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Vitamin C Dietary Supplements: An Objective Review of the Clinical Evidence. Part I

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... It is biosynthesized by almost all organisms except humans. It is widely known as the vitamin whose deficiency causes scurvy in humans (Li, Byers, and Walvekan 2008; Velandia et al. 2008; Moyad and Combs 2007). Biotin, also known as vitamin H or B 7 (coenzyme R, Biopeiderm;Fig. ...
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Fourier transform-infrared (FT-IR) spectrometry was used for the rapid, direct measurement of ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and biotin (vitamin H) in different pharmaceutical products. Conventional KBr spectra were compared for the best determination of active substances in drug preparations. The Beer-Lambert law and chemometric approaches were applied in data processing.
... To date, many over-thecounter options claim significance as a potential adjuvant therapy or sole treatment for colds and flu-like symptoms, but few dietary supplements, apart from vitamin C, have had adequate numbers of clinical trials conducted (Moyad & Combs, 2007). For example, meta-analyses exist of randomized trials of vitamin C and its impact on pneumonia (Hemila & Louhiala, 2007) or the common cold (Douglas, Hemila, Chalker, & Treacy, 2007). ...
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A yeast-based product (EpiCor, a dried Saccharomyces cerevisiae fermentate) was compared to placebo to determine effects on the incidence and duration of cold and flu-like symptoms in healthy subjects recently vaccinated for seasonal influenza. In a 12-week, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial, 116 participants received daily supplementation with 500 mg of EpiCor or placebo for 12 weeks. Data collected included periodic in-clinic examinations and serologic evaluations at baseline, 6- and 12-weeks. Subjects also utilized a standardized self-report symptom diary during the study. Participants receiving the yeast-based product had significantly fewer symptoms and significantly shorter duration of symptoms when compared with subjects taking a placebo.
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Arguably, vitamin C has received more attention clinically and commercially compared with any other dietary supplement. First recognized as a way to eliminate scurvy and infections related to scurvy, recent studies utilizing this compound in a range of formulations and by itself show that it potentially may impact the risk of cancer, heart disease, and other diverse conditions. However, what is the actual current clinical evidence for this vitamin or another formulation of this vitamin? The strongest data for vitamin C appear to be as a nutrient that potentially enhances a combination product and this has been observed in the areas of prenatal care, eye disease, and general health maintenance. However, the possibility also exists that vitamin C by itself may favorably impact these conditions. For example, the potential for immune enhancement for users of vitamin C supplements alone is of interest. A recent meta-analysis of randomized trials published over the past several decades concluded that the evidence was preliminary but solid enough to consider recommending vitamin C supplementation to prevent and help treat pneumonia along with conventional medicine in some cases. The Physicians' Health Study II, which is randomizing 15,000 doctors to several types of supplements, including 500 mg of vitamin C daily or placebo, will be one of the most interesting clinical studies to date with this nutrient in terms of preventing a variety of chronic diseases. Additionally, Vitamin C containing metabolites (Ester-C) already has several clinical studies that suggest it may provide better tolerance, immune enhancement of greater duration, and a lower risk of side effects compared with ascorbic acid (vitamin C) alone. Our group is currently designing and recruiting one of the largest clinical studies of vitamin C by itself compared with Ester-C. These clinical studies should determine the impact of this nutrient on a variety of important immune measurements, as well as whether it has the potential to reduce mental and physical markers of stress-induced immune changes. Regardless, vitamin C is establishing a clinical track record, which is allowing researchers to begin to understand its overall impact in medicine apart from its antiquated role as a solution for scurvy.
Article
Arguably, vitamin C has received more attention clinically and commercially compared to any other dietary supplement. The strongest data for vitamin C appears to be as a nutrient that potentially enhances a combination product, and this has been observed in the areas of prenatal care, eye disease, general health maintenance, and immune enhancement. However, the possibility also exists that vitamin C by itself may favorably impact these conditions. Additionally, vitamin C containing metabolites (Ester-C) already has several clinical studies that suggest it may provide better tolerance, immune enhancement of greater duration, and a lower risk of side effects compared to ascorbic acid (vitamin C) alone. Our group is currently comparing vitamin C by itself to Ester-C in various clinical studies, which should determine the impact of this nutrient on a variety of important immune measurements, as well as markers of stress-induced immune changes.
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The objective of this study was to test the effects of acute doses of vitamin C alone, calcium ascorbate with vitamin C metabolites, and placebo, on total plasma and leukocyte vitamin C concentrations over 24 hours. A double-blind, placebo-controlled, four-way crossover study was performed consisting of four separate phases lasting 24 hours each and utilizing one of four oral 1000-mg preparations within each phase (one of vitamin C alone, two separate vitamin C formulations of calcium ascorbate with vitamin C metabolites, and placebo). There was a 7-day washout between phases, and blood draws at seven time points within each phase of the study for a total of 28 serologic measurements per subject and 420 total measurements for the entire clinical trial. Vitamin C concentration in plasma and leukocytes were measured by high-performance liquid chromatography at baseline and at six sequential time periods over 24 hours. Fifteen healthy males were enrolled, aged 18-39 years; nine were had never smoked and six were chronic smokers. No significant difference in plasma vitamin C levels was observed when comparing the different preparations. However, at 24 hours, calcium ascorbate with metabolites resulted in significantly higher concentrations of vitamin C in leukocytes (P<0.0001) compared with vitamin C alone. These results were similar for both metabolite formulations, and independent of smoking status. Regardless of smoking status, vitamin C metabolites may enhance leukocyte utilization of vitamin C itself, despite no consistent difference in plasma levels among the different preparations. A larger clinical investigation is warranted to confirm these preliminary findings, and to determine the clinical relevance of this impact on overall immune function.
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Lung cancer and cardiovascular disease are major causes of death in the United States. It has been proposed that carotenoids and retinoids are agents that may prevent these disorders. We conducted a multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled primary prevention trial -- the Beta Carotene and Retinol Efficacy Trial -- involving a total of 18,314 smokers, former smokers, and workers exposed to asbestos. The effects of a combination of 30 mg of beta carotene per day and 25,000 IU of retinol (vitamin A) in the form of retinyl palmitate per day on the primary end point, the incidence of lung cancer, were compared with those of placebo. A total of 388 new cases of lung cancer were diagnosed during the 73,135 person-years of follow-up (mean length of follow-up, 4.0 years). The active-treatment group had a relative risk of lung cancer of 1.28 (95 percent confidence interval, 1.04 to 1.57; P=0.02), as compared with the placebo group. There were no statistically significant differences in the risks of other types of cancer. In the active-treatment group, the relative risk of death from any cause was 1.17 (95 percent confidence interval, 1.03 to 1.33); of death from lung cancer, 1.46 (95 percent confidence interval, 1.07 to 2.00); and of death from cardiovascular disease, 1.26 (95 percent confidence interval, 0.99 to 1.61). On the basis of these findings, the randomized trial was stopped 21 months earlier than planned; follow-up will continue for another 5 years. After an average of four years of supplementation, the combination of beta carotene and vitamin A had no benefit and may have had an adverse effect on the incidence of lung cancer and on the risk of death from lung cancer, cardiovascular disease, and any cause in smokers and workers exposed to asbestos.
