Ascorbic Acid for anxiety and depression

Vitamin-C is needed for the synthesis of collagen and connective tissues. This vitamin also helps in boosting the repair mechanism of the body and of course the immune system. Vitamin-C is involved in the chemical process that involves tryptophan ( the “feel good” brain chemical of the body). It acts as a cofactor for for tryptophan-5-hydroxylase. Tryptophan-5-hydroxylase hastens the hydroxylation of tryptophan to the “feel good” brain chemical serotonin. Difficiency of Vitamin-C means an impaired production of tryptohan which may lead to depression.



In one study involving vitamain-C , 40 psychiatric patients received 1 g/day of ascorbic acid or a placebo for three weeks. In a double-blind test, The vitamin C group,  yields significant improvements in depressive, manic and paranoid symptom complexes, as well as in overall functioning. ( Source: Milner G. Ascorbic acid in chronic psychiatric patients: a controlled trial. Br J Psychiatry 1963;109:294- )

Dosage and Sources:

The standard dose for Vitamin-C is 500 mg per day. Persons suffering from anxiety or depression may require a dose of 1,000 mg to 5,000mg per day. Natural sources of Vitamin-C are  citrus fruits and other fruits.



1. Hector M, Burton JR. What are the psychiatric manifestations of vitamin B12 deficiency? J Am Geriatr Soc 1988;36:1105-12.
2. Geagea K, Ananth J. Response of a psychiatric patient to vitamin B12 therapy. Dis Nerv Syst 1975;35:343-4.
3. Daynes G. Cyanocobalamin in postpartum psychosis. S Afr Med J 1975;49:1373.
4. Cooper JR. The role of ascorbic acid in the oxidation of tryptophan to 5-hydroxytryptophan. Ann NY Acad Sci 1961;92:208-11.
5. Milner G. Ascorbic acid in chronic psychiatric patients: a controlled trial. Br J Psychiatry 1963;109:294-9.

Last update:  January 16, 2009


2 Responses to Ascorbic Acid for anxiety and depression

  1. shellie says:

    did not know that ascorbic acid could also help depression

  2. Ax says:

    good thing i always take ascorbic acid!

    i take 5000mg per day, would my stomach not suffer the acidity of the said vitamin?

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