Vitamin C supplementation and respiratory infections: a systematic review.
Journal: 2005/February - Military Medicine
ISSN: 0026-4075
PUBMED: 15605943
Abstract:
In this review, the vitamin C trials with military personnel and with other subjects living under conditions comparable to those of military recruits are analyzed to find out whether vitamin C supplementation affects respiratory infections. For this systematic review, we identified seven trials with military personnel, three trials with students in crowded lodgings, and two trials with marathon runners. Eight of these trials were double blind and placebo controlled and seven were randomized. Five small trials found a statistically significant 45 to 91% reduction in common cold incidence in the vitamin C group. These trials were short and the participants were under heavy exertion during the trial. Furthermore, three other trials found a statistically significant 80 to 100% reduction in the incidence of pneumonia in the vitamin C group. The large number of positive findings seems to warrant further consideration of the role of vitamin C in respiratory infections, particularly in military recruits.
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