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It has been known since the early days of ascorbic acid research that the appearance of scurvy, which is caused by deficiency of this vitamin, is associated with decreased resistance to infection (Reid and Briggs, 1953). Over the years, it has become well recognized that ascorbate can bolster the natural defense mechanisms of the host and provide protection not only against infectious disease, but also against cancer and other chronic degenerative diseases. The functions involved in ascorbate’s enhancement of host resistance to disease include its biosynthetic (hy-droxylating), antioxidant, and immunostimulatory activities. In addition, ascorbate exerts a direct antiviral action that may confer specific protection against viral disease. The vitamin has been found to inactivate a wide spectrum of viruses as well as suppress viral replication abd expression in infected cell. In this article we review the antiviral and immunotimulatory effects of ascorbate and their relevance to control of acute and chronic viral infections. Detailed discussion of thr biosynthetic activities of ascorbate has been presented in a review by England and Seifter (1986). The antinoxidant function of ascorbate has been reviewed recently by Bendich (1988)
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Folate is involved in DNA synthesis and methylation and may reduce breast cancer risk, particularly among women with greater alcohol consumption. To assess the association between folate intake and risk of breast cancer and whether higher folate intake may reduce excess risk among women who consume alcohol. Prospective cohort study performed in 1980, with 16 years of follow-up. A total of 88818 women who completed the dietary questionnaire section of the Nurses' Health Study in 1980. Incidence of invasive breast cancer by levels of folate and alcohol intake. A total of 3483 cases of breast cancer were documented. Total folate intake was not associated with overall risk of breast cancer. However, among women who consumed at least 15 g/d of alcohol, the risk of breast cancer was highest among those with low folate intake. For total folate intake of at least 600 microg/d compared with 150 to 299 microg/d, the multivariate relative risk (RR) was 0.55 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.39-0.76; P for trend = .001). This association was only slightly attenuated after additional adjustment for intake of beta carotene, lutein/zeaxanthin, preformed vitamin A, and total vitamins C and E. The risk of breast cancer associated with alcohol intake was strongest among women with total folate intake of less than 300 microg/d (for alcohol intake > or =15 g/d vs <15 g/d, multivariate RR, 1.32; 95% CI, 1.15-1.50). For women who consumed at least 300 microg/d of total folate, the multivariate RR for intake of at least 15 g/d of alcohol vs less than 15 g/d was 1.05 (95% CI, 0.92-1.20). Current use of multivitamin supplements, the major source of folate, was associated with lower breast cancer risk among women who consumed at least 15 g/d of alcohol (for current users of supplements vs never users, RR, 0.74; 95% CI, 0.59-0.93). Our findings suggest that the excess risk of breast cancer associated with alcohol consumption may be reduced by adequate folate intake.
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One hundred sixty-eight volunteers were randomized to receive a placebo or a vitamin C supplement, two tablets daily, over a 60-day period between November and February. They used a five-point scale to assess their health and recorded any common cold infections and symptoms in a daily diary. Compared with the placebo group, the active-treatment group had significantly fewer colds (37 vs 50, P<.05), fewer days challenged virally (85 vs 178), and a significantly shorter duration of severe symptoms (1.8 vs 3.1 days, P<.03). Consequently, volunteers in the active group were less likely to get a cold and recovered faster if infected. Few side effects occurred with the active treatment, and volunteers reported greatly increased satisfaction with the study supplement compared with any previous form of vitamin C. This well-tolerated vitamin C supplement may prevent the common cold and shorten the duration of symptoms. Volunteers were generally impressed by the protection afforded them during the winter months and the general acceptability of the study medication.
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It has been suggested that a low dietary intake of antioxidant vitamins and minerals increases the incidence rate of cardiovascular disease and cancer. To date, however, the published results of randomized, placebo-controlled trials of supplements containing antioxidant nutrients have not provided clear evidence of a beneficial effect. We tested the efficacy of nutritional doses of supplementation with a combination of antioxidant vitamins and minerals in reducing the incidence of cancer and ischemic cardiovascular disease in the general population. The Supplementation en Vitamines et Mineraux Antioxydants (SU.VI.MAX) study is a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled primary prevention trial. A total of 13 017 French adults (7876 women aged 35-60 years and 5141 men aged 45-60 years) were included. All participants took a single daily capsule of a combination of 120 mg of ascorbic acid, 30 mg of vitamin E, 6 mg of beta carotene, 100 mug of selenium, and 20 mg of zinc, or a placebo. Median follow-up time was 7.5 years. No major differences were detected between the groups in total cancer incidence (267 [4.1%] for the study group vs 295 [4.5%] for the placebo group), ischemic cardiovascular disease incidence (134 [2.1%] vs 137[2.1%]), or all-cause mortality (76 [1.2%] vs 98 [1.5%]). However, a significant interaction between sex and group effects on cancer incidence was found (P = .004). Sex-stratified analysis showed a protective effect of antioxidants in men (relative risk, 0.69 [95% confidence interval [CI], 0.53-0.91]) but not in women (relative risk, 1.04 [95% CI, 0.85-1.29]). A similar trend was observed for all-cause mortality (relative risk, 0.63 [95% CI, 0.42-0.93] in men vs 1.03 [95% CI, 0.64-1.63] in women; P = .11 for interaction). After 7.5 years, low-dose antioxidant supplementation lowered total cancer incidence and all-cause mortality in men but not in women. Supplementation may be effective in men only because of their lower baseline status of certain antioxidants, especially of beta carotene.
