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Over the last few decades there has been increased interest and renewed research into the role of vitamin C in acute and chronic conditions such as infection and cancer. Novel mechanisms of action have recently been discovered – dispelling many of the myths and misconceptions. Understanding the new evidence-based research in these fields will benefit health care providers in their patient care.

This e-learning course is designed to inform health care providers of the science behind vitamin C's pleotropic roles in human health and disease, and the use of oral and intravenous vitamin C in specific health conditions, such as infection, cancer and cardiometabolic conditions. The modules include audiovisuals and links to additional resources and further reading. The modules will be updated as new evidence is published.

This modular e-learning course is registered for continuing professional development (CPD) and continuing medical education (CME) credits with a number of professional organisations (see list further below).

Course content

This e-learning course is designed as an introduction and overview for those new to oral and intravenous vitamin C use in healthcare, as well as for those already using the vitamin in their clinical practice who wish to know more about its mechanisms of action in different conditions.

Module 1, which comprises an overview of vitamin C's functions, pharmacokinetics, and safety, should be completed before moving on to any of the other Modules that focus on the use of oral and intravenous vitamin C in specific health conditions.

Module 1

Overview of vitamin C's functions, pharmacokinetics and safety (40 min)

Module 2

Overview and measurement of vitamin C intake and body status (90 min)

Module 3

Oral and intravenous vitamin C use in infection and sepsis (70 min)

Module 4

Oral and intravenous vitamin C use in cancer (55 min)

Module 5

Role and use of vitamin C use in cardiometabolic conditions (15 min)

Module 6

Intravenous vitamin C administration for practitioners (25 min)

Total length of course: 5 hours (+ additional activities, resources and reading)

This course is designed for:

  • General practitioners and family practice physicians
  • Critical care and internal medicine physicians
  • Oncologists
  • Nurse practitioners, nurses, and physician assistants
  • Dieticians and nutritionists
  • Doctors of naturopathic medicine
  • Complementary and alternative medicine practitioners
  • Health promotion and nutrition educators

CPD/CME registration with:

Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners logo, with text: Endorsed activity. Valid unti 31l March 2023.Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners (RNZCGP)

  • The “Department of Pathology & Biomedical Science University of Otago – Vitamin C Usage” activity has been endorsed by The Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners (RNZCGP) and has been approved for Continuing Professional Development (CPD) purposes.
  • RNZCGP Endorsed credits: 1 CME credit per 1 learning hour

College of Intensive Care Medicine of Australia and New Zealand (CICM) Accredited

  • Online Learning – Catergory 1A: Passive Self Learning (1 point per hour)

Learning goals/outcomes

Following completion of this course the participant will be able to:

  • Discuss the evidence-based role of vitamin C in health care, and disease prevention and therapy to colleagues and patients (Communication, Scholarship, Professionalism)
  • Explain the differences between oral and intravenous vitamin C to colleagues and patients (Communication, Scholarship, Professionalism)
  • Describe how vitamin C works in the body, including mechanisms related to specific disease states, to colleagues and patients (Communication, Scholarship, Professionalism)
  • Assess the potential usefulness of vitamin C administration to patients with specific health conditions in their healthcare practice (Clinical expertise, Management)
  • Apply knowledge on vitamin C pharmacokinetics and administration to their healthcare practice (Clinical expertise, Professionalism)
  • Demonstrate awareness of the potential safety issues with oral and intravenous vitamin C (Clinical expertise, Professionalism)

Certificate of completion

Following completion of the modules of interest, please complete the self-reflection and feedback survey online (Qualtrics) or use the offline form available at the end of the modules and email to:

Research Professor Anitra Carr

For members of the RNZCGP, your CPD credits will be uploaded to the RNZCGP website. A certificate of completion can be emailed to you if required.

Course feedback

“I recently looked at your Vit C modules and found them stimulating and interesting.”
GP, Wellington

“I found it really truly useful and beneficial for both personal and professional use as a GP.”

“I am halfway through the modules and really enjoying it as it has somehow corrected some of the misbeliefs I had.”

“Excellent format. Thanks for putting it together – producing the course no doubt involved a lot of time and effort, but definitely a very worthwhile contribution to medicine in general. Thanks for making it available for free.”

“Illustrated the large body of knowledge that exists currently for using IV and oral Ascorbic acid. Not just something that is used on the 'margins' with no scientific basis.”

“Very interesting info on pharmacokinetics, transporters, RDA and limiting factors from previous research. Excellent!”

“Well put together (overall structure, paced discussion in text body with highlighted/deeper information in images/figures). Thank you.”

“I was always taught that there was no robust evidence for benefits of IVVit C that justifies its use or cost to the patient.”

“Provided great insight and information was easy to read/follow with good diagrams. Liked how there were diagrams, videos, podcasts for all different learning types.”
– Nursing student and HCA

Course convener

Associate professor Anitra Carr

Research Professor Anitra CarrAssociate professor Anitra Carr is the Director and Principal Investigator of the Nutrition in Medicine Research Group at the University of Otago, Christchurch, New Zealand. Anitra is particularly interested in the roles and use of both oral and intravenous vitamin C in human health and disease. She carries out translational bench-to-bedside research comprising clinical trials and lab-based biomedical research to elucidate the underlying mechanisms of action. Anitra's research covers a wide variety of fields, including infection/sepsis, cancer, cardiometabolic conditions and mood/cognitive health, as well as general vitamin C requirements and recommended intakes.


Anitra obtained a PhD in Pathology from the University of Otago, New Zealand (1998), and was subsequently awarded an American Heart Association Postdoctoral Fellowship which was carried out at the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University, USA. Whilst there, Anitra produced a number of high impact publications, one of which was used to inform an increase in the recommended dietary intake for vitamin C (2000). Anitra returned to research work in New Zealand (2010), and was awarded a four-year Health Research Council of New Zealand Sir Charles Hercus Health Research Fellowship (2016). Anitra is currently Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board of the UK VitaminC4covid initiative and an Associate Editor for the journal Nutrition Research and on the Editorial Boards of the journals Nutrients and Antioxidants. Anitra was recently awarded a Gold Medal for sustained research excellence (2021).

Anitra is passionate about sharing her knowledge of vitamin C's evidence-based health benefits with health care professionals and members of the general public, hence the development of this course. I hope you find it of benefit.

Contact information

If your organisation provides CPD/CME and may wish to endorse/register this e-learning course or components therein, please contact:

Anitra Carr
Tel +64 3 364 0649

Also, let Professor Carr know if you have any questions about the course or relevant resources that could be included.

Please donate

This course is provided free of charge. However, there are costs incurred as part of providing this course, such as annual CPD registration fees. Therefore, please donate to the Vitamin C for Life trust to help cover these costs. Research Professor Anitra Carr does not receive any salary support for her time in preparing the content or moderating the course – this is all provided on a voluntary basis.

© Anitra Carr, 2022. You may not copy, modify, distribute, display, transmit, perform, publish or sell any of the copyrightable material on this website. You may hyperlink to this website but must include the following statement:

"This link leads to the website 'Oral and intravenous vitamin C use in health care' provided by the Nutrition in Medicine Research Group at University of Otago, Christchurch.”

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