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
). 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.