Is Vitamin C a Weight Loss Ingredient to Make a Difference?

Did you know that having too little vitamin C in your bloodstream could make you more likely to struggle with weight loss? Researchers specializing in nutrition from Arizona State University have found a link between insufficient levels of this nutrient and raised body fat and waist measurements.

Why Would Vitamin C Make Weight Loss Harder?

The researchers speculated that the amount of vitamin C in the bloodstream could be connected with weight loss and gain due to its fat oxidation impact.  It helps the body to use its stored fat as a source of fuel during exercise as well as while at rest.

Bonnie Beezhold, a graduate student from Dr. Carol Johnston’s laboratory, presented the results of the study, discussing the impact of depleted vitamin C levels on short-term diet.  The presentation was a component of the American Society for Nutrition’s scientific program at Experimental Biology 2006, which took place in San Francisco.

What Did the Research Show?

The researchers’ experiment involved a four-week controlled low-fat diet.  There were 20 men and women with obesity who participated.  They were randomized by gender and body weight into either a vitamin C group or a control group.  The vitamin C group received a daily 500 mg supplement of the nutrient.  The control group received a supplement that looked identical but that contained a placebo.  The study was double blind in that neither the participants nor the researchers were aware of the grouping specifics.

All the participants in the research were required to consume a low-fat diet that was individually adjusted to promote gradual weight loss of about two pounds per week.  The diet contained about 67 percent of the recommended daily allowance for vitamin C (40 mg per day).

The participants with the lowest vitamin C levels measured in their blood had the greatest weight loss struggle.

At the start of the trial, the participants with the lowest vitamin C levels measured in their blood had the greatest weight loss struggle.  They were the individuals with the highest fat mass and whose bodies had a tendency not to oxidize fat as efficiently.

Throughout the length of the four weeks, as the amount of vitamin C consumed remained steady, blood levels rose by about 30 percent among those taking the supplement and dropped by 27 percent in the control group which was receiving the nutrient only through a diet providing 67 percent of the daily recommended amount.


The heavily controlled low-fat diet produced results among all the participants. Both groups lost an average of about 9 pounds. However, the researchers speculated that over the longer term, higher vitamin C levels would bring easier weight loss.

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