Browsing by Subject "COMMON COLD SYMPTOMS"

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  • Hemilä, Harri; Chalker, Elizabeth (2019)
    A number of controlled trials have previously found that in some contexts, vitamin C can have beneficial effects on blood pressure, infections, bronchoconstriction, atrial fibrillation, and acute kidney injury. However, the practical significance of these effects is not clear. The purpose of this meta-analysis was to evaluate whether vitamin C has an effect on the practical outcomes: length of stay in the intensive care unit (ICU) and duration of mechanical ventilation. We identified 18 relevant controlled trials with a total of 2004 patients, 13 of which investigated patients undergoing elective cardiac surgery. We carried out the meta-analysis using the inverse variance, fixed effect options, using the ratio of means scale. In 12 trials with 1766 patients, vitamin C reduced the length of ICU stay on average by 7.8% (95% CI: 4.2% to 11.2%; p = 0.00003). In six trials, orally administered vitamin C in doses of 1-3 g/day (weighted mean 2.0 g/day) reduced the length of ICU stay by 8.6% (p = 0.003). In three trials in which patients needed mechanical ventilation for over 24 hours, vitamin C shortened the duration of mechanical ventilation by 18.2% (95% CI 7.7% to 27%; p = 0.001). Given the insignificant cost of vitamin C, even an 8% reduction in ICU stay is worth exploring. The effects of vitamin C on ICU patients should be investigated in more detail.
  • Hemilä, Harri (2004)
    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.