A Meta-Analysis of the Effectiveness of Vitamin C in the Prevention and Treatment of Childhood Upper Respiratory Tract Infections


Vitamin C
Upper respiratory tract infection
Number of episodes
Duration of illness




Background: The effectiveness of vitamin C in the prevention and treatment of pediatric upper respiratory tract infections was evaluated in a meta-analysis. Methods: A total 2,573 children with upper respiratory tract infections were included in the meta-analysis, 1,280 of whom received vitamin C and 1,293 who received control medication. The analysis of findings related to the studies included was done through random or fixed effects model to determine whether vitamin C supplementation could stop and control upper respiratory tract infections in children using mean difference (MD) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs). Results: On average, vitamin C-treated children had fewer upper respiratory tract infection bouts, their illness lasted shorter (MD -0.84; 95% CI -1.47 to -0.20, P = 0.009), and they were less contagious than the control. Conclusions: The number of episodes and illness duration of upper respiratory tract-infected pediatric subjects were considerably reduced in the intervention group (vitamin C) compared to the control. Due to the small sample size in four of 11 studies and the limited number of studies included for comparison, the outcomes should be carefully examined.


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