Studies of the use of vitamin C for prevention and treatment of the common cold:
Clinical trials on the use of vitamin C in the therapy of the common cold began as early as 1942. However, prior to 1970, a review of the studies indicated that the therapeutic effects claimed were toosmall to merit attention, and moreover that there were defects in the clinical trials that had been carriedout. In 1970, Linus Pauling, a scientist of great stature who had won two Nobel Prizes for Chemistryand Peace, presented arguments in favour of vitamin C use for therapy and prevention of the commoncold. He claimed that, if previous clinical trials were properly analysed, substantial benefit wasindicated. Moreover, in his view, the doses of vitamin C used in previous studies were much too lowand he advocated using high doses of vitamin C, greatly in excess of the RDA of 60 mg. For example,a dose of 4,000 mg/day was not considered excessive. Because of his stature as a scientist, additional clinical studies were undertaken. In a Canadian study conducted in 1972, volunteers were given 1,000mg of vitamin C daily in a double-blind study. The common cold was not prevented, nor was theduration of the common cold shortened. However, there was a reduction in the total number of dayslost from work as the colds were apparently milder.