News - Fruit and vegetable supplements may reduce cold symptoms
According to a new study from Germany, concentrates of fruit and vegetables taken as supplements may reduce the symptoms of the common cold by 20%.
To carry out the randomised, double-blind trial, scientists recruited 529 people with an average age of 40. Two hundred and sixty-three of the people were assigned to receive daily supplements of a fruit and vegetable concentrate, while 266 received a placebo, for eight months.
The results showed that, while the two groups experienced similar numbers of days with common cold symptoms, the severity of their symptoms was different. The people receiving the fruit and vegetable concentrate had an average of 7.6 days with moderate or severe common cold symptoms, compared with 9.5 days in the placebo group.
Commenting on the potential mechanism, the Berlin-based scientists point to the potent antioxidant content of the fruit and vegetable supplements, which are naturally high in nutrients such as vitamin C, beta carotene and folate, and are important for immune function.
Roll S et al. Reduction of common cold symptoms by encapsulated juice powder concentrate of fruits and vegetables: a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. British Journal of Nutrition (2010). [Epub ahead of print]