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Epidemiologic studies have suggested a lower risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) at higher intakes of fruit, vegetables, and whole grain. Whether this association is due to antioxidant vitamins or some other factors remains unclear. We studied the relation between the intake of antioxidant vitamins and CHD risk. A cohort study pooling 9 prospective studies that included information on intakes of vitamin E, carotenoids, and vitamin C and that met specific criteria was carried out. During a 10-y follow-up, 4647 major incident CHD events occurred in 293 172 subjects who were free of CHD at baseline. Dietary intake of antioxidant vitamins was only weakly related to a reduced CHD risk after adjustment for potential nondietary and dietary confounding factors. Compared with subjects in the lowest dietary intake quintiles for vitamins E and C, those in the highest intake quintiles had relative risks of CHD incidence of 0.84 (95% CI: 0.71, 1.00; P=0.17) and 1.23 (1.04, 1.45; P=0.07), respectively, and the relative risks for subjects in the highest intake quintiles for the various carotenoids varied from 0.90 to 0.99. Subjects with higher supplemental vitamin C intake had a lower CHD incidence. Compared with subjects who did not take supplemental vitamin C, those who took >700 mg supplemental vitamin C/d had a relative risk of CHD incidence of 0.75 (0.60, 0.93; P for trend <0.001). Supplemental vitamin E intake was not significantly related to reduced CHD risk. The results suggest a reduced incidence of major CHD events at high supplemental vitamin C intakes. The risk reductions at high vitamin E or carotenoid intakes appear small.
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For more than 50 years, the Food and Nutrition Board of the National Academy of Sciences has been reviewing nutrition research and defining nutrient requirements for healthy people, referred to as the Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA). As new nutrition research is published, the importance of vitamins as vital nutrients is underscored, and new physiologic roles and applications to human health are examined and considered with regard to updating the RDA. Each year a substantial amount of new research is published on vitamins. This review examines recent research published on the importance of vitamin C with regard to general health.
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This study investigated if vitamin C supplementation before and after eccentric exercise could reduce muscle soreness (MS), oxidative stress, and muscle function. Eighteen healthy men randomly assigned to either a placebo (P) or vitamin C (VC) (3 g/d) treatment group took pills for 2 wk prior and 4 d after performing 70 eccentric elbow extensions with their non-dominant arm. MS increased in both groups with significantly reduced MS for the first 24 h with VC. Range of motion was reduced equally in both groups after the exercise (P > or = 0.05). Muscle force declined equally and was unaffected by treatment. VC attenuated the creatine kinase (CK) increase at 48 h after exercise with similar CK after this time. Glutathione ratio (oxidized glutathione/total glutathione) was significantly increased at 4 and 24 h with P but VC prevented this change. These data suggest that vitamin C pretreatment can reduce MS, delay CK increase, and prevent blood glutathione oxidation with little influence on muscle function loss.
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Antioxidant supplements are used for prevention of several diseases. To assess the effect of antioxidant supplements on mortality in randomized primary and secondary prevention trials. DATA SOURCES AND TRIAL SELECTION: We searched electronic databases and bibliographies published by October 2005. All randomized trials involving adults comparing beta carotene, vitamin A, vitamin C (ascorbic acid), vitamin E, and selenium either singly or combined vs placebo or vs no intervention were included in our analysis. Randomization, blinding, and follow-up were considered markers of bias in the included trials. The effect of antioxidant supplements on all-cause mortality was analyzed with random-effects meta-analyses and reported as relative risk (RR) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs). Meta-regression was used to assess the effect of covariates across the trials. We included 68 randomized trials with 232 606 participants (385 publications). When all low- and high-bias risk trials of antioxidant supplements were pooled together there was no significant effect on mortality (RR, 1.02; 95% CI, 0.98-1.06). Multivariate meta-regression analyses showed that low-bias risk trials (RR, 1.16; 95% CI, 1.04[corrected]-1.29) and selenium (RR, 0.998; 95% CI, 0.997-0.9995) were significantly associated with mortality. In 47 low-bias trials with 180 938 participants, the antioxidant supplements significantly increased mortality (RR, 1.05; 95% CI, 1.02-1.08). In low-bias risk trials, after exclusion of selenium trials, beta carotene (RR, 1.07; 95% CI, 1.02-1.11), vitamin A (RR, 1.16; 95% CI, 1.10-1.24), and vitamin E (RR, 1.04; 95% CI, 1.01-1.07), singly or combined, significantly increased mortality. Vitamin C and selenium had no significant effect on mortality. Treatment with beta carotene, vitamin A, and vitamin E may increase mortality. The potential roles of vitamin C and selenium on mortality need further study.
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Vitamin deficiencies are frequent in children suffering from malaria. The effects of maternal multivitamin supplementation on the risk of malaria in children are unknown. We examined the impact of providing multivitamins or vitamin A/beta-carotene supplements during pregnancy and lactation to HIV-infected women on their children's risk of malaria up to 2 years of age, in a randomized, placebo-controlled trial. Tanzanian women (N = 829) received one of four daily oral regimens during pregnancy and after delivery: 1) vitamins B, C, and E (multivitamins); 2) vitamin A and beta-carotene (VA/BC); 3) multivitamins including VA/BC; or 4) placebo. After 6 months of age, all children received 6-monthly oral vitamin A supplements irrespective of treatment arm. The incidence of childhood malaria was assessed through three-monthly blood smears and at monthly and interim clinic visits from birth to 24 months of age. Compared with placebo, multivitamins excluding VA/BC reduced the incidence of clinical malaria by 71% (95% CI = 11-91%; P = 0.02), whereas VA/BC alone resulted in a nonsignificant 63% reduction (95% CI = -4% to 87%; P = 0.06). Multivitamins including VA/BC significantly reduced the incidence of high parasitemia by 43% (95% CI = 2-67%; P = 0.04). The effects did not vary according to the children's HIV status. Supplementation of pregnant and lactating HIV-infected women with vitamins B, C, and E might be a useful, inexpensive intervention to decrease the burden of malaria in children born to HIV-infected women in sub-Saharan Africa.
