Effect of vitamin C supplements on cell-mediated immunity in old people

Gerontology. 1983;29(5):305-10. doi: 10.1159/000213131.


Both ageing and vitamin C (VC) deficiency result in immune defect. Since low serum and tissue levels of VC are found in the elderly, we have in a placebo-controlled study, tested the effect of VC supplements (500 mg/day i.m. for 1 month) on various immune parameters. Indeed, VC enhances the proliferative response of T lymphocytes in vitro, and the tuberculin skin hypersensitivity in vivo. Neither the serum concentrations of IgA, IgG and IgM, nor the proportion of E-rosette-forming cells were modified. No significant change was observed in the placebo-treated group.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Controlled Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Ascorbic Acid / administration & dosage
  • Ascorbic Acid / pharmacology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Cellular / drug effects*
  • Immunoglobulins / analysis
  • Injections, Intramuscular
  • Lymphocyte Activation / drug effects*
  • Male
  • Mitogens / pharmacology
  • Rosette Formation
  • T-Lymphocytes / drug effects
  • Tuberculin Test


  • Immunoglobulins
  • Mitogens
  • Ascorbic Acid