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Abstract

ASSOCIATION BETWEEN DIETARY SOURCES OF VITAMIN C INTAKE AND RESPIRATORY INFECTIONS AMONG STUDENTS AT AYYAN INSTITUTE OF MEDICAL SCIENCES

Muneeb Jehan*

ABSTRACT

Background: Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is very useful in the prevention of Scurvy and it was proved. There is some controversy for at least sixty to seventy years for the prevention and treatment of the common cold and respiratory infections has been a subject of concerned. Objectives: The main objective of this study was to describe the demographic characteristcs, association between dietary sources of vitamin C intake and respiratory infections among students at Ayyan Institute of Medical Sciences. Subjects and Methods: Data was collected using a structured questionnaire that elicited information on demographic characteristics; dietary sources of vitamin C intake and vitamin C supplementation; and the occurrence of respiratory infections in the past six months; among college students at Ayyan Institute of Medical Sciences. The data was analyzed by EPIINFO 7 software. Results: College students in this study consumed fairly good proportions of dietary sources of vitamin C. Eating raw vegetables was significantly (p<0.05) associated with sore throat, in that students who consumed more raw vegetables or salad reported a higher prevalence of sore throat. Eating fresh fruit was not significantly associated with the prevalence of respiratory symptoms. Vitamin C supplementation was significantly (p<0.05 associated (protective effect) with running nose and sore throat. Conclusion: Although there was no conclusive evidence in this study to suggest that dietary sources of vitamin C have a protective effect against respiratory infections among college girls, Vitamin C supplementation with a balanced diet may be effective in boosting immunity and affecting susceptibility to respiratory infections, especially among young college students.

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