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.