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Nutrients 2013, 5(9), 3684-3695; doi:10.3390/nu5093684
Article

A Randomized Steady-State Bioavailability Study of Synthetic versus Natural (Kiwifruit-Derived) Vitamin C

1,* , 1
, 1
, 2
 and 1
1 Centre for Free Radical Research, Department of Pathology & Biomedical Science, University of Otago, Christchurch, PO Box 4345, Christchurch 8140, New Zealand 2 Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, University of Otago, Christchurch, PO Box 4345, Christchurch 8140, New Zealand
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 23 July 2013 / Revised: 15 August 2013 / Accepted: 26 August 2013 / Published: 17 September 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vitamin C and Human Health)
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Abstract

Whether vitamin C from wholefoods has equivalent bioavailability to a purified supplement remains unclear. We have previously showed that kiwifruit provided significantly higher serum and tissue ascorbate levels than synthetic vitamin C in a genetically vitamin C-deficient mouse model, suggesting a synergistic activity of the whole fruit. To determine if these results are translatable to humans, we carried out a randomized human study comparing the bioavailability of vitamin C from kiwifruit with that of a vitamin C tablet of equivalent dosage. Thirty-six young non-smoking adult males were randomized to receive either half a gold kiwifruit (Actinidia Chinensis var. Hort 16A) per day or a comparable vitamin C dose (50 mg) in a chewable tablet for six weeks. Ascorbate was monitored weekly in fasting venous blood and in urine, semen, leukocytes, and skeletal muscle (vastus lateralis) pre- and post-intervention. Dietary intake of vitamin C was monitored using seven day food and beverage records. Participant ascorbate levels increased in plasma (P < 0.001), urine (P < 0.05), mononuclear cells (P < 0.01), neutrophils (P < 0.01) and muscle tissue (P < 0.001) post intervention. There were no significant differences in vitamin C bioavailability between the two intervention groups in any of the fluid, cell or tissue samples tested. Overall, our study showed comparable bioavailability of synthetic and kiwifruit-derived vitamin C.
Keywords: ascorbate; ascorbic acid; human; plasma; urine; semen; leukocytes; skeletal muscle ascorbate; ascorbic acid; human; plasma; urine; semen; leukocytes; skeletal muscle
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Carr, A.C.; Bozonet, S.M.; Pullar, J.M.; Simcock, J.W.; Vissers, M.C.M. A Randomized Steady-State Bioavailability Study of Synthetic versus Natural (Kiwifruit-Derived) Vitamin C. Nutrients 2013, 5, 3684-3695.

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