Vitamin C

Document Type


Publication details

Gruner, TM & Arthur, R 2006, 'Vitamin C', Journal of Complementary Medicine, vol. 5, no. 5, pp. 55-62.


Summary the first nutritional disease ever identified was scurvy, which was endemic in Europe in the 18th century. Vitamin C was subsequently recognised in 1928 as the ‘antiscorbutic factor’ in the citrus fruits that James Lind had fed his sailors. Since then, the research on this nutrient has ebbed and flowed, portraying it at different stages as both panacea and placebo. In light of the current evidence-based paradigm, it appears now that the true effect of vitamin C lies somewhere between the two. There is growing recognition by international authorities of the broader actions and applications of vitamin C, and the potentially profound long-term sequelae of suboptimal consumption. Due to an improved understanding of the pharmacokinetics of vitamin C, there is also renewed interest in studies assessing IV vitamin C in the treatment of cancer— see JCM 2006;5(3):20–1.

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