Study: Vitamin C fails to prevent colds

June 28, 2005

Vitamin C does nothing to prevent the common cold but may shorten its duration, Australian and Finnish researchers say in their analysis of 55 studies.

The 1970s book, "Vitamin C and the Common Cold," by Nobel Prize-winning chemist Linus Pauling sparked interest in the supplement that has grown to a more than $600 million annual business in Britain, the Times of London reported.

However, researchers Robert Douglas of Australian National University and Harri Hemila of the University of Helsinki said people who took up to 2 grams of Vitamin C daily caught colds at the same rate as people who took a placebo.

The result "throws doubt on the utility of this wide practice," the authors said in the journal Public Library of Science Medicine.

One study found that very large doses of Vitamin C -- 8 grams -- taken on the first day of a cold appeared to shorten how long it lasts.

Those results are "tantalizing and deserve further investigation," the researchers said.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

Explore further: Will horseradish and garlic really ease a cold?

Related Stories

Diet tracker in space

September 15, 2017

Whether you are on a diet or just want to be healthier, you might be one of those millions of people around the planet who use a mobile app to track everything you eat. The trend has arrived in space: European astronauts ...

Vitamin D deficiency may increase risk of colds, flu

February 23, 2009

Vitamin D may be an important way to arm the immune system against disorders like the common cold, report investigators from the University of Colorado Denver (UC Denver) School of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital ...

Recommended for you

Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

December 11, 2017

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while simultaneously helping it avoid detection.

A global north-to-south shift in wind power by end of century

December 11, 2017

CIRES and RASEI researchers suggest that wind resources in the next century may decrease in many regions in the Northern Hemisphere—and could sharply increase in several hotspot regions down south. The first-of-its-kind ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.