The health effects of vitamin C supplementation: a review

J Am Coll Nutr. 1995 Apr;14(2):124-36. doi: 10.1080/07315724.1995.10718484.


A comprehensive review of the literature indicates that populations with long-term consumption of higher than RDA levels of vitamin C (> or = 60 mg/day) from foods and/or supplements have reduced risks of cancer at several sites, cardiovascular disease, and cataracts. The safety of higher than RDA intakes of vitamin C is confirmed in eight placebo-controlled, double-blind studies and six non-placebo clinical trials in which up to 10,000 mg of vitamin C was consumed daily for up to 3 years. There are no clinical data which suggest that vitamin C's enhancement of non-heme iron absorption in individuals with low iron status could be a critical factor in the possible increased risk of heterozygous hemochromatosis-related cardiovascular disease. In fact, the cumulative data do not confirm that iron status is related to risk of cardiovascular disease. Moreover, higher than RDA intakes of vitamin C have been associated with several indices of lowered cardiovascular disease risk including increases in HDL, and decreases in LDL oxidation, blood pressure and cardiovascular mortality.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Ascorbic Acid / administration & dosage*
  • Ascorbic Acid / adverse effects
  • Ascorbic Acid / therapeutic use
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control
  • Cataract / prevention & control
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Iron / metabolism
  • Iron Deficiencies
  • Male
  • Neoplasms / prevention & control


  • Iron
  • Ascorbic Acid