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August 29, 1977

Vitamin C and Growth

Author Affiliations

University of California, Berkeley

JAMA. 1977;238(9):937. doi:10.1001/jama.1977.03280100021008

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To the Editor. —  Miller and co-workers (237:248, 1977) claim to have observed an "effect of vitamin C on growth in young male twins." Inspection of their data (Table 1) indicates that such a conclusion is unjustified.Their conclusion was drawn solely from the comparison with placebo for 500 mg/day. An opposite conclusion could just as easily (and equally erroneously) be drawn from the figures for 1,000 mg/day for male twins. Actually, three sets grew more rapidly with vitamin C, and three more rapidly with placebo. Finally, when the total growths for both sexes are summarized, 42 vitamin C twins grew a total of 129.60 cm for an average of 3.09 cm, and 42 placebo twins grew 131.69 cm for an average of 3.14 cm. In short, growth on vitamin C was slightly, but obviously insignificantly, less than growth on placebo. In any experiment on growth rates conducted with experimental