Research: JOHNSTON and colleagues,

Listed in Issue 32


JOHNSTON and colleagues, Department of Family Resources and Human Development, Arizona State University, Tempe, USA studied the diet and vitamin C status of two college student samples.



Nonsmoking participants were recruited to the study from a college campus population throughout the fall and winter months.


The extent of Vitamin C deficiency (plasma vitamin C < 11 micromol/l) ranged between 1%-2% in the campus populations sampled. Marginal vitamin C status (plasma vitamin C 11-28 micromol/l) was seen in 12% of the autumn sample and 16% in the winter sample . Those participants with marginal vitamin C status ate significantly fewer daily servings of fruits and vegetables than those with an adequate vitamin C status.


Marginal vitamin C status, even more pronounced in smokers is associated with fatigue and increasing severity of respiratory tract infections. Because vitamin C status of many college smoking and non-smoking students may be inadequate, it is vital that health promotion or wellness programmes should stress the importance of adequate fruit and vegetable consumption.


Johnston CS et al. Vitamin C status of a campus population: college students get a C minus. J Am Coll Health 46(5): 209-13. Mar 1998.

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