Extra Dose of Vitamin C Based on a Daily Supplementation Shortens the Common Cold: A Meta-Analysis of 9 Randomized Controlled Trials

Biomed Res Int. 2018 Jul 5;2018:1837634. doi: 10.1155/2018/1837634. eCollection 2018.

Abstract

Aim: To investigate whether vitamin C is effective in the treatment of the common cold.

Method: After systematically searching the National Library of Medicine (PubMed), Cochrane Library, Elsevier, China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI), VIP databases, and WANFANG databases, 9 randomized placebo-controlled trials were included in our meta-analysis in RevMan 5.3 software, all of which were in English.

Results: In the evaluation of vitamin C, administration of extra therapeutic doses at the onset of cold despite routine supplementation was found to help reduce its duration (mean difference (MD) = -0.56, 95% confidence interval (CI) [-1.03, -0.10], and P = 0.02), shorten the time of confinement indoors (MD = -0.41, 95% CI [-0.62, -0.19], and P = 0.0002), and relieve the symptoms associated with it, including chest pain (MD = -0.40, 95% CI [-0.77, -0.03], and P = 0.03), fever (MD = -0.45, 95% CI [-0.78, -0.11], and P = 0.009), and chills (MD = -0.36, 95% CI [-0.65, -0.07], and P = 0.01).

Conclusions: Extra doses of vitamin C could benefit some patients who contract the common cold despite taking daily vitamin C supplements.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis

MeSH terms

  • Ascorbic Acid / therapeutic use*
  • Common Cold / drug therapy*
  • Humans
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Vitamins / therapeutic use*

Substances

  • Vitamins
  • Ascorbic Acid