Equine veterinary journal1987; 19(6); 520-523; doi: 10.1111/j.2042-3306.1987.tb02664.x

Oral administration of ascorbic acid to horses.

Abstract: The effects of oral administration of high doses of ascorbic acid on plasma concentrations were investigated in both experimental Thoroughbred horses and those within racing stables. A single oral dose (20 g) did not result in any increase in plasma concentrations. However, daily administration of either 4.5 g or 20 g doses resulted in significant increases in plasma concentrations. Monthly variations in plasma ascorbate concentrations were found in both supplemented (20 g daily) and unsupplemented stables. It is concluded that oral supplementation with ascorbic acid is a satisfactory route to increase plasma and tissue concentrations.
Publication Date: 1987-11-01 PubMed ID: 3504762DOI: 10.1111/j.2042-3306.1987.tb02664.xGoogle Scholar: Lookup
The Equine Research Bank provides access to a large database of publicly available scientific literature. Inclusion in the Research Bank does not imply endorsement of study methods or findings by Mad Barn.
  • Journal Article


This research summary has been generated with artificial intelligence and may contain errors and omissions. Refer to the original study to confirm details provided. Submit correction.

This research investigates the impact of orally administered high doses of ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) on the plasma concentrations in Thoroughbred horses. The study determined that while a one-time dose did not elevate plasma levels, consistent daily doses did show significant increases.

Overview of the Research

The research focused on the outcomes of orally given doses of ascorbic acid, commonly known as Vitamin C, in Thoroughbred horses. The major investigation areas involved whether a single dose or repeated daily administration had an effect on plasma concentrations of ascorbic acid.

  • A single dose of ascorbic acid (20 g) was found not to increase plasma concentrations.
  • Nonetheless, daily doses, either of 4.5 g or 20 g, led to considerable increases in plasma concentrations of ascorbic acid.

Key Findings

Chronic administration of ascorbic acid, as opposed to a one-time dose, was more effective in boosting ascorbic acid plasma concentrations. Additionally, variations in plasma concentrations were noted over different months in both supplemented and non-supplemented stables.

  • Horses that received a daily dose of ascorbic acid (either 4.5 g or 20 g) showed perceptible increases in plasma concentrations of the vitamin.
  • There were noticeable monthly variations in plasma ascorbate concentrations in stables that supplemented with 20 g daily and those that were not supplemented.

Conclusions Derived

The authors concluded that oral supplementation with ascorbic acid effectively increased plasma and tissue concentrations. Therefore, orally administering ascorbic acid to horses can be a viable route to increase their vitamin C plasma and tissue levels.

  • According to this study, oral supplementation of ascorbic acid is an effective way to boost plasma and tissue concentrations in horses.
  • It implies that using ascorbic acid supplements can be beneficial in maintaining optimum levels of vitamin C in horses, especially considering these animals experience physical exertion and oxidative stress during racing and training.

Cite This Article

Snow DH, Gash SP, Cornelius J. (1987). Oral administration of ascorbic acid to horses. Equine Vet J, 19(6), 520-523. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.2042-3306.1987.tb02664.x


ISSN: 0425-1644
NlmUniqueID: 0173320
Country: United States
Language: English
Volume: 19
Issue: 6
Pages: 520-523

Researcher Affiliations

Snow, D H
  • Physiology Unit, Animal Health Trust, Newmarket, Suffolk.
Gash, S P
    Cornelius, J

      MeSH Terms

      • Administration, Oral
      • Animals
      • Ascorbic Acid / administration & dosage
      • Ascorbic Acid / blood
      • Ascorbic Acid / pharmacokinetics
      • Horses / blood
      • Injections, Intravenous
      • Male


      This article has been cited 3 times.
      1. Wong DM, Young L, Dembek KA. Blood thiamine (vitamin B(1) ), ascorbic acid (vitamin C), and cortisol concentrations in healthy and ill neonatal foals.. J Vet Intern Med 2021 Jul;35(4):1988-1994.
        doi: 10.1111/jvim.16188pubmed: 34056771google scholar: lookup
      2. Ralston S, Stives M. Supplementation of Ascorbic Acid in Weanling Horses Following Prolonged Transportation.. Animals (Basel) 2012 Apr 16;2(2):184-94.
        doi: 10.3390/ani2020184pubmed: 26486916google scholar: lookup
      3. Olaifa F, Ayo JO, Ambali SF, Rekwot PI. Hemato-biochemical responses to packing in donkeys administered ascorbic acid during the harmattan season.. J Vet Med Sci 2015 Feb;77(2):133-8.
        doi: 10.1292/jvms.12-0038pubmed: 23154452google scholar: lookup