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The effectiveness of vitamin C in preventing and relieving the symptoms of virus-induced respiratory infections

      Abstract

      Background: An ever increasing demand to evaluate the effect of dietary supplements on specific health conditions by use of a “significant scientific” standard has prompted the publication of this study. Objective: To study the effect of megadose Vitamin C in preventing and relieving cold and flu symptoms in a test group compared with a control group. Design: Prospective, controlled study of students in a technical training facility. Subjects: A total of 463 students ranging in age from 18 to 32 years made up the control group. A total of 252 students ranging in age from 18 to 30 years made up the experimental or test group. Method: Investigators tracked the number of reports of cold and flu symptoms among the 1991 test population of the facility compared with the reports of like symptoms among the 1990 control population. Those in the control population reporting symptoms were treated with pain relievers and decongestants, whereas those in the test population reporting symptoms were treated with hourly doses of 1000 mg of Vitamin C for the first 6 hours and then 3 times daily thereafter. Those not reporting symptoms in the test group were also administered 1000-mg doses 3 times daily. Results: Overall, reported flu and cold symptoms in the test group decreased 85% compared with the control group after the administration of megadose Vitamin C. Conclusion: Vitamin C in megadoses administered before or after the appearance of cold and flu symptoms relieved and prevented the symptoms in the test population compared with the control group. (J Manipulative Physiol Ther 1999;22:530–3)

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