Sunday, September 26, 2010

Dose of vitamin C could help A&E patients to feel happier

Dose of vitamin C could help A&E patients to feel happier

By Claire Bates
Last updated at 3:12 PM on 24th September 2010

Vitamin C, found in citrus fruits, was found to improve the state of mind of A&E patients in a new study

Doctors could improve the emotional state of their Accident and Emergency patients simply by giving them a dose of vitamin C.

Canadian researchers randomly assigned acute hospital patients to receive either vitamin C or vitamin D supplements for seven to 10 days.

They found that those who were administered with vitamin C showed a rapid and clinically significant improvement in their state of mood. However, no such change was reported in the vitamin D patients.

The double-blind clinical trial took place at the Jewish General Hospital in Montreal, Canada and the results were published in the journal Nutrition.

Team member Dr L John Hoffer, of the Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research, said: 'The lack of any effect of vitamin D on mood is good evidence we are not dealing with a placebo response.

'This looks like a true biological effect. Our finding definitely requires follow up in larger studies in other centres,' he said.

'The treatment is safe, simple and cheap, and could have major clinical practice implications.'

Vitamin C rich foods include citrus fruits, green peppers, strawberries, tomatoes and broccoli.

Earlier studies revealed that the majority of A&E patients have below average levels of vitamins C and D in their blood.

'About one in five acute-care patients in our hospital have vitamin C levels so low as to be compatible with scurvy,' said Dr Hoffer.

'But patients are rarely given vitamin supplements. Most physicians are simply unaware of the problem. Subclinical deficiencies of vitamin C and D have each been linked to psychological abnormalities, so we examined that aspect in our clinical trial.'

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