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Vitamin c and the common cold
 

Vitamin c and the common cold

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  • Humans are not able to synthesize vitamin C due to lack of gulonolactone oxidase which is that last enzyme in the vitamin C synthetic pathway (1). The L-isomer is biologically active in humans (1). Other animals that cannot synthesize vitamin C include: primates, fruit bats, guinea pigs, and some birds (1).
  • British sailors often died from scurvy on the sea, due to a deficiency in vitamin C (1).
  • During a cold the most common source of vitamin C is orange juice, in addition to it’s convenience it can also help sooth the throat if chilled (2). Complementary alternative medicines are defined as a group of medical and health care practices that are not considered to be apart of conventional medicine (2). Some research exists in regards to these therapies, but questions whether they are safe/effective still remain (2).
  • Article states that taking vitamin C on a daily basis will not help in the prevention of a cold; and for the average person, purchasing supplements is an unnecessary expense (3). In addition, the role that vitamin C has in the body is to protect cells and absorb iron from food (3). The article looked at research from a meta-analysis which studied the effects of taking 200mg of vitamin C a day; in addition, they used an analysis about vitamin C and the common cold from the Cochrane Library (3).
  • In 2004, Douglas et al. analyzed six out of thirty trials (2).
  • Study conducted by Bruce Barrett et al. The study interviewed subjects through questionnaires by means of the telephone or in person to see if they currently had a cold or symptoms of a cold (4). Upon selection, 253 rationally diverse (in terms of race, education, and income) participants were than randomly presented with one of four scenarios (all scenarios had no risk involved) (4).
  • Study conducted by Bruce Barrett et al. Two classes of medical professionals were given questionnaires, common cold researchers (experts) and practicing family physicians (5). Results showed that both experts and family physicians felt that cold remedies do not decrease the duration of a cold (5). Opinions varied regarding the severity of reduction, with decongestants being the most popular method, with alternative methods (which includes vitamin C) and conventional methods were seen as equally favorable (5).
  • Study conducted by Wintergerst et al. When the body is under stress or is infected there is a rapid decline in the vitamin C concentration in plasma and leukocytes (6). The role that vitamin C plays is that it maintains the redox integrity of the cells and protects them against reactive oxygen species during respiratory bursts (6). Both nutrients play an important role in immune function, resistance of infection, and reduction of risk and severity of diseases (6).
  • Study conducted by Audera et al. Four intervention arms: vitamin C at daily doses of 0.03g (placebo), 1 g, 3g, or 3g with additives (Bio-C) which was taken at start of a cold and for the following two days (7). When the patients felt they were staring a cold they were instructed to take their medication and record how they felt, doctor visits, and if any other medications were taken (7)
  • Written by Hickey et al. in response to the Cochrane Review written by Douglas et al. Hickey et al. states that the review excludes pharmacokinetic data that cancels out the conclusion that vitamin C is an ineffective treatment for the common cold (8).

Vitamin c and the common cold Vitamin c and the common cold Presentation Transcript

