Benefits of Vitamin C for Colds! does it really work?

The benefits of vitamin C for colds is very effective because this is a vitamin that is always related to strengthening our body’s immune system , and preventing colds and flu . The common cold is the most common infectious disease in humans, and a person gets this type of condition several times a year.

Interestingly, vitamin C , or ascorbic acid , has often been claimed to be an effective treatment for this condition, but what some people wonder about is whether this vitamin can even combat this major nuisance that affects our health.

Does vitamin C have any effect on the common cold?

Around 1970, Nobel Prize winner Linus Pauling popularized the theory that ascorbic acid helped treat colds.

He published a book on cold prevention using megadoses of vitamin C , or up to 18,000 mg daily. For comparison, the recommended daily amount is 75 mg for women and 90 mg for men.

At that time, no reliable studies proved this to be true. But in the following decades, several randomized controlled trials examined whether ascorbic acid really had any effect on the common cold. The results were quite disappointing.

An analysis of 29 studies including 11,306 participants concluded that supplementing with 200 mg or more of vitamin C  does not reduce the risk of catching a cold, so the benefits of vitamin C for colds are effective!

Benefits of Vitamin C for Colds:

1. Reduction of Cold Severity:

It lessened the symptoms of a cold , making it less severe.

2. Reduction of cold duration:

Supplements shortened recovery time by 8% in adults and 14% in children, on average. A dose of 1 to 2 grams was enough to shorten the duration of a cold by 18% in children, on average. Other adult studies have found that 6-8 grams per day can be effective.

Vitamin C appears to have even stronger effects on people who are under intense physical stress. In marathon runners and skiers, Vitamin C halved the duration of the common cold.

How does vitamin C reduce the severity of colds?

One of the benefits of vitamin C for colds is an antioxidant and is needed to produce collagen in the skin. Collagen is the most abundant protein in mammals, keeping the skin and various tissues tough but flexible.

Ascorbic acid deficiency results in a problem known as scurvy, which is currently not a problem as most people get enough vitamin C  from food.

However, many are unaware that vitamin C is also highly concentrated in immune system cells and is quickly depleted during an infection .

In fact, a deficiency of ascorbic acid significantly weakens the immune system and increases the risk of infections. For this reason, consuming a sufficient amount during an infection is a good idea.

Other nutrients and foods that can cure a cold: 

There is no cure for the common cold. However, certain foods and nutrients can help the body recover. In the past, people used various foods to reduce their symptoms.

Few of them have proven scientific evidence to work, but some are supported by evidence.

Flavonoids:

These are antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables. Studies suggest that flavonoid supplements can reduce the risk of infections in the lungs, throat and nose by 33% on average.

Garlic:

This common spice contains some antimicrobial compounds that can fight respiratory infections .

Final thoughts on vitamin C: 

Supplementing with this vitamin does not reduce the risk of a cold, but it can speed recovery and reduce the severity of symptoms. In addition, taking supplements may be necessary to achieve the high intake of vitamin C needed to  improve colds. That’s because high doses of this vitamin have some adverse side effects.

To meet your basic nutrient needs, whole foods are often most effective. Good examples of healthy, vitamin C -rich foods  include oranges , kale , and red peppers .

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