High-dose vitamin C supplementation accelerates the Achilles tendon healing in healthy rats

Arch Orthop Trauma Surg. 2009 Feb;129(2):281-6. doi: 10.1007/s00402-008-0603-0. Epub 2008 Feb 29.


Introduction: This experimental study was performed to assess, whether or not, vitamin C, required during the collagen synthesis, would influence the Achilles tendon healing in a healthy rat model.

Materials and methods: The right Achilles tendons of 42 healthy female Wistar Albino rats were completely ruptured. The rats were randomly divided into the vitamin C and control groups and both groups included third, tenth and twenty-first day subgroups. One hundred and fifty milligrams (1.5 cc) of vitamin C and 1.5 cc % 0.9 NaCl were injected once for every 2 days for the vitamin C and control groups, respectively. Qualitative and quantitative microscopic comparisons of the repair tissues of both groups were made on the mentioned days.

Results: Angiogenesis was more evident on the third day in the vitamin C group. There was a significant difference between the control and vitamin C groups regarding the type I collagen production on the tenth day. The structure of the repair tissue was almost in the form of regular dense connective tissue at the end of twenty-first day in the vitamin C group. Mean collagen fiber diameter was considerably higher, and the number of active fibroblasts in the repair tissue was slightly elevated in the vitamin C group during the entire healing process.

Conclusion: High-dose vitamin C supplementation once for every 2 days has stimulating effects on the Achilles tendon healing because of early angiogenesis and increased collagen synthesis in a healthy rat model. Further studies are needed to make clear the mentioned encouraging effects of the vitamin C on the Achilles tendon healing.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Achilles Tendon / drug effects*
  • Achilles Tendon / injuries
  • Animals
  • Ascorbic Acid / pharmacology*
  • Collagen / biosynthesis
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Female
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Tendon Injuries / drug therapy*
  • Tendon Injuries / metabolism
  • Vitamins / pharmacology*
  • Wound Healing / drug effects*


  • Vitamins
  • Collagen
  • Ascorbic Acid