Unexpected Early Response in Oral Bioavailability of Ascorbic Acid

E-published March 13, 2020, prior to print publication.

© Owen Fonorow


Repeatable and inexpensive experiments have cast doubt on the hypothesis that only 200 mg of vitamin C taken orally can be absorbed. We measured vitamin C blood plasma levels every minute for the first 40 minutes using a novel approach.  By contrast to the prevailing paradigm, our results suggest that up to 4,000 mg of ascorbic acid taken by mouth can produce the same rapid increase in plasma concentration as an intravenous infusion.Previous studies did not sample blood levels during this early stage of oral intake.  We confirmed that specific glucose meters do provide a reproducible measure of ascorbate (vitamin C) concentration. Researchers had previously demonstrated the ability of specific glucose meters to measure high levels of ascorbate during and after intravenous vitamin C infusions (IV/C).1Our initial aim was to confirm the adequacy of the method. However, we observed that the meters are responsive to lower oral intakes and discovered an initial high rate of oral absorption,which may add to understanding of the pharmacokinetics of ascorbate and have clinical and nutritional implications. (See link for article)


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