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April 12, 1971

Vitamin C and Common Cold

Author Affiliations

Stanford, Calif

JAMA. 1971;216(2):332. doi:10.1001/jama.1971.03180280086025

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To the Editor.—  My book, Vitamin C and the Common Cold was reviewed in The Journal by Franklin C. Bing (215:1506, 1971).I do not object to the expression by the reviewer of his opinions. However, it is essential that the several untrue and thoroughly misleading statements that he makes be corrected.I do not state that ascorbic acid is a completely harmless chemical. I describe it as natural, essential food that is nontoxic, and has far fewer side reactions than aspirin and other common cold medicines.I do not recommend doses of from 1 to 10 gm daily throughout life. Instead, I say that there is evidence that some people remain in very good health, including freedom from the common cold, year after year through the ingestion of only 250 mg of ascorbic acid per day, that the requirements of a few people for ascorbic acid may be