The bioavailability to humans of ascorbic acid from oranges, orange juice and cooked broccoli is similar to that of synthetic ascorbic acid

J Nutr. 1993 Jun;123(6):1054-61. doi: 10.1093/jn/123.6.1054.


The relative bioavailability of ascorbic acid from several sources was compared in 68 male non-smokers. Subjects underwent two 8-wk ascorbic acid depletion-repletion cycles. In repletion, subjects were randomized to receive 108 mg/d ascorbic acid as tablets with or without iron, as orange segments or juice, or as raw or cooked broccoli with a crossover within each major treatment group (e.g., cooked to raw broccoli) for the second repletion. Relative ascorbic acid bioavailability was estimated based on the slope obtained from linear regression of plasma ascorbic acid on time during each repletion. In the first repletion, slopes for all groups were similar except for the group consuming raw broccoli (20% lower response, P < 0.01). Second repletion responses were attenuated, but were similar to the first repletion. Ascorbic acid ingested as cooked broccoli, orange juice or fruit, or in synthetic form seems to be equally bioavailable. The lower relative bioavailability of ascorbic acid from raw broccoli is unlikely to be of practical importance in mixed diets.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Ascorbic Acid* / administration & dosage
  • Ascorbic Acid* / metabolism
  • Ascorbic Acid* / pharmacokinetics
  • Biological Availability
  • Cooking
  • Fruit / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nutritive Value*
  • Vegetables / metabolism


  • Ascorbic Acid