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Evaluation of The Pharmaceutical Quality of the Most Commonly Purchased Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid) Formulations in COVID-19 Infection in South Africa

Chanyandura et al., J. Basic Appl. Pharm. Sci., doi:10.33790/jbaps1100105
Jan 2024  
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Vitamin C for COVID-19
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Analysis of commonly purchased vitamin C supplements in South Africa during the COVID-19 pandemic finding that vitamin C tablets failed quality tests like friability and had only 18% of the labelled vitamin C content, however vitamin C capsules passed manufacturing quality tests. Authors conclude there is a need for regulatory authorities in South Africa to develop more stringent quality guidelines and standards for over-the-counter vitamin supplements.
Chanyandura et al., 30 Jan 2024, peer-reviewed, 2 authors.
This PaperVitamin CAll
Evaluation of The Pharmaceutical Quality of the Most Commonly Purchased Vitamin C(Ascorbic Acid) Formulations in COVID-19 Infection in South Africa
Jonathan T Chanyandura, Norman Zimunda Nyazema
An extensive examination of available literature suggests that vitamin C plays a role in lessening, and in certain instances, eliminating specific symptoms associated with COVID-19, particularly those linked to vitamin D deficiency. This has resulted in an increase in the demand and consumption of over-the-counter dietary supplement vitamin C, -Ascorbic acid, both in the event of viral infection and for general wellness and health. Yet, despite numerous conducted clinical trials, there is limited substantiating evidence to endorse its regular or routine utilization. In South Africa, the regulatory authority SAHPRA has always been lenient with dietary supplement industry which has grown since the COVID-19 pandemic. The present study sought to evaluate the pharmaceutical quality of different Vitamin C formulations commonly purchased by consumers available on the market in South Africa. All the tests normally carried out during the pharmaceutical tablet and capsule manufacturing were performed. In addition, consumer advisory statements were closely examined. From the test results, tablets had friability of 15% and had only 18% of vit C as stated on the label which also contained confusing information. In contrast, the capsules passed all the manufacturing process test. Be that as it may, there is still need for SAHPRA to come up smart regulations to continue protecting the general public from poor quality over-the counter dietary supplement vit C products. For any dietary supplement product such as vit C, typically the customer cannot appreciate the processes involved in assuring quality of a product during its manufacture. Consumers expect quality of overthe-counter products such dietary supplements.
Competing interests: The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
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