Does Vitamin C help with common cold

By December 24, 2021

Miniature oranges inside a vitamin pill container

Once having a cold, people tend to look for over-the-counter medications and drink a large amount of water to relieve symptoms. While others may like to turn to tea, juices, or natural remedies such as Vitamin C. Does it really help with a common cold?

Benefits of vitamin C

Vitamin C is an essential vitamin that can keep you healthy and strong. It plays a big role in the functionality of your bones, muscles, and blood vessels, and helps your body better absorb iron, etc. Vitamin C largely exists in fruits and vegetables, especially citrus fruits like oranges. It can also be acquired as a dietary supplement, however, the amount of vitamin C that some of these products contain is more than one gram, exceeding the recommended daily intake.

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Does vitamin C prevent cold or help treat a cold faster?

For years, little evidence has been found to support that vitamin C prevents or treats a cold. According to the researches, taking vitamin C daily wouldn’t reduce the possibility of getting a cold, though it may slightly shorten the cold period by about ten percent, and children will treat the cold faster than adults. On the other hand, if taken at the beginning of getting a cold, vitamin C wouldn’t show any positive effect on either males or females.

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It is worth mentioning that vitamin C works really well on people with very good physical condition, such as marathon runners and soldiers. During the experiment, they are asked to take vitamin C for 2-3 weeks before starting a strenuous workout, which is proved to reduce their risk of having a cold in half.

The side effect of vitamin C

Because vitamin C is water-soluble, it will flush out of your body in urine if you take over the recommended amount. What’s more, you may experience GI effects, such as nausea. Remember that the maximum you take vitamin C daily is 2,000mg.

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How to prevent a cold

Still, the best solution is to take precautions and prevent yourself from getting a cold. Wash your hands regularly with running water or alcohol sanitizer to remove any germs that might cause a cold. Also, stay away from people who’s caught a cold, and avoid sharing things like toothbrushes with them.

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