Vitamin C supplementation and the common cold - was Linus Pauling right or wrong?

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http://hdl.handle.net/10250/7980
Title: Vitamin C supplementation and the common cold - was Linus Pauling right or wrong?
Author: Hemilä Harri
Contributor: Kansanterveystieteen laitos
Abstract: In 1970 Linus Pauling claimed that vitamin C prevents and alleviates the episodes of the common cold. Pauling was correct in con¬cluding from trials published up till then, that in general vitamin C does have biological effects on the common cold, but he was rather over-op¬timistic as regards the size of benefit. His quan¬titative conclusions were based on a single pla¬cebo-controlled trial on schoolchildren in a ski¬ing camp in the Swiss Alps, in which a signifi¬cant decrease in common cold incidence and du¬ration in the group administered 1 g/day of vi¬tamin C was found. As children in a skiing camp are not a representative sample of the general population, Pauling's extrapolation to the pop¬ulation at large was too bold, erring as to the magnitude of the effect. Nevertheless, Pauling's general conclusion that vitamin C has physio¬logical effects on the common cold is of major importance as it conflicts with the prevailing consensus that the only physiological effect of vitamin C on human beings is to prevent scurvy.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10250/7980
Date: 2009-01-30
Rights: 3


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