Vitamin C: Overview and update

Amanda K. Schlueter, Carol Johnston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


Vitamin C functions in enzyme activation, oxidative stress reduction, and immune function. There is considerable evidence that vitamin C protects against respiratory tract infections and reduces risk for cardiovascular disease and some cancers. Current trials are examining the efficacy of intravenous vitamin C as cancer therapy. Many experts believe that the recommended intakes for vitamin C (45 to 90 mg daily) are several orders of magnitude too low to support optimal vitamin C functionality. Also, there is a misperception that vitamin C deficiency disease (scurvy) is largely historical and rarely observed in developed nations. Physical symptoms of scurvy include swelling of the lower extremities, bleeding gums, fatigue, and hemorrhaging, as well as psychological problems, including depression, hysteria, and social introversion. The long-term safety of vitamin C supplementation seems evident as large investigations have noted reduced risk of mortality in vitamin C supplementing populations and in those with elevated plasma vitamin C concentrations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)49-57
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 8 2011


  • Ascorbic acid
  • Cancer
  • Dehydroascorbic acid
  • Disease states
  • Metabolism
  • Scurvy
  • Vitamin C

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Complementary and alternative medicine


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