Effect of ascorbic acid on the human electroencephalogram

J Nutr. 1975 Oct;105(10):1356-8. doi: 10.1093/jn/105.10.1356.


Controversy exists over whether ascorbic acid (vitamin C) in doses in excess of known physiological requirements has demonstrable biological effects. The present study reports that such megadoses of vitamin C do significantly effect an objective electrophysiological measure, i.e., electroencephalogram (EEG) driving responses to photic stimulation. Four thousand milligrams of vitamin C administered 27 and 3 hours prior to assessment produced an effect on the EEGs of 18 healthy adolescent human males that was significantly different from a placebo. Fifty milligrams of ascorbic acid administered in this manner did not produce an effect on the EEG significantly different from placebo administration.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Ascorbic Acid / pharmacology*
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Electroencephalography*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Photic Stimulation
  • Placebos


  • Placebos
  • Ascorbic Acid