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Fact or Fiction: Does Vitamin C Cure the Common Cold?

Mar 29, 2013 - 1 comments

When you feel a cold coming on, your first instinct may be to chug some orange juice or stock up on vitamin C supplements. But will that extra boost of vitamin C really help you cure — or avoid — a cold?

Contrary to popular belief, vitamin C has no proven effect on preventing the common cold – and upping your intake won’t help you recover faster once you’re feeling sick, either. In more than 30 clinical trials with over 10,000 participants, researchers examined the effects of taking a daily vitamin C for cold prevention. They found no reduction in risk of developing a cold, and for those who already had the virus, no decrease in severity of cold symptoms.

There are a few exceptions, of course. In people who took high doses of vitamin C supplements daily as a preventative measure, the researchers found that when those people did catch cold, the duration of their colds were shortened by about half a day. And researchers also found that in people whose bodies are under high levels of physical stress in extremely cold conditions (they studied marathon runners), a daily dose of vitamin C cut the risk of catching a cold in half.

But for most of us, that extra glass of juice when we feel the sniffles coming on won’t do much. A better bet? Wash and sanitize your hands regularly to prevent the spread of germs, and keeping your immune system in tip-top shape by getting enough sleep, staying hydrated and lowering your stress levels!  

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by Riccio67, Apr 03, 2013
Based on my personal experience, this conclusion sounds correct. I am 68 years old, live in the mountains and still rock climb and do some quite difficult and long real mountain bike ascents and descents. I seldom manage to get the exact level of clothing for the particular situation - although things change a lot during a long day.
While definitely not a marathoner, I seem to be always either too hot or too cold - depending on clouds etc. this can fluctuate in a matter of 1/2 hour.
And --- I take 2 grams of "c" in the summer and 4 grams in the 7 colder months. I seldom have transitory problems like colds, or intestinal flue etc.
Things get a little complicated because I also take 12 or 15 other supplements, K2, D3, Magnesium, Omega 3, several antioxidants, and a few yet to be proven items.
I have also (several years ago) been involved in a small "study", my personal opinion is that people who take a gram or so of vitamin c per day probably do and do not do several other things that contribute to overall health. A study that really delves into these other factors might be surprising. Vitamin C is not going to solve neglect.
Best regards,Riccio

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