1. Guinea-pig dams were fed on purified diets containing high (5 g/kg diet plus 1 g/l drinking water) or moderate (0.5 g/kg diet) levels of ascorbic acid, in combination with high (1 g/kg diet) or moderate (0.043 g/kg diet) levels of iron, during pregnancy and suckling. Their offsprings' diets contained 0.1 g ascorbic acid/kg and 0.04 g Fe/kg.
2. High ascorbic acid intake clearly enhanced both tissue ascorbate and Fe storage in the dams, and high Fe intake increased both the dams' and the pups' tissue Fe stores.
3. In the animals receiving high Fe intake, a co-existing high ascorbate intake by the dams reduced the growth rate of the offspring, but only during the early stages of development, not during the later stages of post-weaning growth. All the pups' tissue ascorbate levels fell after weaning, but those born of the dams receiving the high ascorbic acid diets did not fall to levels lower than those of the other pups.
4. Thus, although certain disadvantages to the offspring resulting from very-high ascorbic acid intake by pregnant guinea-pig dams were detected, these did not include permanently increased ascorbate requirements, and hence a progression to scurvy as the pups grew and matured.