Research: HEMILA, Department of Pub

Listed in Issue 22


HEMILA, Department of Public Health, University of Helsinki Finland writes that in 1971, Linus Pauling carried out a meta-analysis of 4 placebo-controlled trials. His conclusions were that it was highly unlikely that the decrease in the "integrated morbidity of the common cold in vitamin C groups was caused by chance alone. Research conducted since then have consistently found that vitamin C of dose greater than or equal to 1 g per day alleviates common cold symptoms, demonstrating that vitamin C does indeed exert physiological effects upon colds. However, widespread conviction still abounds that vitamin C has no proven effects upon the common cold.



and RESULTS: The author reviews three of the most influential reviews which conclude that vitamin C has no effect and which are cited in the current edition of the RDA nutritional recommendations as evidence that vitamin C is ineffective against colds. These three reviews are shown to contain serious inaccuracies and shortcomings, making them unreliable sources for this subject. In addition, possible conceptual reasons are suggested for the persistent resistance to the idea that vitamin C may have effects on colds.



Despite the fact that placebo-controlled trials have shown that vitamin C does alleviate common cold symptoms, important questions still remain.


Hemila H. Vitamin C supplementation and common cold symptoms: problems with inaccurate reviews. Nutrition 12(11-12): 804-9. Nov-Dec. 1996.


Why is it that even after 25 years, serious inaccuracies and shortcomings in reporting of the vitamin C - cold research have not been corrected? It is scandalous that the general perception is that vitamin C does not help with colds, despite the considerable evidence to the contrary.

ICAN Skyscraper

Scientific and Medical Network 2

Cycle Around the World for Charity 2023

Climb Mount Kilimanjaro Charity 2023

Cycle from Milan to Venice for Regain 2023

top of the page