Role of Vitamin C in Osteoporosis Development and Treatment-A Literature Review

Nutrients. 2020 Aug 10;12(8):2394. doi: 10.3390/nu12082394.


Osteoporosis and associated low energy fractures are a significant clinical problem, especially in the elderly population. The occurrence of a hip fracture is associated with significant mortality and a high risk of disability. For this, apart from the treatment of osteoporosis, effective prevention of both the development of the disease and related fractures is extremely important. One aspect of osteoporosis prevention is proper dietary calcium intake and normal vitamin D3 levels. However, there is some evidence for a potential role of vitamin C in osteoporosis and fracture prevention, too. This review aims to summarize the current knowledge about the role of vitamin C in osteoporosis development, prevention and treatment. The PubMed/Medline search on the role of vitamin C in bone metabolism database was performed for articles between 2000 and May 2020. Reports from in vitro and animal studies seem promising. Epidemiological studies also indicate the positive effect of high vitamin C content in the daily diet on bone mineral density. Despite promising observations, there are still few observational and intervention studies and their results do not allow for unequivocal determination of the benefits of high daily intake of vitamin C or its long-term supplementation.

Keywords: ascorbic acid; bone loss; diet; nutrition; osteoporosis; vitamin C.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Ascorbic Acid / administration & dosage*
  • Ascorbic Acid / pharmacology*
  • Bone Density / drug effects
  • Bone and Bones / metabolism
  • Cell Line
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Fractures, Spontaneous / etiology
  • Fractures, Spontaneous / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Nutritional Physiological Phenomena / physiology*
  • Osteogenesis / drug effects
  • Osteoporosis / complications
  • Osteoporosis / prevention & control*


  • Ascorbic Acid