Vitamin C pp 73-85 | Cite as

Vitamin C and Infectious Diseases

  • H. Hemilä
Conference paper


Early in this century several authors suggested that vitamin C intake may have beneficial effects on the incidence and severity of various infections. Two exhaustive bibliographical searches of the old literature on vitamin C and infections have been published. One of them was overenthusiastic [1] in its interpretation of the findings, whereas the other was overly pessimistic [2]; neither offered any statistical analysis of the available data. However, a quantitative analysis of controlled studies has been published recently [3]. The mechanisms whereby vitamin C affects the immune system are poorly understood, although there are reports indicating that it affects the functions of phagocytes, the proliferation of T lymphocytes, the production of interferon, and the replication of viruses [3–5].


Chronic Granulomatous Disease Rheumatic Fever Common Cold Posttransfusion Hepatitis Recurrent Herpes Labialis 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia, Milano 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. Hemilä
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Public HealthUniversity of HelsinkiFinland

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