A single copy of this article may be reprinted for personal, noncommercial use only.
Do the benefits of vitamin C include improved mood?By Mayo Clinic staff
Original Article: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/benefits-vitamin-c/AN02160
- With Mayo Clinic internist
Brent A. Bauer, M.D.read biographyclose window
Brent A. Bauer, M.D.Brent A. Bauer, M.D.
Brent Bauer, M.D., is board certified in internal medicine. He is a consultant in the Department of Internal Medicine and director of the Department of Internal Medicine's Complementary and Integrative Medicine Program at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Dr. Bauer, a native of Madison, Wis., is also a professor of medicine at Mayo Medical School and a graduate of Mayo Medical School.
He serves on the editorial board of the Mayo Clinic Health Letter and is medical editor for EmbodyHealth Newsletter. He has been on staff at Mayo Clinic since 1992, first practicing at Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Ariz., before joining Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn., in 1996.
Dr. Bauer's principal research focus is the scientific evaluation of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapies that patients and consumers are using with increasing frequency. He has authored several book chapters and papers on this topic, and is the medical editor of the "Mayo Clinic Book of Alternative Medicine." Dr. Bauer also spearheaded collaboration between Mayo Clinic and Gaiam in the creation of a series of 10 DVDs (Mayo Clinic Wellness Solutions). These DVDs address common health problems (for example, diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure) with integrative medicine approaches that empower people to take charge of their health. His work is at the forefront of the emerging field of integrative medicine which combines the best of conventional medicine with the best of evidence-based complementary therapies.
Dr. Bauer has served on the NIH-NCCAM study section and is currently collaborating on over 20 studies being conducted at Mayo Clinic evaluating CAM therapies ranging from acupuncture to valerian. He is also a member of Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society; the American Federation for Medical Research; the North Central Cancer Treatment Group and other professional organizations.
Nutrition basics (31)
- Water softeners: How much sodium do they add?
- Fat grams: How to track your dietary fat
- Yerba mate: Is it safe to drink?
- see all in Nutrition basics
Healthy diets (10)
- Canola oil: Does it contain toxins?
- Butter vs. margarine: Which is better for my heart?
- Detox diets: Do they work?
- see all in Healthy diets
Healthy cooking (7)
- When the heat is on, which oil should you use?
- Moldy cheese: Is it OK to eat?
- Food poisoning: How long can you safely keep leftovers?
- see all in Healthy cooking
Healthy menus and shopping strategies (8)
- Brominated vegetable oil: Why is BVO in my drink?
- Sea salt vs. table salt: What's the difference?
- Vegetable juice: As good as whole vegetables?
- see all in Healthy menus and shopping strategies
Nutritional supplements (18)
- Ground flaxseed: Better than whole?
- Fiber supplements: Safe to take every day?
- Chocolate: Does it impair calcium absorption?
- see all in Nutritional supplements
Do the benefits of vitamin C include improved mood?
Is vitamin C good for more than fighting colds? Can it improve your mood?
from Brent A. Bauer, M.D.
Vitamin C has several benefits, including a modest effect combating the common cold. Recent research suggests another potential use for vitamin C. In a study of hospitalized patients — who often have lower than normal vitamin C levels — researchers observed an improvement in mood after they received vitamin C.
The link between vitamin C and mood may seem surprising, but it's not so far-fetched. People who have vitamin C deficiency often feel fatigued or depressed. Plus, some studies show that vitamin C can have mood-elevating effects. So it makes sense that vitamin C levels could affect mood — but more research is needed.
In the meantime, eat plenty of fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin C. If you also take a supplement, try not to exceed the upper limit of 2,000 milligrams of vitamin C a day. As always, talk to your doctor first before taking any supplement.Next question
Prenatal vitamins: OK for women who aren't pregnant?
- Vitamin C ascorbic acid. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. http://www.naturaldatabase.com. Accessed July 1, 2011.
- Zhang M, et al. Vitamin C provision improves mood in acutely hospitalized patients. Nutrition. 2011;27:530.
- Lykkesfeld J, et al. Is vitamin C supplementation beneficial? Lessons learned from randomized controlled trials. British Journal of Nutrition. 2010;103:1251.
- Binfare RW, et al. Ascorbic acid administration produces an antidepressant-like effect: Evidence for the involvement of monoaminergic neurotransmission. Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry. 2009;33:530.
- Bauer B (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Sept. 8, 2011.