Blood levels (leucocytic) ascorbic acid (vitamin C) were determined in 25 chronic alcoholics. Twenty-four out of 25 patients (96%) were found to be deficient in blood vitamin C. Blood vitamin C status improved significantly after booster therapy with I/V vitamin C 500 mg daily for 5 days.
Nevertheless, the levels did not return to the normal range in 16 out of 25 patients (64%). Given the biochemical deficiency of vitamin C in chronic alcoholics, it is suggested that conventional detoxification therapy for alcohol withdrawal syndrome should include polyvitamins including ascorbic acid. It is further suggested that prolonged vitamin C replenishment therapy, preferably by intravenous route, may be required to normalise blood levels in some chronic alcoholics.