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A metabolite of vitamin C that may have unique effects in the body, it is currently being researched for use as a mineral chelating agent able to greatly enhance bioavailability of minerals (such as Magnesium-L-Threonate).

Our evidence-based analysis on l-threonate features 12 unique references to scientific papers.

Research analysis led by and reviewed by the Examine team.
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Research Breakdown on L-Threonate

1Structure and Sources

L-Threonate is a deriviative of L-ascorbic acid 2-phosphate (which in and of itself is a derivative of Ascorbic Acid, otherwise known as Vitamin C).

2Effects on Hair Loss

L-threonate is able to repress the expression of a gene known as dickkopf-1 (DKK-1) which is upregulated by Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) in male pattern baldness when co-cultured.[1] It seems to work similarily to L-ascorbic acid 2-phosphate via alkaline phosphatase activity and releasing ascorbic acid into the cell.[2][3]

3Effects on Bone Metabolism

Independent of its use as a conjugate to Calcium as Calcium-L-Threonate (to be discussed), L-Threonate has been investigated for its usage in bone health. It has been implicated as working synergistically with calcium in the production of collagen and mineralized nodules.[4][5] and augments the uptake of ascorbic acid into fibroblasts.[6] By itself, L-threonate can also act on osteoclasts in an anti-osteoporotic manner.[7]

4Use as a mineral chelation

Minerals bound to L-threonate tend to have rapid intestinal uptake and report minimal gastrointestinal side effects. Minerals such as Iron[8][9], Calcium[5], and Magnesium[10][11] have been tested with L-Threonate chelations.[12]

5Safety and Toxicity

The safety and toxicity of L-threonate has not been investigated.


  1. ^ Kwack MH, et al. Preventable effect of L-threonate, an ascorbate metabolite, on androgen-driven balding via repression of dihydrotestosterone-induced dickkopf-1 expression in human hair dermal papilla cells. BMB Rep. (2010)
  2. ^ Effects of ascorbic acid and ascorbic acid 2-phosphate, a long-acting vitamin C derivative, on the proliferation and differentiation of human osteoblast-like cells.
  3. ^ Kwack MH, et al. L-ascorbic acid 2-phosphate represses the dihydrotestosterone-induced dickkopf-1 expression in human balding dermal papilla cells. Exp Dermatol. (2010)
  4. ^ Enhanced Production of Mineralized Nodules and Collagenous Proteins In Vitro by Calcium Ascorbate Supplemented With Vitamin C Metabolites.
  5. ^ a b Wang HY, Hu P, Jiang J. Pharmacokinetics and safety of calcium L-threonate in healthy volunteers after single and multiple oral administrations. Acta Pharmacol Sin. (2011)
  6. ^ Fay MJ, Bush MJ, Verlangieri AJ. Effect of aldonic acids on the uptake of ascorbic acid by 3T3 mouse fibroblasts and human T lymphoma cells. Gen Pharmacol. (1994)
  7. ^ He JH, et al. Effects of L-threonate on bone resorption by osteoclasts in vitro. Sichuan Da Xue Xue Bao Yi Xue Ban. (2005)
  8. ^ Li XX, et al. A randomized controlled and multicenter clinical study of ferrous L-threonate in treatment of iron deficiency anemia. Zhonghua Nei Ke Za Zhi. (2005)
  9. ^ Tian W, Lin XM. Effects of iron supplementation on human serum level of transferrin receptor. Zhonghua Yu Fang Yi Xue Za Zhi. (2004)
  10. ^ Abumaria N, et al. Effects of elevation of brain magnesium on fear conditioning, fear extinction, and synaptic plasticity in the infralimbic prefrontal cortex and lateral amygdala. J Neurosci. (2011)
  11. ^ Slutsky I, et al. Enhancement of learning and memory by elevating brain magnesium. Neuron. (2010)
  12. ^ Gao SL, et al. FTIR studies of L-threonic acid and its metal compounds. Guang Pu Xue Yu Guang Pu Fen Xi. (2003)