European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology

, Volume 75, Issue 12, pp 1747–1748 | Cite as

Meta-analysis on vitamin C and the common cold in children may be misleading

  • Harri HemiläEmail author
  • Elizabeth Chalker
Letter to the Editor
We are authors of a large Cochrane review on vitamin C and the common cold [ 1]. Our review includes 63 parallel comparisons of vitamin C and placebo reported in 44 publications [ 1]. We drew several conclusions from the large set of trials. Nevertheless, there may be issues that we did not cover, and further analysis of the large set of data is welcome. In this journal, Vorilhon et al. reported a meta-analysis in which they examined the effect of vitamin C on the common cold in children [ 2]. However, we do not consider that their conclusions are valid. Our main concerns are summarized below. We include further issues and details in a supplementary file.
  1. 1.

    The authors stated that “All trials … comparing the use of vitamin C against placebo were selected” [2]. However, one of the included trials administered vitamin C with echinacea and propolis [3]. That trial showed significant preventive effects in Vorilhon’s Figure 2, and by far the greatest effects on the duration of colds in...


Supplementary material

228_2019_2733_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (756 kb)
ESM 1 (PDF 756 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Public HealthUniversity of HelsinkiHelsinkiFinland
  2. 2.University of SydneySydneyAustralia

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