long been known to be caused by a lack of fresh fruits and vegetables in the diet.

Szent-Györgyi’s discovery of Vitamin C was a major breakthrough in the field of nutrition and health, as it demonstrated the importance of consuming fresh fruits and vegetables for good health. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that helps to protect cells from damage caused by free radicals, and it is also essential for the production of collagen, a protein that gives structure to the skin, bones, and connective tissue.

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