The seasons for cold are typically autumn and winter, and the most popular remedy is dosing up on vitamin C. But does it really help prevent clods?
Previous studies found that vitamin C does have a slight effect on the common cold, but – experts say – people should definitely not have extremely high expectations.
“It’s fair to say that vitamin C supplementation both shortens duration of cold and offers some protection against colds, though it’s not very dramatic,” Stephen Lawson, a researcher at the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University, said.
The Institute of Medicine says that adult women should get 75 milligrams of vitamin C in their diet per day, men should consume 90 milligrams of vitamin C each day, and the daily dose of vitamin C for children should be between 15 and 75 milligrams (depending on sex and age). The Linus Pauling Institute is of a different opinion: for an optimal health, it recommends taking 400 milligrams of vitamin C per day.
Vitamin C is unlikely to lessen the severity of a cold or shorten its duration, according to the American Association of Family Physicians. However the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners says that although vitamin C cannot reduce the severity of a cold, it may help reduce the duration.
In 2013, the researchers reviewed twelve previously conducted studies and found that vitamin C reduced the duration of colds by 14 percent is children, and by 8 percent in adults. Also, those who were under intense physical stress – such as skiers, soldiers training in the Arctic, marathon runners – and took vitamin C, were 50 percent as likely to get a cold as people who did not take vitamin C.
A recent study conducted by LabDoor – an independent testing company – found that the dosage of vitamin C in most vitamin C supplements, matches the dosage on the label.
According to Lawson, the body cannot distinguish between vitamin C in oranges (or other foods that contain vitamin C), and vitamin C pills, so the source of the vitamin is not that important.
The findings of another study – published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition – suggest that vitamin C may have an antihistamine effect, which means that it diminishes the inflammatory response triggered by histamine (organic nitrogenous compound).
It is important to note that taking extremely high doses of vitamin C (more than 2,000 milligrams) may trigger side effects like stomach cramps or diarrhoea.
Image Source: drwillard