Vitamin C supplementation for the treatment of osteoarthritis: perspectives on the past, present, and future

Burton Dunlap, G. Taylor Patterson, Sandeep Kumar, Sagar Vyavahare, Samarth Mishra, Carlos Isales, Sadanand Fulzele

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 14% of adults in the United States have either been diagnosed with osteoarthritis (OA) or have symptoms suggestive of the disease. The CDC also points out that the incidence of OA has been gradually increasing over the past 30 years. What is more worrisome is that this trend is going to accelerate due to the aging demographics of the United States and the increasing prevalence of obesity seen in the country. The need for better preventive treatments and efficacious therapeutics are direly needed to combat this public health crisis. Among the possible treatments being hypothesized, antioxidant supplementation has become one of the most widely studied over the past decade due to its ability to attenuate reactive oxygen species (ROS) formation within chondrocytes, a critical step in the pathogenesis of this disease. Vitamin C has emerged as among the most promising of the antioxidant group, with many animal and human studies having been conducted in recent years. Although many of the studies have shown encouraging results in terms of preventing OA, others have reached opposite conclusions, thus making the data controversial. However, after reviewing several of these studies, we hypothesize that certain parameters may not have been properly considered during data collection. In the end, more randomized placebo-controlled trials in humans are desperately needed in order to fully understand whether vitamin C therapy is efficacious in treating and/or preventing OA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalTherapeutic Advances in Chronic Disease
StatePublished - 2021


  • antioxidant
  • ascorbic acid
  • nutritional supplementation
  • osteoarthritis
  • vitamin C

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


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