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Too much of a good thing? New studies show vitamin C has limited benefits, increased risks

KEY POINT

Vitamin C supplementation did not decrease the incidence of colds in the general population, although some trials showed decreased duration and severity of cold symptoms, according to a Cochrane review. In a separate trial, daily vitamin C supplementation was associated with a 2-fold increased risk for kidney stones in men.

SOURCES

Hemila H et al. Vitamin C for preventing and treating the common cold. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2012

Thomas LDK et al. Ascorbic acid supplements and kidney stone incidence among men: a prospective study. JAMA Intern Med. 2013;173:386–8.

Fletcher RH. The risk of taking ascorbic acid [commentary]. JAMA Intern Med. 2012;173:388–9.

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