There have been few studies conducted to determine the efficiency of ascorbic acid absorption in humans. Differences in the extent of its absorption among individuals may contribute to the outcome of clinical trials. Ascorbic acid absorption in four subjects was investigated from several oral dosage forms containing 1 g of the vitamin (solution, tablet, chewable tablet, and timed-release capsule. Approximately 85% of an intravenous dose was recovered in the urine as ascorbic acid and its major metabolites. In contrast, only approximately 30% of the dose was recovered from the solution and tablet forms. A considerably smaller fraction of the dose (approximately 14%) was recovered from the timed-release capsule. There was considerable intersubject variation in ascorbic acid absorption and there appeared to be good and poor absorbers of the vitamin. Consideration should be given to the influence of the extent of ascorbic acid absorption on the results of clinical trails.