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A prospective, randomized, double-blind study was carried out to determine whether vitamin C prophylaxis, 2.0 g/day, vs placebo prophylaxis would reduce the incidence or morbidity of the common cold and other respiratory illnesses in 674 marine recruits during an eight-week period. Whole-blood ascorbic acid levels measured six weeks after initiation of the study were significantly higher in the vitamin C group. There was no difference between the two groups in the incidence or duration of colds. The vitamin C group rated their colds as being less severe, but this was not reflected in different symptom complexes or in fewer sick-call visits or training days lost. This study and the literature do not support the prophylactic use of vitamin C to prevent the common cold. (JAMA 241:908-911, 1979)
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Background: Previous research has identified a high risk of gastric carcinoma as well as a high prevalence of cancer precursor lesions in rural populations living in the province of Nariño, Colombia, in the Andes Mountains. Methods: A randomized, controlled chemoprevention trial was conducted in subjects with confirmed histologic diagnoses of multifocal nonmetaplastic atrophy and/or intestinal metaplasia, two precancerous lesions. Individuals were assigned to receive anti-Helicobacter pylori triple therapy and/or dietary supplementation with ascorbic acid, β-carotene, or their corresponding placebos. Gastric biopsy specimens taken at baseline were compared with those taken at 72 months. Relative risks of progression, no change, and regression from multifocal nonmetaplastic atrophy and intestinal metaplasia were analyzed with multivariate polytomous logistic regression models to estimate treatment effects. All statistical tests were two-sided. Results: All three basic interventions resulted in statistically significant increases in the rates of regression: Relative risks were 4.8 (95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.6–14.2) for anti-H. pylori treatment, 5.1 (95% CI = 1.7–15.0) for β-carotene treatment, and 5.0 (95% CI = 1.7–14.4) for ascorbic acid treatment in subjects with atrophy. Corresponding relative risks of regression in subjects with intestinal metaplasia were 3.1 (95% CI = 1.0–9.3), 3.4 (95% CI = 1.1–9.8), and 3.3 (95% CI = 1.1–9.5). Combinations of treatments did not statistically significantly increase the regression rates. Curing the H. pylori infection (which occurred in 74% of the treated subjects) produced a marked and statistically significant increase in the rate of regression of the precursor lesions (relative risks = 8.7 [95% CI = 2.7–28.2] for subjects with atrophy and 5.4 [95% CI = 1.7–17.6] for subjects with intestinal metaplasia). Conclusions: In the very high-risk population studied, effective anti-H. pylori treatment and dietary supplementation with antioxidant micronutrients may interfere with the precancerous process, mostly by increasing the rate of regression of cancer precursor lesions, and may be an effective strategy to prevent gastric carcinoma.
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Damage to the DNA of germ cells can lead to mutation, which may result in birth defects, genetic diseases, and cancer. The very high endogenous rate of oxidative DNA damage and the importance of dietary ascorbic acid (AA) in preventing this damage has prompted an examination of these factors in human sperm DNA. The oxidized nucleoside 8-hydroxy-2'-deoxyguanosine (8-oxo-7,8-dihydro-2'-deoxyguanosine; oxo8dG), 1 of approximately 20 major products of oxidative damage to DNA, was measured in DNA isolated from human sperm provided by healthy subjects and compared to the seminal fluid AA levels. This relationship was studied in two groups. In a group of 24 free-living individuals 20-50 years old high levels of oxo8dG were correlated with low seminal plasma AA. The endogenous level of oxo8dG in this group was 13 fmol per microgram of DNA or approximately 25,000 adducts per sperm cell. The second group of individuals was maintained on a controlled diet that varied only in AA content. When dietary AA was decreased from 250 to 5 mg/day, the seminal fluid AA decreased by half and the level of oxo8dG in sperm DNA increased 91%. Repletion of dietary AA for 28 days (from 5 mg/day to 250 or 60 mg/day) caused a doubling in seminal fluid AA and reduced oxo8dG by 36%. These results indicate that dietary AA protects human sperm from endogenous oxidative DNA damage that could affect sperm quality and increase risk of genetic defects, particularly in populations with low AA such as smokers.
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The Osteogenic Disorder Shionogi (ODS) rat, Clea Inc., Tokyo, Japan lacks the ability to synthesize L-ascorbic acid (AA). As with man, monkey and the guinea pig, this rat lacks L-gulonolactone oxidase necessary for the synthesis of AA from glucose. This study shows this animal to be an alternative to the guinea pig in AA studies. The anti-scorbutic potency of Ester C (EC), a calcium ascorbate and calcium threonate mixture, was compared with an AA dose of equal ascorbate activity equivalents (AAE) for anti-scorbutic activity in the ODS rat. The minimal anti-scorbutic dose of EC was determined to be 0.44 mg/kg/day (AAE), while an AA dose of 0.51 mg/kg/day (AAE) was not anti-scorbutic in a 24 day study. At 24 days EC rats gained 125% of initial body weight (BW) and the AA rats only 45% BW. Scorbutic signs at 24 days were scored on a 0 (min) to 3 (max) scale. The EC/AA ratio scores were: hemorrhage 0/1.4, behavior change 0/2.0, piloerection 0/2.2, mobility 0.4/2.2, dysbasia 0.6/2.8 and ataxia 0.4/1.0. Pearson's correlation coefficient for BW versus AAE was r = .34 for the AA group and r = .90 for the EC group. The morbidity index for EC was 0/5 and for the AA group 2/5. The AAE dose of AA which was 16% higher/day than the EC AAE dose was not anti-scorbutic, while the EC dose was anti-scorbutic. EC rats had 3.5X greater weight gain, a sensitive indicator of scurvy, than the AA rats. EC rats had 3-4 times less, if any, scorbutic signs than AA rats. The results clearly show that, based on ascorbate activity equivalents, EC has more available ascorbate activity/potency than AA. The mechanism of this increased potency is believed to be due to the facilitated transport of AAE into the cell by the threonate (a normal in vivo metabolite of AA) present in the EC product. In addition, previous studies have shown EC (AAE) to be higher in plasma and excreted less rapidly than the AAE derived from AA administered orally.
Article
The Physicians' Health Study is a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of primary prevention designed to assess the effects of low-dose aspirin on cardiovascular disease and of beta-carotene on risks of cancer. A total of 22,071 U.S. male physicians 40 to 84 years of age were randomized to one of four treatment groups: active aspirin and active beta-carotene, active aspirin and beta-carotene placebo, aspirin placebo and active beta-carotene, or both placebos. Whereas the beta-carotene component of the trial is ongoing, the blinded aspirin component was terminated early primarily because of a statistically extreme benefit of aspirin on first myocardial infarction. We obtained data relating to a large number of variables, including demographics, personal medical history, family history, health habits, and diet before randomization and compared them among the four treatment groups. As expected in a randomized trial of this sample size, the distribution of baseline characteristics was virtually identical among the treatment groups. This comparison indicates certainly no confounding by the baseline variables that were collected and suggests that other unmeasured or unknown potential confounders are also likely to be distributed evenly between the treatment groups. Thus, any observed differences in outcome between these groups likely result from the effects of the treatments themselves.
Article
The effects of preincubation of human T-lymphoma cells with increasing concentrations of calcium L-threonate on the uptake of L-[1-14C]ascorbic acid were examined. Calcium L-threonate (0-1,000 mg%) stimulated ascorbic acid (1.25 mg%) uptake in a dose-dependent manner. These results indicate that calcium threonate and possibly other ascorbic acid metabolites have biological activity and potential pharmacological applications.
