Matthew Messer

Matthew Messer


Vitamin C is essential for building bones, cartilage and joints, and its anti-inflammatory effects help keep our connective tissues healthy. In a new study, supplementing with high doses of vitamin C improved regeneration after knee replacement in several ways.

How can vitamin C promote healing?

Vitamin C affects the function of enzymes that are needed for proper collagen production; in its absence, connective tissues are weakened and regeneration after injury is slowed.
Vitamin C also has strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, which help to control the various inflammatory processes that are significantly increased after similar operations.
It has recently been discovered that vitamin C also provides some pain relief, so higher doses may reduce the need for medication. (1)

Various injuries and surgeries are known to reduce vitamin C concentrations, as shown by the fact that in one study 90% of participants had low vitamin C levels on the second day after knee replacement surgery. (2)
In summary, vitamin C has several properties that may speed up regeneration and its effectiveness has recently been tested in practice. (3)

Positive results

At the outset of the study, 110 participants who had undergone knee replacement surgery were divided into two groups: one group received a high dose (15 g) of intravenous vitamin C for 4 hours after surgery, while the other group received a single infusion.
On the 8th day after surgery, they were tested for inflammatory markers (CRP and ESR) and, as per standard procedure; they attended follow-up visits to monitor their recovery.


  • High-dose vitamin C supplementation resulted in participants' levels of CRP, an indicator of inflammation, being on average half that of the control group: 21 mg/L vs. 42 mg/L.
  • Their ESR also followed a similar trend, averaging half that of the vitamin C supplementers: 11 mm/h vs. 21 mm/h.
  • Immediately after surgery, patients who received vitamin C needed fewer analgesics.
  • Vitamin C supplement recipients healed faster.
  • In the first month after surgery, patients receiving vitamin C complained of less pain and their mobility improved compared to the control group.



High-dose vitamin C supplementation has reduced inflammatory reactions after surgery, which has eased patients' pain, reduced the use of painkillers and speeded up the recovery of the freshly operated patients.

  1. Chaitanya NC, Muthukrishnan A, Krishnaprasad CMS, Sanjuprasanna G, Pillay P, Mounika B. An Insight and Update on the Analgesic Properties of Vitamin C. J Pharm Bioallied Sci. 2018 Jul-Sep;10(3):119-125. doi: 10.4103/jpbs.JPBS_12_18. PMID: 30237682; PMCID: PMC6142887.
  2. Shah S, Brown C, Owen J, Fisher B, Natarajan R, Kates S. Vitamin C and inflammatory cytokine levels in elective total knee arthroplasty. Nutr Health. 2020 Jun;26(2):87-91. doi: 10.1177/0260106020910632. Epub 2020 Mar 30. PMID: 32228134.
  3. Ramón R, Holguín E, Chiriboga JD, Rubio N, Ballesteros C, Ezechieli M. Anti-Inflammatory Effect of Vitamin C during the Postoperative Period in Patients Subjected to Total Knee Arthroplasty: A Randomized Controlled Trial. J Pers Med. 2023 Aug 25;13(9):1299. doi: 10.3390/jpm13091299. PMID: 37763067; PMCID: PMC10532858.

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