The effect of ascorbic acid supplementation on some parameters of the human immunological defence system

Int J Vitam Nutr Res. 1977;47(3):248-57.


We have investigated the effect of ascorbic acid (vitamin C) supplementation on some parameters of the human immune defence system in a group of 25 healthy, male university students. The subjects ingested 1 g ascorbic acid per day for a period of 75 days. Serum levels of IgA, IgG, IgM, C-3 complement component, cortisol and transcortin were measured before and after the ascorbic acid course. Corresponding measurements were performed on a control group of 20 healthy, male university students receiving no extra-dietary vitamin C. Our results showed that ascorbic acid supplementation caused a statistically significant increase in the serum levels of IgA, IgM and C-3 complement. Our study does not permit of conclusions regarding the mechanisms of action of ascorbic acid.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Ascorbic Acid / pharmacology*
  • Complement C3* / analysis
  • Humans
  • Hydrocortisone / blood*
  • Immunoglobulin A / analysis
  • Immunoglobulin G / analysis
  • Immunoglobulin M / analysis
  • Immunoglobulins* / analysis
  • Male
  • Transcortin / blood*


  • Complement C3
  • Immunoglobulin A
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Immunoglobulin M
  • Immunoglobulins
  • Transcortin
  • Ascorbic Acid
  • Hydrocortisone