Does A Vitamin C Deficiency Reduce Fat Oxidation?

Vitamin C plays a role in the maintenance of correct body weight. One reason for this is that vitamin C is required for the biosynthesis of carnitine, a molecule that is necessary for the oxidation of fatty acids. A deficiency of vitamin C may decrease the synthesis of carnitine, and this may then affect the efficiency of fat oxidation. Around 15 % of adults in the United States are deficient in vitamin C and this may therefore explain the high rates of obesity. Researchers have investigated how the vitamin C status of an individual affects their ability to metabolise fat. In one study, researchers measured the vitamin C levels of healthy individuals and then asked them to run on a treadmill. The results showed that subjects with a marginal vitamin C status oxidised 25 % less fat during exercise compared to those subjects with an adequate vitamin C status. In addition, those with the best vitamin C levels also suffered less fatigue. Supplementation of depleted subjects with vitamin C caused a 4 fold increase in fat oxidation. 

Eat Well, Stay Healthy, Protect Yourself


Johnston, C. S., Corte, C. and Swan, P. D. 2006. Marginal vitamin C status is associated with reduced fat oxidation during submaximal exercise in young adults. Nutrition and Metabolism.  3(1): 1-5

About Robert Barrington

Robert Barrington is a writer, nutritionist, lecturer and philosopher.
This entry was posted in Vitamin C, Weight Loss. Bookmark the permalink.