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Vitamin C Effects on Weight Reduction, Cravings and Diabetes in GLOBESITY Bootcamp for the Obese

Effects of Vitamin C on Weight Reduction Cravings and Diabetes

Authors: Marcus Free MD, Rouzbeh Motiei-Langroudi MD, Waqar Ahmad PhD, Kelly Daly RDN, and Don Juravin (Don Karl Juravin).

Abstract (Research Summary)

  • Vitamin C (500mg daily) increases fat metabolism by 30% (Johnston 2005, Urakawa 2011).
  • Vitamin C decreases oxidative stress, inflammation of adipose tissues, and leptin resistance (Bondia-Pons 2012, Marti 2001, Urakawa 2011).
  • Vitamin C (500mg daily) improves insulin and adiponectin sensitivity resulting in improved glycemic control, stronger immunity, and a decrease in cravings and weight (Johnston 2007, Marti 2001).
  • Vitamin C protects brain cells which are sensitive to leptin and insulin from oxidative stress resulting in decreased cravings and weight loss (Urakawa 2011, Marti 2001).

Vitamin C Effects on Weight Reduction

Vitamin C decreases weight by increasing fat metabolism by 30% and reducing the inflammation of adipocytes. Vitamin C also increases the concentration of adiponectin, leptin, and insulin sensitivity.

  • Vitamin C (500mg daily) increases fat metabolism by 30%. Individuals with Vitamin C deficiency have a reduced ability to metabolize fat, therefore increasing the risk of obesity and diabetes (Johnston 2005).
  • Vitamin C decreases oxidative stress and improves metabolism, both effects directly linked with obesity (Urakawa 2011).
  • Vitamin C decreases inflammation of adipocytes and improves leptin sensitivity, resulting in long term weight loss (Bondia-Pons 2012).
  • Vitamin C decreases inflammation of adipose tissues (Marti 2001). Inflammation increases the risk of obesity, and insulin and leptin resistance (Marti 2001).
  • Vitamin C concentration in the blood is inversely related to markers of adiposity, particularly in women. Vitamin C also increases the sensitivity of circulating adiponectin, a hormone which decreases fat accumulation (Johnston 2007).
  • Vitamin C improves immunity by improving the health and response of white blood cells. Improved immunity is indirectly related to weight reduction in obese women and decreased risk of diabetes (Wintergerst 2006, Clement 2004).

Vitamin C Effects on Cravings

Vitamin C decreases cravings by improving glycemic control and repairing and protecting brain centers responsible for serotonin and leptin sensitivity.

  • Vitamin C decreases oxidative stress resulting in improved insulin sensitivity and blood glucose control (Urakawa 2011). These effects are both directly related to decreased cravings (Wurtman 1995, Flint 2007).
  • Vitamin C decreases free radicals, improves immune responses, and repairs brain cells (Winer 2009, Marti 2001), resulting in improved leptin and serotonin synthesis which are both directly linked with cravings (Winer 2009, Marti 2001).
  • Vitamin C decreases the storage of leukocytes (white blood cells) in adipocytes resulting in improved insulin sensitivity and glucose control (Urakawa 2011, Sauberlich 1994, Marti 2001). Controlled glucose levels help to reduce the onset of cravings (Flint 2007).

Vitamin C Effects on Diabetes

Vitamin C improves diabetes control by improving insulin sensitivity, glycemic control, oxidative stress, and immune responses.

  • Vitamin C decreases oxidative stress resulting in decreased insulin resistance and improved glycemic control (Urakawa 2011).
  • Vitamin C decreases the accumulation of T cells (lymphocyte) which produce a strong resistance against insulin in adipocytes, resulting in improved insulin sensitivity and glycemic control (Winer 2009, Sauberlich 1994, Marti 2001).
  • Vitamin C reduces fat storage resulting in decreased weight gain, and also decreases the storage of leukocytes (white blood cells) in adipocytes resulting in improved insulin sensitivity and glucose control (Urakawa 2011, Sauberlich 1994, Marti 2001).

Benefits, Side Effects, Drug Interactions


  • Vitamin C reduces vascular smooth muscle cell apoptosis and atherosclerosis by improving the production of nitric oxide and monocyte adherence in blood vessels (Osganian 2003).


Vitamin C is Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) according to FDA.

Side effects

The above side effects are not common unless excessive Vitamin C (>2000mg daily) is taken.

  • Nausea and vomiting: Large doses of Vitamin C may cause an upset sensation in the stomach and vomiting.
  • Abdominal pain: Large doses of Vitamin C may cause pain in the stomach.
  • Headaches: Large doses of Vitamin C may cause headaches.

Drug interactions

  • Aluminum: Aluminum is found in most antacids. Vitamin C may increase aluminum absorption.
  • Warfarin: Large doses of Vitamin C may decrease the effectiveness of Warfarin.


  • Blood-iron disorders (e.g. Hemochromatosis, Thalassemia): Vitamin C increases iron absorption which may result in worsened conditions.


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  2. Clement, K., Viguerie, N., Poitou, C., et al. (2004). Weight loss regulates inflammation-related genes in white adipose tissue of obese subjects. The FASEB Journal [online]. 18 (14), pp.1657-69. Available from: http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/105/7/804.short [Accessed 31.05.2016].
  3. Flint, A., Gregersen, N., Gluud, L., et al. ( 2007). Associations between postprandial insulin and blood glucose responses, appetite sensations and energy intake in normal weight and overweight individuals: a meta-analysis of test meal studies. British Journal of Nutrition [online], 98 (1), pp. 17-25. Available from: http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=1056996&fileId=s000711450768297x [Accessed 20.05.2016].
  4. Johnston, C. (2005). Strategies for Healthy Weight Loss: From Vitamin C to the Glycemic Response. Journal of the American College of Nutrition [online], 24 (3), pp. 158-65. Available from: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/07315724.2005.10719460 [Accessed 30.05.16].
  5. Johnston, C., Beezhold, B., Mostow, B., et al (2007). Plasma vitamin C is inversely related to body mass index and waist circumference but not to plasma adiponectin in nonsmoking adults. The Journal of Nutrition [online], 137 (7), pp. 1757-62. Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17585027 [Accessed 31.05.2016].
  6. Marti, A., Marcos, A., Martinez, J. (2001). Obesity and immune function relationships. Obesity Reviews [online], 2 (2), pp.131-40. Available from: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1046/j.1467-789x.2001.00025.x/abstract;jsessionid=ED1C99BEC5013C829684CEF025DA29BD.f04t02?userIsAuthenticated=false&deniedAccessCustomisedMessage= [Accessed 31.05.2016].
  7. Osganian, S., Stampfer, M., Rimm, E., et al. (2003). Vitamin C and risk of coronary heart disease in women. Journal of the American College of Cardiology [online], 42 (2), pp.246-52. Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12875759?dopt=Abstract [Accessed 02.06.2016].
  8. Sauberlich, H. (1994). Pharmacology of vitamin C. Annual Review of Nutrition [online], 14 (1), pp.371-91. Available from: http://www.annualreviews.org/doi/abs/10.1146/annurev.nu.14.070194.002103?journalCode=nutr [Accessed 30.05.2016].
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This research was sponsored by GLOBESITY FOUNDATION (nonprofit organization) and managed by Don Juravin. GLOBESITY Bootcamp for the obese is part of GLOBESITY FOUNDATION which helps obese with 70 to 400 lbs excess fat to adopt a healthy lifestyle and thereby achieve a healthy weight.

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