A survey published in the latest issue of Advances in Therapy indicates that Ester-C vitamin supplements may reduce the severity of symptoms and shorten the duration of the common cold.
Ester-C ascorbate, produced by Zila Nutraceuticals, is a patented, natural form of vitamin C, included in a wide range of supplements, pharmaceuticals and functional foods.
"This is the first survey that shows vitamin C offers cold prevention when taken in the form of Ester-C ascorbate and used throughout the winter months," said Peter Josling of the Herbal Health Centre in the United Kingdom and head of the research team that conducted the survey.
"Participants who took Ester-C supplements reported significantly fewer colds than the placebo group, their average length of full cold symptom suffering was significantly shorter and the worst colds of the Ester-C participants were also reported as significantly shorter," Josling noted.
In addition, the Ester-C group reported a lower re-infection rate than the placebo group and the majority reported feeling better while taking Ester-C supplements. In the double-blind, placebo-controlled study, the authors conclude that the results show that Ester-C ascorbate acts as "a preventive measure, demonstrating accelerated relief, reduction in the severity of troublesome symptoms such as sneezing, cough and runny nose, recovery to full fitness, and a small but significant reduction in the total number of colds."
For the self-assessment survey, researchers used a double-blind methodology and divided 168 participants into two groups at random. For 60 days the Ester-C group took a 500 mg Ester-C supplement twice daily and the placebo group took a placebo pill twice daily.
The study was financed by Zila Nutraceuticals, a division of Zila, which makes patented Ester-C branded products and Palmettx Saw Palmetto.