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Numerous workers (Plaut, 1935; Altaman, 1937; Monouni, 1937) have reported that the blood and spinal fluid ascorbic acid levels are low in the aged. No adequate explanation of this fact has been given. Wortis (1938) has suggested that, since oral administration increases the ascorbic acid level of the spinal fluid in the aged as in the young, defective absorption probably does not play a significant part. He believes that the lower values in older persons may be due to increased intensity of metabolic processes concerned with the elaboration of ascorbic acid. Friedman, in discussing this contribution, advanced the suggestion that in older persons there may be less need for ascorbic acid because metabolism is slowed.