Article
A randomised double-blind trial involving vitamin C/placebo supplementation was conducted on 57 elderly patients admitted to hospital with acute respiratory infections (bronchitis and bronchopneumonia). Patients were assessed clinically and biochemically on admission and again at 2 and 4 weeks after admission having received either 200 mg vitamin C per day, or placebo. This relatively modest oral dose led to a significant increase in plasma and white cell vitamin C concentration even in the presence of acute respiratory infection. Using a clinical scoring system based on major symptoms of the respiratory condition, patients supplemented with the vitamin fared significantly better than those on placebo. This was particularly the case for those commencing the trial most severely ill, many of whom had very low plasma and white cell vitamin C concentrations on admission. Various mechanisms by which vitamin C could assist this type of patient are discussed.
1. Previously, we reported that calcium L-threonate caused a dose-related increase in uptake of ascorbic acid (AA) by human T-lymphoma cells. Preincubation of mouse fibroblasts with calcium L-threonate also resulted in a dose-related augmentation in uptake of AA as compared to non-treated controls. 2. Potassium L-lyxonate increased AA uptake by lymphoma cells, but did not significantly affect uptake by fibroblasts. Tartaric acid decreased uptake of AA by both cell lines. 3. Ouabain and dinitrophenol had no effect on AA uptake nor on the ability of threonate to augment AA uptake by fibroblasts. However, in T-lymphoma cells ouabain and dinitrophenol reduced AA uptake and prevented augmentation of AA uptake by calcium L-threonate.
Article
The objective of this study was to assess the effects of ascorbic acid supplementation, 500 mg twice daily in the treatment of pressure ulcers as an adjunct to standardized treatment. The design consisted of a multicenter blinded randomized trial. The control group received 10 mg of ascorbic acid twice daily. Patients from 11 nursing homes and 1 hospital participated. Main outcome measures included wound survival, healing rates of wound surfaces, and clinimetric changes over 12 weeks. Eighty-eight patients were randomized. Intention-to-treat analysis showed that the wound closure probability per unit time (i.e., the closure rate) was not higher in the intervention group than in the control group (Cox hazard ratio of 0.78 [90% precision interval, 0.44-1.39]). Mean absolute healing rates were 0.21 and 0.27 cm2/week in the intervention and control group, respectively (PI of the adjusted difference: -0.17 to 0.13). Relative healing rates and healing velocities did not show favorable results of ascorbic acid supplementation, either. A panel scored slides of the ulcers with a report mark between 1 (bad) and 10 (excellent). The improvement was 0.45 and 0.72 points per week in the intervention and control group, respectively (PI of the adjusted difference: -0.50 to 0.20). With another clinimetric index we could not show any differences, either. These data do not support the idea that ascorbic acid supplementation (500 vs. 10 mg twice daily) speeds up the healing of pressure ulcers.
Article
High intake of folate may reduce risk for colon cancer, but the dosage and duration relations and the impact of dietary compared with supplementary sources are not well understood. To evaluate the relation between folate intake and incidence of colon cancer. Prospective cohort study. 88,756 women from the Nurses' Health Study who were free of cancer in 1980 and provided updated assessments of diet, including multivitamin supplement use, from 1980 to 1994. 442 women with new cases of colon cancer. Multivariate relative risk (RR) and 95% CIs for colon cancer in relation to energy-adjusted folate intake. Higher energy-adjusted folate intake in 1980 was related to a lower risk for colon cancer (RR, 0.69 [95% CI, 0.52 to 0.93] for intake > 400 microg/d compared with intake < or = 200 microg/d) after controlling for age; family history of colorectal cancer; aspirin use; smoking; body mass; physical activity; and intakes of red meat, alcohol, methionine, and fiber. When intake of vitamins A, C, D, and E and intake of calcium were also controlled for, results were similar. Women who used multivitamins containing folic acid had no benefit with respect to colon cancer after 4 years of use (RR, 1.02) and had only nonsignificant risk reductions after 5 to 9 (RR, 0.83) or 10 to 14 years of use (RR, 0.80). After 15 years of use, however, risk was markedly lower (RR, 0.25 [CI, 0.13 to 0.51]), representing 15 instead of 68 new cases of colon cancer per 10,000 women 55 to 69 years of age. Folate from dietary sources alone was related to a modest reduction in risk for colon cancer, and the benefit of long-term multivitamin use was present across all levels of dietary intakes. Long-term use of multivitamins may substantially reduce risk for colon cancer. This effect may be related to the folic acid contained in multivitamins.
Article
Vitamin C or ascorbate is important in wound healing due to its essential role in collagen synthesis. To study wound healing in the periodontium, cells adherent to expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (ePTFE) augmentation membranes, recovered from edentulous ridge augmentation procedures, have been established in culture in our laboratories. The objective of this study was to determine whether treatment of these cells with a calcium ascorbate, which contains vitamin C metabolites (metabolite-supplemented ascorbate), would increase the production of collagenous protein and mineralized tissue in vitro, as compared to unsupplemented calcium ascorbate (ascorbate). Cells derived from ePTFE membranes were cultured with beta-glycerophosphate and the test agents for 2 to 5 weeks, and the surface areas of the cell cultures occupied by mineralized nodules were measured using computerized image analysis. One experiment tested the effects of calcium threonate, one of the vitamin C metabolites in metabolite-supplemented ascorbate. Incorporation of radioactive proline and glycine was used as a measure of total protein (radioactivity precipitated by trichloracetic acid) and collagenase-digestible protein (radioactivity released by collagenase digestion.) Co-localization of collagen and fibronectin was examined by immunofluorescence. In vitro treatment of these cells with metabolite-supplemented ascorbate increased the area of the cell cultures occupied by mineralized nodules after 5 weeks. Cell cultures treated with metabolite-supplemented ascorbate also exhibited significant increases in total protein. The increase in collagenous proteins in these cultures accounted for 85% of the increase in total protein. The greatest difference between treatment groups was observed in the cell-associated fraction containing the extracellular matrix. The additional collagen exhibited normal co-distribution with fibronectin. In cultures treated with ascorbate spiked with calcium threonate, the area of mineralized tissue was significantly greater than in ascorbate-treated cultures, but was less than that observed in cultures treated with metabolite-supplemented ascorbate. In vitro treatment with ascorbate containing vitamin C metabolites enhanced the formation of mineralized nodules and collagenous proteins. Calcium threonate may be one of the metabolites influencing the mineralization process. Identifying factors which facilitate the formation of mineralized tissue has significant clinical ramifications in terms of wound healing and bone regeneration.
