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  • Hemilä, Harri (2007)
    Moreira et al (2007) systematically reviewed the role of nutrition on exercise-induced immunodepression. However, their paper has several shortcomings. Moreira refers to Nieman’s ‘J’-curve hypothesis, which proposes that moderate exercise improves the immune system and reduces the risk of upper respiratory tract infections (URI), whereas excessive physical stress impairs the immune system and increases URI risk (Nieman, 1994). In a large cohort, we found that the risk of the common cold and pneumonia was not reduced with moderate physical activity, refuting the universal validity of the ‘J’-model (Hemila et al, 2003, 2006). There is strong evidence of positive effect of vitamin C on physically stressed people and there is no valid evidence that vitamin C would be harmful to ordinary people in doses of 1–2 g/day. Therefore, physically active people, who consider that they suffer from colds frequently, can use vitamin C, while at the same time, we hope that new trials would be carried out.