The Antimicrobial Properties of Vitamin C

by Desmond Owusu
Faculty advisor: Dr. Brian Lenzmeier

Vitamin C is commonly viewed by many people as an effective self-medication used for colds and infections.  It is not clear what role Vitamin C plays in helping people overcome infections.  Vitamin C may function to enhance a person’s immune response, may kill microorganisms directly, or may do a combination of the two.  In this study we propose to determine if Vitamin C is capable of killing bacteria.  We have been carrying out a Kirby-Bauer disk assays using differing concentrations of Vitamin C and different species of bacteria.  So far we have found that Vitamin C is capable of killing 4 different lab stocks of bacteria, but it does a better job of killing gram-positive bacteria when compared to gram-negative bacteria.  We are now examining the ability of Vitamin C to kill environmental samples of gram-positive bacteria that were isolated using Mannitol Salt agar and gram-negative bacteria that were isolated using Eosine Methylene Blue agar.