Journal article

Vitamin C elevates red blood cell glutathione in healthy adults

Johnston C, Meyer C, Srilakshmi J ...see all

American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, vol. 58, issue 1 (1993) pp. 103-105

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We examined the effect of supplemental ascorbic acid on red blood cell glutathione. Subjects consumed self-selected vitamin C-restricted diets, and, under double-blind conditions, ingested placebo daily for week 1 (baseline), 500 mg L-ascorbate/d for weeks 2-3, 2000 mg L-ascorbate/d for weeks 4-5, and placebo daily for week 6 (withdraw). Mean red blood cell glutathione rose nearly 50% (P < 0.05) after the 500-mg period compared with baseline, and the changes from baseline for individual subjects ranged from +8% to +84%. However, the increases in plasma vitamin C and red blood cell glutathione were not correlated (r = 0.22). At the 2000-mg dosage, mean red blood cell glutathione was not significantly different from the value obtained at the 500-mg dosage. After the placebo-controlled withdraw period, red blood cell glutathione did not differ from baseline. These data indicate that vitamin C supplementation (500 mg/d) maintains reduced glutathione concentrations in blood and improves the overall antioxidant protection capacity of blood.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Antioxidants
  • Ascorbic acid
  • Glutathione
  • Red blood cell lytic sensitivity
  • Vitamin C

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  • SCOPUS: 2-s2.0-0027265254
  • PUI: 23964693
  • PMID: 8317379
  • ISSN: 00029165
  • SGR: 0027265254


  • Carol S. Johnston

  • Claudia G. Meyer

  • J. C. Srilakshmi

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