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Editor's Correspondence
August 10, 2009

Vitamin D Level, Respiratory Tract Infections, and Controlled Trials—Reply

Arch Intern Med. 2009;169(15):1443-1444. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2009.247

In reply

We thank Dr Hemilä for this correspondence. The Cochrane review by Douglas et al1 supported our statement that vitamin C has a limited role in prevention and treatment of colds and concluded that the prophylactic or therapeutic use of vitamin C does not reduce the incidence or severity of colds. There was a modest reduction (approximately 12 hours) in duration of colds with prophylactic but not therapeutic use of vitamin C, but as those authors conclude, “there seems no justification for routine mega-dose vitamin C supplementation in the normal population” and “therapeutic supplementation has not been shown to be beneficial.”1