Common Cold: A Case Study

Decent Essays
Tyrrell et al conducted a randomized, controlled trial to observe if ten grams of vitamin C taken during the first two and ½ days of a common cold would have any symptomatic relief. The primary outcome was patient-oriented as it assessed the effectiveness of vitamin C as a treatment option for the common cold. A total of 1524 people were enrolled in the trial and were randomly allocated. The treatment group were provided with a tube of ten effervescent tablets that contained one gram of vitamin C while the placebo group received tubes with substances of identical appearance and taste. The participants were instructed to take the tablets at the onset of a common cold and to record the severity and duration of their symptoms. The results suggested that there were no indication of symptom relief (rhinorrhea, muscular aches, days in bed, days off work, and total duration of cold) from participants who developed the common cold and were treated with vitamin C. The trial observed that vitamin C had a statistically significant minor reduction in the number of second…show more content…
Utilizing the data provided, NNT was calculated to be fifty-five.6 A NNT of fifty-five suggested that vitamin C needed to be administered to fifty-five people in order to treat one case of the cold. The NNT for an acute condition such as the common cold should be small to provide any benefits. This suggested that vitamin C provided little advantage in the treatment of a cold. The calculations of RR were not necessary because there were no interest with vitamin C as a preventative agent for the common cold. It is imperative to note that the study was conducted in 1977 and the standard of care in 1977 could differ significantly from present day. The study did not provide any data on the safety of ascorbic acid. In conclusion, the trial suggested that vitamin C supplementation had little value in the treatment of the common
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