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Am J Clin Nutr. 1993 Feb;57(2):170-4.

Vitamin C supplementation reduces the incidence of postrace symptoms of upper-respiratory-tract infection in ultramarathon runners.

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Division of Physical Education, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa.


This study determined whether daily supplementation with 600 mg vitamin C would reduce the incidence of symptoms of upper-respiratory-tract (URT) infections after participation in a competitive ultramarathon race (> 42 km). Ultramarathon runners with age-matched controls were randomly divided into placebo and experimental (vitamin C-supplemented) groups. Symptoms of URT infections were monitored for 14 d after the race. Sixty-eight percent of the runners in the placebo group reported the development of symptoms of URT infection after the race; this was significantly more (P < 0.01) than that reported by the vitamin C-supplemented group (33%). The duration and severity of symptoms of URT infections reported in the vitamin C-supplemented nonrunning control group was also significantly less than in the nonrunning control group receiving the placebo (P < 0.05). This study provides evidence that vitamin C supplementation may enhance resistance to the postrace URT infections that occur commonly in competitive ultramarathon runners and may reduce the severity of such infections in those who are sedentary.

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[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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