Matching Items (2)

150191-Thumbnail Image.png

Vitamin C and treating the common cold

Description

The antioxidant, antihistamine, and chemotactic properties of vitamin C provide the theoretical basis linking vitamin C supplementation to combating the common cold; yet, the clinical evidence is mixed. To date, vitamin C intervention trials have not systematically recorded cold symptoms

The antioxidant, antihistamine, and chemotactic properties of vitamin C provide the theoretical basis linking vitamin C supplementation to combating the common cold; yet, the clinical evidence is mixed. To date, vitamin C intervention trials have not systematically recorded cold symptoms daily or looked at fluctuations in plasma histamine over an extended period. Also, trials have not been conducted in individuals with marginal vitamin C status. This study examined the impact of vitamin C supplementation during cold season on specific cold symptoms in a population with low plasma vitamin C concentrations. Healthy young males who were not regular smokers or training for competitive sports between the ages of 18 and 35 with below average plasma vitamin C concentrations were stratified by age, body mass index, and vitamin C status into two groups: VTC (500 mg vitamin C capsule ingested twice daily) or CON (placebo capsule ingested twice daily). Participants were instructed to fill out the validated Wisconsin Upper Respiratory Symptom Survey-21 daily for 8 weeks. Blood was sampled at trial weeks 0, 4, and 8. Plasma vitamin C concentrations were significantly different by groups at study week 4 and 8. Plasma histamine decreased 4.2% in the VTC group and increased 17.4% in the CON group between study weeks 0 and 8, but these differences were not statistically significant (p>0.05). Total cold symptom scores averaged 43±15 for the VTC group compared to 148±36 for the CON group, a 244% increase in symptoms for CON participants versus VTC participants (p=0.014). Additionally, recorded symptom severity and functional impairment scores were lower in the VCT group than the CON group (p=0.031 and 0.058, respectively). Global perception of sickness was 65% lower in the VTC group compared to the CON group (p=0.022). These results suggest that 1000 mg of vitamin C in a divided dose daily may lower common cold symptoms, cold symptom severity, and the perception of sickness. More research is needed to corroborate these findings.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2012

150199-Thumbnail Image.png

Plasma vitamin C supplementation and physical activity in young men

Description

Vitamin C is a micronutrient with many important physiological roles. It can function as a reducing agent, a free radical scavenger, and an enzyme cofactor. Much research has examined the potential of vitamin C supplements to enhance exercise capacity in

Vitamin C is a micronutrient with many important physiological roles. It can function as a reducing agent, a free radical scavenger, and an enzyme cofactor. Much research has examined the potential of vitamin C supplements to enhance exercise capacity in trained athletes; however, little is known regarding the effects of vitamin C supplements on the promotion of leisure-time physical activity in the general population. This area deserves attention since 1/3 of Americans have below adequate vitamin C status, and since aversion to exercise, fatigue, and altered mood states are the earliest signs of poor vitamin C status. This study analyzed the effect of supplementing 500 mg twice daily of vitamin C on self-reported leisure-time activity levels and mood states in young men. Twenty-nine healthy, young men, aged 18-35 years, were stratified by age, BMI, smoking status, and plasma vitamin C concentrations and assigned to either a control (CON) or experimental group (VTC) for the 8-week randomized, double-blinded, parallel arm trial. Subjects were instructed to keep track of their leisure-time physical activity by filling out the validated Godin Leisure-Time Exercise Questionnaire weekly for the entire study. In addition, subjects took the self-administered Profile of Mood States (POMS) at baseline, week 4, and week 8 to observe mood states. Plasma vitamin C concentrations were analyzed at the initial screening, week 4, and week 8 of the study. Plasma vitamin C concentrations significantly differed by group at week 4 and week 8. Furthermore, vitamin C supplementation significantly increased self-reported mild, moderate, and strenuous activity levels during the 8-week trial. Overall, total physical activity scores increased nearly 50% in the VTC group as compared to 18% in the CON group (p=0.001). However, mood states were not significantly impacted by vitamin C supplementation during the trial. This study provides the first experimental evidence that supplementing 500 mg of vitamin C twice daily can be effective in increasing leisure-time physical activity in healthy young men. This study, however, was unable to link improvements in physical activity rates to improved mood states. Since sedentary behaviors have been implicated in the rise of obesity in the U.S., further research should be conducted to substantiate the finding that vitamin C supplementation increases physical activity.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2012