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BioMed Research International
Volume 2018, Article ID 1837634, 12 pages
Review Article

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

1Graduate School, Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Tianjin 300193, China
2Department of Neurology, Nankai Hospital, Tianjin Academy of Integrative Medicine, Tianjin 300100, China
3Department of Research and Development, Hangzhou DeBuYou Health Technology Co. Ltd., Hangzhou, Zhejiang 310018, China
4College of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Tianjin 300193, China
5Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida 32611, USA

Correspondence should be addressed to Yiider Tseng; ude.lfu@gnesty and Huaien Bu; nc.ude.mctujt@ubneiauh

Received 14 December 2017; Revised 30 April 2018; Accepted 12 June 2018; Published 5 July 2018

Academic Editor: Hai-Feng Pan

Copyright © 2018 Li Ran et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


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.