Vitamin C: Promises Not Kept

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Abstract

Vitamin C has been suggested as beneficial in preventing and curing the common cold, decreasing the incidence of preterm delivery and preeclampsia, decreasing risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease, and improving the quality of life by inhibiting blindness and dementia. In this article, we review the hypothesized mechanisms of these purported health benefits and the evidence behind such claims.

Target Audience

Obstetricians and gynecologists, family physicians.

Learning Objectives

After completing this activity, the learner should be better able to critically review the purported benefits of vitamin C in obstetrics and other fields of medicine, communicate with their patients the potential adverse effects of vitamin C supplementation, and be able to describe the normal intake of vitamin C during pregnancy.

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