The effects of a moderate and high dose of vitamin C on wound healing in a controlled guinea pig model

J Foot Ankle Surg. 1999 Sep-Oct;38(5):333-8. doi: 10.1016/s1067-2516(99)80004-0.


The purpose of this pilot study was to investigate the effect of vitamin C on wound healing in a controlled animal study. Twenty male guinea pigs were divided into two groups and were maintained on one of two commercially prepared diets: 1) supplemented with a moderate dose of vitamin C, or 2) supplemented with a high dose of vitamin C. After 6 weeks, a dorsal incision was made on the back of each of the animals. The incision was closed by primary intention as the animals continued on their respective diets until they were sacrificed. At the time of testing, either 10 days or 21 days postoperatively, the animals' skin was excised around the original incision using a metal template. A second skin sample was excised from each animal from an area adjacent to the original skin incision. This was done in order to determine the breaking force of the intact unaffected skin. Tension studies were performed to measure and compare the integrity and strength of the healing incisions. Biopsies were also sent for histopathologic analysis. The study presented here focused on whether or not increases in dietary vitamin C may improve the strength of a skin wound postoperatively. Although the sample size was small, the data suggest that a trend may exist in which increased vitamin C intake prior to and after surgery may result in faster recovery of skin integrity and strength across the wound. Although the difference between the groups is not statistically significant, the data clearly indicate that the animals receiving the higher dose of vitamin C demonstrated greater wound integrity than those receiving the moderate dose of the vitamin.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Ascorbic Acid / administration & dosage*
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Guinea Pigs
  • Male
  • Pilot Projects
  • Skin Physiological Phenomena
  • Wound Healing / drug effects*
  • Wound Healing / physiology


  • Ascorbic Acid