Vitamin C status of a campus population: College students get a C minus

Carol Johnston, R. Elizabeth Solomon, Corinne Corte

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Diet and the vitamin C status of two samples of college students were examined. Nonsmoking participants were recruited from a campus population during the fall and winter months. The prevalence of vitamin C deficiency (plasma vitamin C concentrations less than 11 μmol/L) ranged from 1% to 2% in the sampled campus populations. Marginal vitamin C status (plasma vitamin C concentrations from 11 to less than 28 μmol/L) was observed in 12% of the fall sample and 16% in the winter sample. Participants with marginal vitamin C status consumed significantly fewer servings of fruits and vegetables daily than participants with adequate vitamin C status. Marginal vitamin C status, which is even more pronounced in smokers, has been associated with fatigue and increased severity of respiratory tract infections. Because the vitamin C status of many college students, both smokers and nonsmokers, may be inadequate, health promotion or wellness programs for all students should emphasize the importance of adequate fruit and vegetable consumption.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)209-213
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the American College Health Association
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 1998


  • College students
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Vitamin C

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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