Efficacy and safety of vitamin C supplementation in the treatment of community-acquired pneumonia: a systematic review and meta-analysis with trial sequential analysis

Yogesh Sharma, Subodha Sumanadasa, Rashmi Shahi, Richard Woodman, Arduino A. Mangoni, Shailesh Bihari, Campbell Thompson

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Abstract

Community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) poses a significant global health challenge, prompting exploration of innovative treatments. This systematic review and meta-analysis aimed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of vitamin C supplementation in adults undergoing treatment for CAP. A comprehensive search of the MEDLINE, Embase, CINAHL, the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, and Clinical Trials.gov databases from inception to 17 November 2023 identified six randomized-controlled-trials (RCTs) meeting inclusion criteria. The primary outcome analysis revealed a non-significant trend towards reduced overall mortality in the vitamin C group compared to controls (RR 0.51; 95% CI 0.24 to 1.09; p = 0.052; I2 = 0; p = 0.65). Sensitivity analysis, excluding corona-virus-disease 2019 (COVID-19) studies and considering the route of vitamin C administration, confirmed this trend. Secondary outcomes, including hospital length-of-stay (LOS), intensive-care-unit (ICU) LOS, and mechanical ventilation, exhibited mixed results. Notably, heterogeneity and publication bias were observed in hospital LOS analysis, necessitating cautious interpretation. Adverse effects were minimal, with isolated incidents of nausea, vomiting, hypotension, and tachycardia reported. This meta-analysis suggests potential benefits of vitamin C supplementation in CAP treatment. However, inconclusive findings and methodological limitations warrants cautious interpretation, emphasising the urgency for high-quality trials to elucidate the true impact of vitamin C supplementation in CAP management.

Original languageEnglish
Article number11846
Number of pages11
JournalScientific Reports
Volume14
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 24 May 2024

Keywords

  • Bacteria
  • Respiratory tract diseases
  • Virology

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