A randomized, inactive-placebo controlled, double-blind trial among people with foot ulcers found that vitamin C led to improved healing of the ulcers. Researchers gave 500mg of slow-release vitamin C to 16 people with foot ulcers at the foot-wound clinic at Westmead Hospital, Sydney, Australia.
Nine of the patients were randomized to a control group and seven to the vitamin C group. When serum vitamin C results became available after four weeks, all people with deficiency were offered both vitamin C and glucosamine tablets for the next four weeks. Patients without baseline deficiency continued their original assigned treatment.
The primary outcome was a reduction in ulcer size at eight weeks.
Fifty percent of subjects had baseline vitamin C deficiency, half having undetectable levels. Healing at eight weeks was significantly better in the vitamin C group (median 100 percent versus -14 percent). Healing without amputation occurred in all patients in the vitamin C group. In contrast, 44 percent of participants in the control group had not healed their ulcer at the end of the study period.
The researchers said that further studies are needed to determine whether there is a threshold effect for serum vitamin C above which therapy is ineffective and whether there are better or lesser responding subgroups.
The study, Vitamin C Improves Healing of Foot Ulcers; A Randomised, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial, was published in the British Journal of Nutrition.