Article
To assess the balance of benefits and risks of supplementation with beta-carotene, vitamin E, vitamin C, and multivitamins on cancer, cardiovascular (CVD), and eye diseases. Physicians' Health Study II (PHS II) is a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial enrolling 15,000 willing and eligible physicians aged 55 years and older. PHS II will utilize a 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 factorial design to test alternate day beta-carotene, alternate day vitamin E, daily vitamin C, and a daily multivitamin, in the prevention of total and prostate cancer, CVD, and the age-related eye diseases, cataract and macular degeneration. PRIOR RESULTS: The final results of the recently completed Physicians' Health Study I (PHS I), a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial in 22,071 healthy US male physicians, indicated that beta-carotene supplementation (50 mg on alternate days) had no significant benefit or harm on cancer or CVD during more than 12 years of treatment and follow-up. In regards to cancer, there were possible benefits on total and prostate cancer in those with low baseline levels assigned to beta-carotene, a finding compatible with the Chinese Cancer Prevention Study for combined treatment with beta-carotene, vitamin E, and selenium in a poorly nourished population. Further, with respect to CVD, there were apparent benefits of beta-carotene supplementation on subsequent vascular events among a small subgroup of 333 men with prior angina or revascularization. The currently available data from randomized trials of primary prevention are sparse and inconsistent for vitamin E and non-existent for vitamin C and multivitamins. For eye diseases, namely cataract and age-related macular degeneration, there are no completed large-scale randomized trials of antioxidant vitamins. PHS II is unique in several respects. PHS II is the only primary prevention trial in apparently healthy men testing the balance of benefits and risks of vitamin E on cancer and CVD. In addition, PHS II is the only primary prevention trial in apparently healthy men to test the balance of benefits and risks of vitamin C, multivitamins, as well as any single antioxidant vitamin, alone and in combination, on cancer, CVD, and eye diseases. Finally, PHS II is the only trial testing a priori the hypotheses that beta-carotene and vitamin E may reduce the risks of prostate cancer. Thus, PHS II will add unique as well as importantly relevant and complementary information to the totality of evidence from other completed and ongoing large-scale randomized trials on the balance of benefits and risks of beta-carotene, vitamin E, vitamin C, and multivitamins alone and in combination on prevention of cancer, CVD and eye diseases.
Article
We conducted a population-based, double-blind, randomized controlled trial to examine the effect of vitamin C supplementation on serum pepsinogen (PG) level, Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori ) infection, and cytotoxin-associated gene A (Cag A) status. Subjects aged 40 to 69 years living in one village in Akita prefecture, a high-risk area for gastric cancer in Japan, were recruited through annual health check-up programs. Among 635 subjects diagnosed as having chronic gastritis on the basis of serum PG levels, after excluding ineligible cases, 439 subjects were assigned to one of four groups using a 2 x 2 factorial design (0 or 15 mg/day beta-carotene and 50 or 500 mg/day vitamin C). However, based on the results from two beta-carotene trials in the United States, we discontinued beta-carotene (vitamin C supplementation was continued). Finally, 120 subjects in the low-dose group (vitamin C 50 mg), and 124 subjects in the high-dose group (vitamin C 500 mg) completed the 5-year supplementation. The difference in the change of PGI/II ratio between baseline and after 5-year follow up was statistically significant between the intervention groups among those who completed the supplementation: - 0.25 for the low-dose group and - 0.13 for the high-dose group (P = 0.046). To conclude, vitamin C supplementation may protect against progression of gastric mucosal atrophy.
Article
Age-related macular degeneration (ARMD) is the leading cause of vision loss in aging Westem societies. The objective of the lutein antioxidant supplementation trial (LAST) is to determine whether nutritional supplementation with lutein or lutein together with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, improves visual function and symptoms in atrophic ARMD. The study was a prospective, 12-month, randomized, double-masked, placebo-controlled trial conducted at an urban midwestern Veterans Administration Hospital from August 1999 to May 2001. Ninety patients with atrophic ARMD were referred by ophthalmologists at two Chicago-area veterans medical facilities. Patients in Group 1 received lutein 10 mg (L); in Group 2, a lutein 10 mg/antioxidants/vitamins and minerals broad spectrum supplementation formula (L/A); and in Group 3, a maltodextrin placebo (P) over 12 months. In Groups 1 L and 2 L/A, mean eye macular pigment optical density increased approximately 0.09 log units from baseline, Snellen equivalent visual acuity improved 5.4 letters for Group 1 L and 3.5 letters for Group 2 L/A, and contrast sensitivity improved. There was a net subjective improvement in Amsler grid in Group 1 L. VFO-14 questionnaires conceming subjective glare recovery were nearly significant at 4 months for Group 2 L/A. Patients who received the placebo (Group 3) had no significant changes in any of the measured findings. In this study, visual function is improved with lutein alone or lutein together with other nutrients. Further studies are needed with more patients, of both genders, and for longer periods of time to assess long-term effects of lutein or lutein together with a broad spectrum of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals in the treatment of atrophic age-related macular degeneration.
Article
Contrast agents can cause a reduction in renal function that may be due to the generation of reactive oxygen species. Conflicting evidence suggests that administration of the antioxidant acetylcysteine prevents this renal impairment. The action of other antioxidant agents has not been investigated. We conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of ascorbic acid in 231 patients with a serum creatinine concentration > or =1.2 mg/dL who underwent coronary angiography and/or intervention. Ascorbic acid, 3 g at least 2 hours before the procedure and 2 g in the night and the morning after the procedure, or placebo was administered orally. Contrast-mediated nephropathy was defined by an absolute increase of serum creatinine > or =0.5 mg/dL or a relative increase of > or =25% measured 2 to 5 days after the procedure. Contrast-mediated nephropathy occurred in 11 of the 118 patients (9%) in the ascorbic acid group and in 23 of the 113 patients (20%) in the placebo group (odds ratio [OR], 0.38; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.17 to 0.85; P=0.02). The mean serum creatinine concentration increased significantly in the placebo group (from 1.36+/-0.50 to 1.50+/-0.54 mg/dL, P<0.001) and nonsignificantly in the ascorbic acid group (from 1.46+/-0.52 to 1.52+/-0.64 mg/dL, P=0.07). The mean increase in serum creatinine concentration was greater in the placebo group than in the ascorbic acid group (difference of 0.09 mg/dL; 95% CI, 0.00 to 0.17; P=0.049). Prophylactic oral administration of ascorbic acid may protect against contrast-mediated nephropathy in high-risk patients undergoing a coronary procedure.
