Free Content Series

Dr. Anderson regularly publishes free Continuing Medical Education articles.
7 Dec 2018

Rebound Scurvy (is it real) and Ascorbate Labs after IV and High Oral Doses

Rebound scurvy has never been clinically documented (1) and in tens of thousands of administrations of
high dose PO and IV ASC I’ve never seen it.

Also, if it was real, you hedge that by tapering with PO ASC at the end of high dose anyway.
And if doing a test with methodology such as Spectracell where they expose leukocytes to each nutrient
and then the level of uptake of said nutrient = the leukocyte “need” (simplification of the process but
basically correct). So then a recently infused person will have cells that have “full” ascorbate levels so
the ascorbate uptake is low or zero. So it (the low level) is an artifact rather than a real result. Note that
each nutrient infused or taken PO has a different time period it depots in the leukocyte. Also leukocytes
are a very good representation of whole body cell uptake of ascorbate (2,3) and we know that after IVC
cells are “full” of ascorbate for a while. (One can measure urinary ascorbate and find it for 1-3 weeks
after a single IV). Bottom line is that a leukocyte uptake test for ascorbate will have a false positive
(“low”) for quite some time.

  1. Hathcock J.N., Azzi A., Blumberg J., Bray T., Dickinson A., Frei B., Jialal I., Johnston C.S., Kelly F.J., Kraemer K., et al. Vitamins E and C are safe across a broad range of intakes. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 2005;81:736–745
  2. Bergsten P, Amitai G, Kehrl J, Dhariwal KR, Klein HG, Levine M. Millimolar concentrations of ascorbic acid in purified human mononuclear  leukocytes. Depletion and reaccumulation. J Biol Chem. 1990 Feb 15; 265(5):2584-7.
  3. Evans RM, Currie L, Campbell A. The distribution of ascorbic acid between various cellular components of blood, in normal individuals, and its relation to the plasma concentration. Br J Nutr. 1982 May; 47(3):473-82.