Name: Acerola

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

Usual Pediatric Dose for Dietary Supplement

Oral, IM, IV, subcutaneously: 35 to 100 mg/day.


Some injectable products may contain sulfites which may cause allergic-type, including anaphylactic-type, reactions in some patients.

Products containing benzyl alcohol are considered contraindicated for use in infants.


Ascorbic acid is dialyzable and supplementation may be necessary. There are no data on the precise supplementation dose needed; however, one author recommends <= 500 mg orally daily.


Acerola provides natural vitamin C and other useful vitamins and minerals. It is used as an antioxidant as well as an antifungal agent. Other uses include as an astringent and for diarrhea, dysentery, hepatitis, and fever, although clinical trials are lacking.

Adverse Reactions

Large doses may produce GI distress. Prolonged, massive dosage may predispose to formation of renal calculi.


Acerola (previously M. punicifolia L.) is native to the West Indies, but is also found in northern South America, Central America, Texas, and Florida. It grows as small shrubs or trees from 5 to 15 m in height. The branches are brittle and the leaves are glossy and dark to light green. The 5-petaled flowers range from pink to white in color. Acerola fruit is cherry-like, 3-lobed, bright red, and 1 to 2 cm in diameter, containing several small seeds. Mature fruits are soft, pleasant-tasting, and contain 80% juice. The fruits deteriorate rapidly once removed from the tree. 1 , 2 , 3


1. Leung AY, Foster S. Encyclopedia of Common Natural Ingredients Used in Food, Drugs, and Cosmetics . 2nd ed. New York, NY: J. Wiley and Sons; 1996:6-7.
4. Visentainer JV, Vieira OA, Matsushita M, de Souza NE. Vitamin C in Barbados cherry Malpighia glabra L. pulp submitted to processing and to different forms of storage. Arch Latinoam Nutr . 1998;48:256-259.
5. de Medeiros R. Proportion of ascorbic, dehydroascorbic and diketogulonic acids in green or ripe acerola ( Malpighia punicifolia ) [in Portuguese]. Rev Bras Med . 1969;26:398-400.
6. Leme J Jr, Fonseca H, Nogueira JN. Variation of ascorbic acid and beta-carotene content in lyophilized cherry from the West Indies ( Malpighia punicifolia L.) [in Portuguese]. Arch Latinoam Nutr . 1973;23:207-215.
8. Visentainer JV, Vieira OA, Matsushita M, de Souza NE. Physico-chemical characterization of acerola ( Malpighia glabra L.) produced in Maringa, Parana State, Brazil [in Portuguese]. Arch Latinoam Nutr . 1997;47:70-72.
9. Hwang J, Hodis HN, Sevanian A. Soy and alfalfa phytoestrogen extracts become potent low-density lipoprotein antioxidants in the presence of acerola cherry extract. J Agric Food Chem . 2001;49:308-314.
10. Caceres A, Lopez B, Juarez X, del Aguila J, Garcia S. Plants used in Guatemala for the treatment of dermatophytic infections. 2. Evaluation of antifungal activity of seven American plants. J Ethnopharmacol . 1993;40:207-213.

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Ascorbic acid Breastfeeding Warnings

Ascorbic acid is excreted into human breast milk. The effects in the nursing infant are unknown. The manufacturer recommends that caution be used when administering ascorbic acid to nursing women.