Recent reviews1 suggest that both in experimental animals and in man a low intake of vitamins may be one of the causes of the lowering of natural resistance. This has been suggested in cases in which scurvy was manifest. Since a theoretic "prescorbutic state" has been postulated as occurring in persons with low levels of ascorbic acid in the plasma and with low urinary excretions but in whom symptoms and signs of clinical scurvy are absent, these persons are also thought to have lessened resistance. It has been presupposed, moreover, that in the course of certain infections2 there is an increased demand for vitamin C.
In view of these opinions, we welcomed the opportunity to study the relation of vitamin C to acute and chronic infections in 145 hospitalized children. An additional 110 normal unhospitalized children served as controls. The clinical patients were divided into six groups as