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Synthetic or Food-Derived Vitamin C—Are They Equally Bioavailable?
Open AccessArticle

A Randomised Cross-Over Pharmacokinetic Bioavailability Study of Synthetic versus Kiwifruit-Derived Vitamin C

Centre for Free Radical Research, Department of Pathology & Biomedical Science, University of Otago, Christchurch, P.O. Box 4345, Christchurch 8140, New Zealand
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2013, 5(11), 4451-4461;
Received: 30 August 2013 / Revised: 8 October 2013 / Accepted: 24 October 2013 / Published: 11 November 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vitamin C and Human Health)
Kiwifruit are a rich source of vitamin C and also contain numerous phytochemicals, such as flavonoids, which may influence the bioavailability of kiwifruit-derived vitamin C. The aim of this study was to compare the relative bioavailability of synthetic versus kiwifruit-derived vitamin C using a randomised cross-over pharmacokinetic study design. Nine non-smoking males (aged 18–35 years) received either a chewable tablet (200 mg vitamin C) or the equivalent dose from gold kiwifruit (Actinidia chinensis var. Sungold). Fasting blood and urine were collected half hourly to hourly over the eight hours following intervention. The ascorbate content of the plasma and urine was determined using HPLC with electrochemical detection. Plasma ascorbate levels increased from 0.5 h after the intervention (P = 0.008). No significant differences in the plasma time-concentration curves were observed between the two interventions (P = 0.645). An estimate of the total increase in plasma ascorbate indicated complete uptake of the ingested vitamin C tablet and kiwifruit-derived vitamin C. There was an increase in urinary ascorbate excretion, relative to urinary creatinine, from two hours post intervention (P < 0.001). There was also a significant difference between the two interventions, with enhanced ascorbate excretion observed in the kiwifruit group (P = 0.016). Urinary excretion was calculated as ~40% and ~50% of the ingested dose from the vitamin C tablet and kiwifruit arms, respectively. Overall, our pharmacokinetic study has shown comparable relative bioavailability of kiwifruit-derived vitamin C and synthetic vitamin C. View Full-Text
Keywords: human; ascorbic acid; ascorbate; plasma; urine; kiwi fruit human; ascorbic acid; ascorbate; plasma; urine; kiwi fruit
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Carr, A.C.; Bozonet, S.M.; Vissers, M.C.M. A Randomised Cross-Over Pharmacokinetic Bioavailability Study of Synthetic versus Kiwifruit-Derived Vitamin C. Nutrients 2013, 5, 4451-4461.

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