  • Vitamin C and the Common Cold Written by: Corrie Cox DTC 422
  • Background
    • Vitamin C is aka ascorbic acid
    • The human body cannot synthesize vitamin C
    • Vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin
    • In 1928 vitamin C was isolated
    • In 1933 its structure was determined
  • Sources
    • Vitamin C can be obtained through
      • Food or Supplements
    • Food is the best source!
      • Parsley, broccoli, bell pepper, strawberries, oranges, lemon juice, papaya, cauliflower, kale, mustard greens, and Brussels sprouts
    • Supplements
      • Do not consume more than 500mg/day
  • Deficiency
    • Those at high risk
      • Smokers, the elderly, and people who consume large amounts of alcohol
    • Symptoms of scurvy
      • Fatigue, bleeding gums, altered wound healing, and uncontrolled rupture of capillaries
  • RDA and Overconsumption
    • RDA for Adults age 19 and older
      • 90 mg/day for men
      • 75 mg/day for women
      • smokers additional 35 mg/day
    • Too much vitamin C can cause
      • Nausea, vomiting, heartburn, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and headaches
  • Vitamin C & Common Cold
    • May have a mild antihistamine effect
      • Shortens symptoms/duration of a cold
    • Common source
      • Orange juice
    • Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM)
  • Vitamin C & Common Cold
    • Its role in fighting infection remains controversial
    • Read article below for more information
      • http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/vitamin-c-does-not-protect-against-the-common-cold-457707.html
  • Media Report
    • “ Vitamin C does not protect against the common cold”
      • Article published in The Independent
      • Written by Jeremy Laurance
    • Unnecessary expense
    • Beneficial supplement for
      • Skiers, marathon runners, and soldiers
  • Media Report
    • More studies needed
      • On children and effects of pneumonia
    • Avoiding the common cold
      • Take Echinacea (herbal remedy)
      • Drink hot honey and lemon
      • Avoiding shaking hands
      • Keep nose and face warm
  • Scientific Evidence
    • Review Article
      • “ Examining the evidence for the use of vitamin C in the prophylaxis and treatment of a common cold”
        • Common cold is a nuisance to daily activities
        • Vitamin C used in iron absorption, wound healing, and collagen formation
        • Its use in cold treatment inconclusive
        • Role in production of neurotransmitters
        • Role in improved glucose metabolism
        • Ability to improve function of immune system
  • Scientific Evidence
    • Thirty placebo controlled trial were reviewed
      • 11,350 subjects
      • Found no difference in the incidence of the common cold
        • Vitamin C supplements taken daily
  • Scientific Evidence
    • Meta-analyses
      • Six trials
      • 642 marathon runners, skiers, and soldiers
        • Performing in sub artic conditions
      • Experimental group
        • Took 200 > mg/day
      • Results
        • 50% reduction of development of common cold
        • No difference in duration or severity of a cold
        • Decrease in missed number of work/school days for those taking vitamin C
  • Scientific Evidence
    • Research Study
      • “Sufficiently Important Difference for Common Cold: Severity Reduction”
        • Consumers choice of cold remedy
        • Questionnaires
        • 253 participants
        • Conclusion
          • Preferred method in order: Vitamin C, Echinacea, zinc lozenge, and antiviral
  • Scientific Evidence
    • Research Study
      • Medical Specialists opinion
      • Questionnaire
        • http:// www.coldstudy.org/expectedbenefits /
        • Evaluate treatment based of 7 day cold
          • Reduce duration/severity of cold
      • Results
        • Medical Specialists felt cold remedies offer limited benefits
  • Scientific Evidence
    • Research Study
      • “Immune-enhancing role of vitamin c and zinc and effect on clinical conditions”
        • Improvement in the immune system from
          • Vitamin C
          • Zinc
  • Scientific Evidence
    • Research Study
      • “Mega-dose vitamin C in treatment of the common cold: a randomized controlled trial”
        • 400 Students
        • Eighteen Month Trial
        • Four intervention arms
        • Conclusion
          • No difference between experimental group and placebo group
  • Scientific Evidence
    • Correspondence
      • “ Misleading Information on the Properties of Vitamin C”
      • Response to Cochrane Review
      • Confusion
        • Between supplementation of vitamin C levels
      • Claim
        • The claim that vitamin C cannot prevent of cure the common cold is premature and unjustifiable
  • Conclusion
    • Further research needed
      • On children
      • Effects of pneumonia
    • Shortcomings
      • Dietary intake of vitamin C
      • Small number of subjects
      • Lack of diversity in subjects
      • Self reported data
        • Regarding duration and severity of cold
  • References
    • 1. Gropper SS, Smith JL, Groff JL. Advanced Nutrition and Human Metabolism . Fifth edition, Wadsworth Cenage Learning, 2009.
    • 2. Heiner KA, Hart AM, Martin LG, Rubio-Wallace S. Examining the evidence for the use of vitamin C in the prophylaxis and treatment of the common cold. J Am Acad Nurse Pract . 2009; 21(5): 295-300.
    • 3. Available at: http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/vitamin-c-does-not-protect-against-the-common-cold-457707.html . Accessed October 2, 2009.
    • 4. Barrett B, Harahan B, Brown D, Zhang Z, Brown R. Sufficiently important difference for common cold: severity reduction. Ann Fam Med . 2007; 5(3): 216-23.
  • References
    • 5. Barrett B, Endrizzi S, Andreoli P, Barlow S, Zhang Z. Clinical significance of common cold treatment: professionals' opinions. WMJ . 2007; 106(8): 473-80.
    • 6. Wintergerst ES, Maggini S, Hornig DH. Immune-enhancing role of vitamin C and zinc and effect on clinical conditions. Ann Nutr Metab . 2006; 50(2): 85-94.
    • 7. Audera C, Patulny RV, Sander BH, Douglas RM. Mega-dose vitamin C in treatment of the common cold: a randomized controlled trial. Med J Aust . 2001 ; 175(7): 359-62.
    • 8. Hickey S, Roberts H. Misleading information on the properties of vitamin C. PLoS Med . 2005; 2(6): e168; quize217.
  • The End