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ARTICLE |

Vitamin C Prophylaxis in Marine Recruits

Henry A. Pitt, MD; Anthony M. Costrini, MD
JAMA. 1979;241(9):908-911. doi:10.1001/jama.1979.03290350028016.
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A prospective, randomized, double-blind study was carried out to determine whether vitamin C prophylaxis, 2.0 g/day, vs placebo prophylaxis would reduce the incidence or morbidity of the common cold and other respiratory illnesses in 674 marine recruits during an eight-week period. Whole-blood ascorbic acid levels measured six weeks after initiation of the study were significantly higher in the vitamin C group. There was no difference between the two groups in the incidence or duration of colds. The vitamin C group rated their colds as being less severe, but this was not reflected in different symptom complexes or in fewer sick-call visits or training days lost. This study and the literature do not support the prophylactic use of vitamin C to prevent the common cold.

(JAMA 241:908-911, 1979)

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