Objectives: We sought to determine prevalence rates of vitamin C deficiency and depletion in the United States.
Methods: We used data from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey to assess intake of dietary, supplemental, and serum vitamin C.
Results: Mean intakes and serum levels of vitamin C were normal; however, vitamin C deficiency and depletion were common (occurring among 5%-17% and 13%-23% of respondents, respectively). Smokers, those who did not use supplements, and non-Hispanic Black males had elevated risks of vitamin C deficiency, while Mexican Americans had lower risks.
Conclusions: Health professionals should recommend consumption of vegetables and fruits rich in vitamin C and should recommend supplementation for individuals at risk of vitamin C deficiency.