Controlled experiments are those in which groups are separated into control and experimental. Neither group knows what they are receiving, so they may or may not be receiving a sugar pill or something else. The control group is essential for comparisons — what happens in the control group often determines how the experimental data is interpreted (Scientific Control Group, 2008).
A double blind experiment is one in which some of the participants are prevented from knowing certain information about the study that might lead to bias (conscious or subconscious) thus skewing the results. Blinding can also be imposed on researchers, subjects, funders, or any combination in which one wishes to protect the data integrity. In the use of new drugs, blinded experiments are necessary because a patient might feel better if they think they are receiving a powerful new medicine — the placebo effect. It is impossible, however, to double blind all studies, for ethical and humanitarian reasons, for instance. Using double blind studies is one of the reasons 20th century science advanced — observer bias can affect an experiment (Double Blind Experiment, 2008).
Part 1 — C — Based on the results of Study A, there seems no scientific reason for Max to take Vitamin C during the winter months. Both the control and experimental groups showed no difference in the disappearance of cold symptoms for the duration of the study. If Max is getting at least 90-100 mg of Vitamin C daily, his daily health, based on this study, is supplemented appropriately. If there are other reasons Max might wish to supplement his diet (e.g. excess stress, poor diet, excess caffeine), then there might be a reason for supplementation. But, if the reason is only to prevent the severity of a cold, and this Study is the basis for his research, then there is no reason for Max to supplement.
Part 2 — A — Study 2 was controlled, although perhaps not well controlled. We do not know the variables of the individuals in the study (age, exercise or health level, attitude, gender, etc.). We also do not know whether these individuals are susceptible to colds (liver issues, immune issues, etc.). For the control to be robust, the populations would need to be more alike, and the delineation of the variables of the participants would need to be disclosed; likely 20 individuals would not be a large enough experimental group. Finally, we only know that the subject consumed the same amount of dietary item C. And spent 4 hours in the same room; we do not know what they ate outside of the experiment, what environment they were in, how much rest they received, or how close they were to the individual with the cold. For instance, some might have felt a cold coming on, therefore drank more fluids and rested; this was not indicated in the experiment.
Part 2 — B — Based on this study, the recommendation would be the same; Max might take Vitamin C to help ensure he had adequate nutrition, but the study does not prove that the people who took 1,000 mg of Vitamin C had lessened symptoms based solely on their intake of Vitamin C Max might do as well staying home, resting, taking warm showers, and drinking lots of fluids. If he wanted an extra assurance that he might have milder cold symptoms, it would certainly not hurt him to take Vitamin C
Conclusion – If Max wishes to use dietary controls to increase his Vitamin C to 1,000 mg per day, there are a number of choices he can make: Fresh fruits and vegetables contain varying amounts of Vitamin C; bell peppers, thyme, parsley, dark greens like mustard greens or spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, kiwi, strawberries, papayas, oranges, tangerines, cherries, melons, tomatoes. Yes, it is quite practical that Max could easily supplement his diet to include 1,000 mg of Vitamin C — and it is quite easy to ensure that he gets 90 mg of Vitamin C For instance, if we do just a two day plan for Max, this could include:
Day 1 Serving
Day 2 Serving
Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice
120 mg/8 oz glass
Fresh Squeezed Grapefruit Juice
150 mg/8oz glass
Vegetable Juice Cocktail
50 mg per ae cup
47 mg / 1/4
Salad with Spinach, Bell Peppers, carrots, broccoli, tomatoes, about 1 medium bowl
(Veggies can come at dinner, too)
About 500 mg depending on salad size
Fresh cherries as snack
80 mg per cherry (acerola), so say 5-6 cherries per day
1 per day on cereal or yogurt
Lemons, squeezed in tea or water
3-4 per day
As we can see, there are choices Max could make because he has about a 30% variance per day (Vitamin C, 2009).
Applicability to Society – Vitamin C, or L-ascorbic acid is an essential nutrient for humans. It is a cofactor in at least enzymatic reactions and required for a broad range of metabolic reactions. It performs numerous physiological functions in the human body, including the synthesis of collagen, carnitine, and neurotransmitters. It is a potent antioxidant. Studies show that human adults need at least 90 mg per day of Vitamin C, but there is no complete consensus regarding extreme levels to boost the immune system, lower blood pressure, or “prevent colds.”
Double Blind Experiment. (2008). Experiment-Resources.com. Retrieved from:
Scientific Control Group. (2008). Experment-Resources.com. Retrieved from:
The Vitamin C Controversy. (2010). Clinical Journal of Pain. 26 (6): Retrieved from:
Vitamin C (2009). Water Soluable Vitamins. Retrieved from:
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