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Intravenous Vitamin C administration reduces fatigue in office workers: a double-blind randomized controlled trial

Sang-Yeon Suh12, Woo Kyung Bae3, Hong-Yup Ahn4, Sung-Eun Choi5, Gyou-Chul Jung6 and Chang Hwan Yeom7*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Family Medicine, Dongguk University Ilsan Hospital, Goyang-si, Gyeonggi-do, Republic of Korea

2 Department of Medicine, Dongguk University, Seoul, Republic of Korea

3 Health Promotion Center, Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, Seongnam-si, Gyeonggi-do, Republic of Korea

4 Department of Statistics, Dongguk University, Seoul, Republic of Korea

5 Department of Gastroenterology, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan, College of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea

6 Hana Primary Care Clinic, Seoul, Republic of Korea

7 Yeom Primary Care Clinic, Seoul, Republic of Korea

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Nutrition Journal 2012, 11:7  doi:10.1186/1475-2891-11-7

Published: 20 January 2012

Abstract

Background

Studies of the efficacy of vitamin C treatment for fatigue have yielded inconsistent results. One of the reasons for this inconsistency could be the difference in delivery routes. Therefore, we planned a clinical trial with intravenous vitamin C administration.

Methods

We evaluated the effect of intravenous vitamin C on fatigue in office workers. A group of 141 healthy volunteers, aged 20 to 49 years participated in this randomized, double-blind, controlled clinical trial. The trial group received 10 grams of vitamin C with normal saline intravenously, while the placebo group received normal saline only. Since vitamin C is a well-known antioxidant, oxidative stress was measured. Fatigue score, oxidative stress, and plasma vitamin C levels were measured before intervention, and again two hours and one day after intervention. Adverse events were monitored.

Results

The fatigue scores measured at two hours after intervention and one day after intervention were significantly different between the two groups (p = 0.004); fatigue scores decreased in the vitamin C group after two hours and remained lower for one day. Trial also led to higher plasma vitamin C levels and lower oxidative stress compared to the placebo group (p < 0.001, p < 0.001, respectively). When data analysis was refined by dividing each group into high-baseline and low-baseline subgroups, it was observed that fatigue was reduced in the lower baseline vitamin C level group after two hours and after one day (p = 0.004). The same did not hold for the higher baseline group (p = 0.206).

Conclusion

Thus, intravenous vitamin C reduced fatigue at two hours, and the effect persisted for one day. There were no significant differences in adverse events between two groups. High dose intravenous vitamin C proved to be safe and effective against fatigue in this study.

Trial Registration

The clinical trial registration of this trial is http://ClinicalTrials.gov webciteNCT00633581.

Keywords:
vitamin C; office workers; fatigue