Article
Randomized trials have shown, unexpectedly, that supplementation with selenium or vitamin E is associated with a reduction of prostate cancer risk. We assess whether a supplementation with low doses of antioxidant vitamins and minerals could reduce the occurrence of prostate cancer and influence biochemical markers. The SU.VI.MAX trial comprised 5,141 men randomized to take either a placebo or a supplementation with nutritional doses of vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene, selenium and zinc daily for 8 years. Biochemical markers of prostate cancer risk such as prostate-specific antigen (PSA) and insulin-like growth factors (IGFs) were measured on plasma samples collected at enrollment and at the end of follow-up from 3,616 men. Cox regression models were used to estimate the hazard ratio and related 95% confidence interval of prostate cancer associated with the supplementation and to examine whether the effect differed among predetermined susceptible subgroups. During the follow-up, 103 cases of prostate cancer were diagnosed. Overall, there was a moderate nonsignificant reduction in prostate cancer rate associated with the supplementation (hazard ratio = 0.88; 95% CI = 0.60-1.29). However, the effect differed significantly between men with normal baseline PSA (< 3 microg/L) and those with elevated PSA (p = 0.009). Among men with normal PSA, there was a marked statistically significant reduction in the rate of prostate cancer for men receiving the supplements (hazard ratio = 0.52; 95% CI = 0.29-0.92). In men with elevated PSA at baseline, the supplementation was associated with an increased incidence of prostate cancer of borderline statistical significance (hazard ratio = 1.54; 95% CI = 0.87-2.72). The supplementation had no effect on PSA or IGF levels. Our findings support the hypothesis that chemoprevention of prostate cancer can be achieved with nutritional doses of antioxidant vitamins and minerals.
Article
Men with prostate cancer are often advised to make changes in diet and lifestyle, although the impact of these changes has not been well documented. Therefore, we evaluated the effects of comprehensive lifestyle changes on prostate specific antigen (PSA), treatment trends and serum stimulated LNCaP cell growth in men with early, biopsy proven prostate cancer after 1 year. Patient recruitment was limited to men who had chosen not to undergo any conventional treatment, which provided an unusual opportunity to have a nonintervention randomized control group to avoid the confounding effects of interventions such as radiation, surgery or androgen deprivation therapy. A total of 93 volunteers with serum PSA 4 to 10 ng/ml and cancer Gleason scores less than 7 were randomly assigned to an experimental group that was asked to make comprehensive lifestyle changes or to a usual care control group. None of the experimental group patients but 6 control patients underwent conventional treatment due to an increase in PSA and/or progression of disease on magnetic resonance imaging. PSA decreased 4% in the experimental group but increased 6% in the control group (p = 0.016). The growth of LNCaP prostate cancer cells (American Type Culture Collection, Manassas, Virginia) was inhibited almost 8 times more by serum from the experimental than from the control group (70% vs 9%, p <0.001). Changes in serum PSA and also in LNCaP cell growth were significantly associated with the degree of change in diet and lifestyle. Intensive lifestyle changes may affect the progression of early, low grade prostate cancer in men. Further studies and longer term followup are warranted.
Article
To investigate the relationship between the common cold and vitamin C supplementation. A double-blind, 5-year randomized controlled trial. A village in Akita prefecture, one of the regions in Japan with the highest mortality from gastric cancer. Participants in annual screening programs for circulatory diseases conducted under the National Health and Welfare Services Law for the Aged, and diagnosed as having atrophic gastritis. Of the 439 eligible subjects, 144 and 161 were assigned to receive 50 or 500 mg of vitamin C, respectively, after protocol amendment. During the supplementation phase, 61 dropped out, and 244 completed the trial. Intervention: Daily vitamin C supplementation of 50 mg (low-dose group) or 500 mg (high-dose group). Total number of common colds (per 1000 person-months) was 21.3 and 17.1 for the low- and high-dose groups, respectively. After adjustment for several factors, the relative risks (95% confidence interval (CI)) of suffering from a common cold three or more times during the survey period was 0.34 (0.12-0.97) for the high-dose group. No apparent reduction was seen for the severity and duration of the common cold. A randomized, controlled 5-year trial suggests that vitamin C supplementation significantly reduces the frequency of the common cold but had no apparent effect on the duration or severity of the common cold. However, considering several limitations due to protocol amendment, the findings should be interpreted with caution.
Article
The goal of this randomized, double-blind crossover clinical trial in 50 healthy volunteers sensitive to acidic foods was to evaluate whether Ester-C calcium ascorbate causes fewer epigastric adverse effects than are produced by regular ascorbic acid (AA). Volunteers were randomly separated into 2 groups of 25. The study comprised an observation period of 9 days (phase 1 medication for 3 consecutive days, washout phase for 3 consecutive days, phase 2 medication for 3 consecutive days). Participants took 1000 mg vitamin C as Ester-C during phase 1 of the study followed by 1000 mg of vitamin C as AA during phase 2, or vice versa. During the course of the study, 3 examinations for the evaluation of epigastric adverse effects were performed (on days 0, 3, and 9). Participants used a diary to record epigastric adverse effects on a daily basis. In total, 28 (56%) of 50 participants reported 88 epigastric adverse effects of mild to moderate intensity. Of these 88 adverse effects, 33 (37.5%) occurred after intake of Ester-C and 55 (62.5%) were noted after intake of AA. The tolerability of Ester-C was rated "very good" by 72% of participants, whereas AA was rated "very good" by only 54%. This difference is statistically significant (P<.05). Investigators concluded that Ester-C compared with AA caused significantly fewer epigastric adverse effects in participants sensitive to acidic foods and that Ester-C is much better tolerated.
Article
Estrogens, apart from their classic role as steroid hormones, also possess significant antioxidant properties. The present study was undertaken to assess the antioxidant potential of the female during the various menstrual phases and to investigate the correlation between ascorbic acid, dehydroascorbic acid plasma levels, total antioxidant plasma status, and estradiol levels. Thirteen eumenorrhoic women were studied. Ascorbic acid and dehydroascorbic acid plasma levels, total antioxidant plasma status, estradiol, progesterone, luteinizing hormone, and follicle-stimulating hormone during time of menstruation, midfollicular phase, time of ovulation, and midluteal phase were determined. Ascorbic-dehydroascorbic acid ratio was also calculated. A progressive significant rise in ascorbic acid plasma levels (p < 0.01), ascorbic-dehydroascorbic acid ratio (p < 0.001), and total antioxidant plasma status (p < 0.05) from menstruation to ovulation was observed. Moreover, a significant decrease in dehydroascorbic acid was found at the same phases (p < 0.05). Changes of estradiol levels during the menstrual cycle correlated positively with the changes of ascorbic acid levels and total antioxidant plasma status (p < 0.05). Furthermore, estradiol levels correlated positively with ascorbic acid levels (p < 0.05, r < 0.5), ascorbic-dehydroascorbic acid ratio (p < 0.05, r < 0.5), and total antioxidant plasma status (p < 0.05, r < 0.8) in all menstrual phases. An elevated antioxidant protection during ovulation and the midluteal phase appears to be present in eumenorrhoic women. Moreover we observed a cyclic variation in the antioxidant parameters we assayed in the females in the present study, which could be due to cyclic changes in estradiol levels.
