Friday, August 05, 2005

Vitamin pills don't prevent infections in elderly

This is the title of a story on Yahoo! this morning reporting on a new study in Britain that showed:

"We found that in a group of older people who are mostly living at home and in their 70s, a typical vitamin and mineral supplement didn't have an effect on the number of days of infection they had over the course of a year," said Alison Avenell, of the University of Aberdeen in Scotland.

The article continues:

In research reported in the British Medical Journal, Avenell and her team studied 900 people over 65 years old. Half were given a multivitamin and mineral supplement and the remainder took a placebo, or dummy pill, daily.

After comparing the number of infections over a year and their quality of life, the researchers found no difference between the two groups

So, what can we learn from this study. Most would say that this proves that supplements do little or nothing to prevent infections. And they would be right AT THE DOSES TAKEN BY THE STUDY PARTICIPANTS.

To study the value that vitamin C might have for preventing and curing infection the dosage needs to be in the range of therapeutic effect. A study properly done could use the "multivitamin and mineral supplement" used in this study as the placebo!

This study adds nothing to our understanding of the value of high-dose vitamin C to prevent and cure infection.


At 5:39 PM, Blogger happy jackie said...

No need to run this study.

I could have told them the results before they did the study.

At 11:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


At 7:49 PM, Blogger Richard A Morgan said...

One is not wise to confer with the fox as to the best way to run the hen-house....contemporary medicine will not entertain tests that confirm the efficacy of VC therapy in the control of disease...except in some very rare instances.

Sometimes doctors' behaviour in the VC therapy arena is tantamount to criminal negligence.

At 9:53 AM, Blogger Ted Langs said...

azted123 The best research going is saving a life of a loved one by using Doctor Klenner's method of IV of high doses of VC. It should be mandatory in Hospitals when there is nothing more a doctor can do. Then publish the results. Wouldn't that throw a clinker into the Drug Industry's control of medicine?

At 8:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, what this study probably didn't report was what the nutritional status of the elderly was BEFORE they started.
It is well documented in many studies I've read that most elderly at home are malnourished. Lack of protein will lower the bodies ability to fight infection. I am a Home Health RN and can verify this is true, to add a multivitamin when someone is suffering from malnutrition is not going to improve their nutritional status or ability to fight infection. The study would have to begin with nutritionally sound seniors who are weight appropriate. The appropriate labwork would need to be performed to assess nutritional status prior to the study.I haven't heard of this study but would not give it much merit itf it was ill prepared.


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