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Current Reviews in Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology


ISSN (Print): 2772-4328
ISSN (Online): 2772-4336


Effect of Vitamin C Supplements on Respiratory Tract Infections: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Author(s): Tahmina Afrose Keya*, Anthony Leela, Kevin Fernandez, Nasrin Habib and Mumunur Rashid

Volume 17, Issue 3, 2022

Published on: 08 February, 2022

Page: [205 - 215] Pages: 11

DOI: 10.2174/2772432817666211230100723

Price: $65


Background: Respiratory tract infections are a primary cause of illness and mortality over the world.

Objective : This study was aimed to investigate the effectiveness of vitamin C supplementation in preventing and treating respiratory tract infections.

Methods: We used the Cochrane, PubMed, and MEDLINE Ovid databases to conduct our search. The inclusion criteria were placebo-controlled trials. Random effects meta-analyses were performed to measure the pooled effects of vitamin C supplementation on the incidence, severity, and duration of respiratory illness.

Results : We found ten studies that met our inclusion criteria out of a total of 2758. The pooled risk ratio (RR) of developing respiratory illness when taking vitamin C regularly across the study period was 0.94 (with a 95% confidence interval of 0.87 to 1.01) which found that supplementing with vitamin C lowers the occurrence of illness. This effect, however, was statistically insignificant (P= 0.09). This study showed that vitamin C supplementation had no consistent effect on the severity of respiratory illness (SMD 0.14, 95% CI -0.02 to 0.30: I2 = 22%, P=0.09). However, our study revealed that vitamin C group had a considerably shorter duration of respiratory infection (SMD -0.36, 95% CI -0.62 to -0.09, P = 0.01).

Conclusion: Benefits of normal vitamin C supplementation for reducing the duration of respiratory tract illness were supported by our meta-analysis findings. Since few trials have examined the effects of therapeutic supplementation, further research is needed in this area.

Keywords: Ascorbic acid , immunity, efficacy, incidence, severity, respiratory illness .

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