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Med Monatsschr Pharm. 2009 Feb;32(2):49-54; quiz 55-6.

[Vitamin C and immune function].

[Article in German]

Author information

1
Leibniz Universität Hannover, Institut für Lebensmittelwissenschaft und Okotrophologie, Abteilung Ernährungsphysiologie und Humanernährung, Am Kleinen Felde 30, 30167 Hannover.

Abstract

The immune system is strongly influenced by the intake of nutrients. For a long time there has been a controversy whether vitamin C can contribute to the prevention and therapy of the common cold. Several cells of the immune system can indeed accumulate vitamin C and need the vitamin to perform their task, especially phagocytes and t-cells. Thus a vitamin C deficiency results in a reduced resistance against certain pathogens whilst a higher supply enhances several immune system parameters. With regard to the common cold different studies including meta-analyses underline that the prophylactic intake of vitamin C may slightly reduce the duration of the illness in healthy persons but does not affect its incidence and severity. Supplementation of vitamin C is most effective in cases of physical strain or insufficient intake of the vitamin. With regard to the therapy of the common cold the application of vitamin C alone is without clinical effects.

PMID:
19263912
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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