"Earlier studies, both in our hospital and in other centres, demonstrated that the majority of acutely hospitalized patients have subnormal levels of vitamins C and D in their blood," said senior author L. John Hoffer, MD, PhD, an investigator at the Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research and a professor of medicine at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, in a news release.
"About one in five acute-care patients in our hospital have vitamin C levels so low as to be compatible with scurvy, [but] patients are rarely given vitamin supplements."
"Most physicians are simply unaware of the problem," Dr. Hoffer
"The lack of any effect of vitamin D on mood is good evidence we are not dealing with a placebo response," Dr. Hoffer
"This looks like a true biological effect."
Limitations of this study include small sample size, study dropout, and patient heterogeneity.
In addition, 5 of the 32 study participants had already been prescribed a vitamin D supplement by their physician at the time of enrollment, and these patients were automatically assigned to the vitamin C treatment group.
"Our finding definitely requires follow up in larger studies in other centres," Dr. Hoffer