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This paper is a synopsis of the process undertaken to identify 10 articles that discuss one evidence-based practice (EBP) question, which centers on understanding whether daily Vitamin C supplements will reduce the incidence of the common cold. Generally, the target population for the review is comprised of people who are taking daily doses of Vitamin C. Comparatively, the control group is made up of people who are not taking daily doses of Vitamin C. The overriding statement of the EBP question is as described below.
A Statement of the EBP Question/Issue
Will taking daily Vitamin C supplements reduce the incidence of the common cold compared with no intervention?
Significance of the EBP Question
The common cold is a significant and recurring health problem (Douglas & Hemilä, 2005). Since it is incurable, efforts aimed at addressing the disease have been centered on managing it (Padayatty & Levine, 2016). However, the lack of extensive and in-depth scientific research studies to investigate the effectiveness of various remedies and supplements on the condition has hampered efforts to effectively manage it. The same problem has made it difficult to establish the right medication to take in treating various groups of patients (Douglas & Hemilä, 2005; Padayatty & Levine, 2016).
Based on the above issues, the findings of the EBP question will help in providing clarity regarding the efficacy of Vitamin C in reducing the symptoms of the common cold. More importantly, they will help in providing clarity regarding the extent that Vitamin C supplements could help in minimizing the symptoms of the common cold. Through the achievement of this goal, communities will be able to better manage this commonly occurring respiratory health problem and learn how to employ effective remedies to address it. Lastly, the EBP question is significant in increasing the volume of literature surrounding the multiple uses of Vitamin C. Particularly, it will be instrumental in explaining the relationship between Vitamin C and the common cold, as a specific area of respiratory health studies. The goals of the paper are as described below.
The Goals of the Paper
- To determine whether the intake of Vitamin C contributes to a reduction in common cold symptoms
- To investigate the extent that Vitamin C supplements decrease the incidence of the common cold
Explanation of the Search Process for the Articles
To identify articles that would help in meeting the two goals described above, a search process was undertaken to identify existing literature underpinning the research topic. Ten articles were obtained in the process and were authored by Chambial, Dwivedi, Shukla, John, and Sharma (2013), Elste, Troesch, Eggersdorfer, and Weber (2017), Garaiova et al. (2015), Hemilä (1994), Hemilä (1999), Hemilä (2013), Johnston, Barkyoumb, and Schumacher (2014), Michels and Frei (2013), Schorah (1997), Sasazuki, Sasaki, Tsubono, Okubo, Hayashi, and Tsugane (2006). The search terms used to identify the articles are described below.
Search Terms Used
Two search terms were used in undertaking the review: “Vitamin C” and “Common Cold.”
Two databases were searched: “Google Scholar” and “The National Center for Biotechnology Information.”
This paper shows that the EBP question selected for review is centered on understanding whether daily Vitamin C supplements will reduce the incidence of the common cold. The process of searching for research articles was undertaken by using two phrases: “Vitamin C” and “Common Cold” in the “The National Center for Biotechnology Information” and “Google Scholar” databases. Ten articles emerged from the process. In subsequent research, they will be analyzed and compared relative to the goal of establishing whether Vitamin C reduces the symptoms of common cold, or not.
Chambial, S., Dwivedi, S., Shukla, K.K., John, P.J., & Sharma, P. (2013). Vitamin C in disease prevention and cure: An overview. Indian Journal of Clinical Biochemistry, 28(4), 314-328.
Douglas, R.M., & Hemilä, H. (2005). Vitamin C for preventing and treating the common cold. PLoS Med, 2(6), 503-504.
Elste, V., Troesch, B., Eggersdorfer, M., & Weber, P. (2017). Emerging evidence on neutrophil motility supporting its usefulness to define vitamin C intake requirements. Nutrients, 9(5), 503.
Garaiova, I., Muchová, J., Nagyová, Z., Wang, D., Li, J.V., Országhová, Z., …Ďuračková, Z. (2015). Probiotics and vitamin C for the prevention of respiratory tract infections in children attending preschool: A randomized controlled pilot study. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 69(3), 373-379.
Hemilä, H. (1994). Does vitamin C alleviate the symptoms of the common cold? A review of current evidence. Scandinavian Journal of Infectious Diseases, 26, 1-6.
Hemilä, H. (1999). Vitamin C supplementation and common cold symptoms: Factors affecting the magnitude of the benefit. Medical Hypotheses, 52(2), 171-178.
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Hemilä, H. (2013). Vitamin C and common cold-induced asthma: A systematic review and statistical analysis. Allergy, Asthma, and Clinical Immunology: Official Journal of the Canadian Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 9(1), 46.
Johnston, C.S., Barkyoumb, G.M., & Schumacher, S.S. (2014). Vitamin C supplementation slightly improves physical activity levels and reduces cold incidence in men with marginal vitamin C status: A randomized controlled trial. Nutrients, 6(7), 2572-2583.
Michels, A.J., & Frei, B. (2013). Myths, artifacts, and fatal flaws: Identifying limitations and opportunities in vitamin C research. Nutrients, 5(12), 5161-5192.
Padayatty, S.J., & Levine, M. (2016). Vitamin C physiology: The known and the unknown and Goldilocks. Oral Diseases, 22(6), 463-493.
Sasazuki, S., Sasaki, S., Tsubono, Y., Okubo, S., Hayashi, M., & Tsugane, S. (2006). Effect of vitamin C on common cold: Randomized controlled trial, European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 60, 9-17.
Schorah, C.J. (1997). Vitamin C intake and susceptibility to the common cold – Invited commentaries. The British Journal of Nutrition, 78(5), 859-61.