Article
This study was carried out to monitor the effect of oral supplementation of vitamin C on various semen parameters in oligospermic, infertile, otherwise healthy individuals. Various semen parameters, including sperm motility, sperm count, and sperm morphology, were studied before and after the vitamin C treatment. A total of 13 infertile patients were included. Their ages ranged between 25 and 35 years. They had no genital infection or varicocele. Physical examination and other routine laboratory investigations were normal. General semen analysis revealed oligozoospermia (mean sperm count was 14.3 +/- 7.38 x 10(6) sperms/mL, mean sperm with normal morphology was 43 +/- 7.87%, and mean sperm motility was 31.2 +/- 9.61%). Testicular biopsy was not done. These patients received in an open trial of 1,000 mg of vitamin C twice daily for a maximum of 2 months. Results showed that the mean sperm count was increased to 32.8 +/- 10.3 x 10(6) sperms/mL (P < .001) after 2 months of vitamin C intake. The mean sperm motility was increased significantly to 60.1 +/- 8.47% (P < .001), and mean sperms with normal morphology increased significantly to 66.7 +/- 4.77% (P < .001). This study showed that vitamin C supplementation in infertile men might improve sperm count, sperm motility, and sperm morphology and might have a place as an additional supplement to improve the semen quality towards conception.
Article
Zinc is a common dietary supplement that is widely believed to have beneficial health effects. To assess the impact of high dose supplemental zinc on genitourinary diseases we analyzed a recent randomized trial comparing zinc, antioxidants and their combination to placebo for complications related to the genitourinary tract. In a further analysis of the recent Age-related Eye Disease Study we examined the data pool for primary International Classification of Diseases, 9th revision codes given for hospital admissions related to urological problems. The Age-Related Eye Disease Study randomized 3,640 patients with age related macular degeneration to 1 of 4 study arms, including placebo, antioxidants (500 mg vitamin C, 400 IU vitamin E and 15 mg beta-carotene), 80 mg zinc and antioxidant plus zinc. Statistical analyses using Fisher's exact test were performed. We found a significant increase in hospital admissions due to genitourinary causes in patients on zinc vs nonzinc formulations (11.1% vs 7.6%, p = 0.0003). The risk was greatest in male patients (RR 1.26, 95% CI 1.07-1.50, p = 0.008). In the study group of 343 patients requiring hospital admission the most common primary International Classification of Diseases, 9th revision codes included benign prostatic hyperplasia/urinary retention (benign prostatic hyperplasia), urinary tract infection, urinary lithiasis and renal failure. When comparing zinc to placebo, significant increases in urinary tract infections were found (p = 0.004), especially in females (2.3% vs 0.4%, RR 5.77, 95% CI 1.30-25.66, p = 0.013). Admissions for urinary lithiasis approached significance in men on zinc compared to placebo (2.0% vs 0.5%, RR = 4.08, 95% CI 0.87-19.10). There was no increase in prostate or other cancers with zinc supplementation. A significant decrease in prostate cancer diagnoses was seen in patients receiving antioxidants vs placebo (RR = 0.6, 95% CI 0.49-0.86, p = 0.049). Subgroup analysis revealed that this finding was significant in men who smoked but not in nonsmokers. Zinc supplementation at high levels results in increased hospitalizations for urinary complications compared to placebo. These data support the hypothesis that high dose zinc supplementation has a negative effect on select aspects of urinary physiology.
Article
The common cold is a viral illness that affects persons of all ages, prompting frequent use of over-the-counter and prescription medications and alternative remedies. Treatment focuses on relieving symptoms (e.g., cough, nasal congestion, rhinorrhea). Dextromethorphan may be beneficial in adults with cough, but its effectiveness has not been demonstrated in children and adolescents. Codeine has not been shown to effectively treat cough caused by the common cold. Although hydrocodone is widely used and has been shown to effectively treat cough caused by other conditions, the drug has not been studied in patients with colds. Topical (intranasal) and oral nasal decongestants have been shown to relieve nasal symptoms and can be used in adolescents and adults for up to three days. Antihistamines and combination antihistamine/decongestant therapies can modestly improve symptoms in adults; however, the benefits must be weighed against potential side effects. Newer nonsedating antihistamines are ineffective against cough. Topical ipratropium, a prescription anticholinergic, relieves nasal symptoms in older children and adults. Antibiotics have not been shown to improve symptoms or shorten illness duration. Complementary and alternative therapies (i.e., Echinacea, vitamin C, and zinc) are not recommended for treating common cold symptoms; however, humidified air and fluid intake may be useful without adverse side effects. Vitamin C prophylaxis may modestly reduce the duration and severity of the common cold in the general population and may reduce the incidence of the illness in persons exposed to physical and environmental stresses.
Article
Previous research indicates that few Americans meet the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) guidelines for fruit and vegetable consumption, and that adequate fruit and vegetable consumption may decrease the risk for chronic disease. Twenty-four-hour dietary recall data from NHANES III, 1988-1994 (n=14,997) and NHANES 1999-2002 (n=8910) were used to assess adult (equal to or more than 18 years) trends in daily fruit and vegetable consumption (number of servings and types). In 1988-1994, an estimated 27% of adults met the USDA guidelines for fruit (equal to or more than two servings) and 35% met the guidelines for vegetables (equal to or more than three servings). In 1999-2002, 28% and 32% of adults met fruit and vegetable guidelines, respectively. There was a significant decrease in vegetable consumption over time (p=0.026). Only 11% met USDA guidelines for both fruits and vegetables in 1988-1994 and 1999-2002, indicating no change in consumption (p=0.963). In both data sets, non-Hispanic blacks were less likely to meet USDA guidelines compared to non-Hispanic whites (p<0.05). Higher income and greater education were significantly associated with meeting the guidelines in both data sets (p<0.05). Despite the initiation of a national fruit and vegetable campaign in 1991, the findings indicated that Americans' fruit and vegetable consumption did not increase in 1999-2002, and only a small proportion met the related dietary recommendations. Greater public health efforts and approaches are needed to promote healthy eating in the United States.
The effect of vitamin E and beta carotene on the incidence of lung cancer and other cancers in male smokers
Final report of the aspirin component of the ongoing Physicians’ Health Study
Vitamin C, in PDR for Nutritional Supplements
  • Hendler
Comparative studies of “Ester-C” versus l-ascorbic acid
  • Wright
Modern Nutrition in Health and Disease
  • Jacob