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Health & Fit Vitamin C for the common cold is a myth, sort of

01:15  16 november  2019
01:15  16 november  2019 Source:   msn.com

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The common cold , or simply the cold , is a viral infectious disease of the upper respiratory tract. The cold is indeed common , and is a significant cause for absences from work and school.

Vitamin C has been studied for many years as a possible treatment for colds , or as a way to help prevent colds . But findings have been inconsistent. Overall, experts have found little to no benefit from vitamin C for preventing or treating the common cold . In a July 2007 study, researchers wanted to

  Vitamin C for the common cold is a myth, sort of © Shutterstock
  • The belief that vitamin C can help you steer clear of a nasty cold has been a myth for decades.

  • Research shows that at least 200 mg per day of vitamin C, while you're sick, can help you get better sooner and decreases the severity of your symptoms.
  • Doctors have found that if you take more than 2,000 mg of vitamin C daily, it can cause GI effects like nausea and abdominal pain.

Walk through the aisles of any pharmacy when you're trying to keep an impending cold at bay and you'll be met with a slew of options - from over-the-counter medications to cough drops, herbal teas to vitamin C powders. The belief that vitamin C can help you steer clear of a nasty cold has been around for decades.

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Vitamin C and the Common Cold is a popular book by Linus Pauling, first published in 1970, on vitamin C , its interactions with common cold and the role of vitamin C megadosage in human health.

You’ve probably heard it a zillion times: take some vitamin C if you feel a cold coming on, and chase away illness with a gallon of orange juice. Even though we know there’s no cure for the common cold , many of us still believe in the sweet

Vitamin C does not prevent colds

"Nobel Prize winner Dr. Linus Pauling famously claimed in the 1970s that high doses of vitamin C prevented the common cold," says Mike Sevilla, a family physician in Salem, Ohio.

But Pauling had little evidence to back his claim. The foundations of his argument came from a single study of a sample of children in the Swiss Alps, which he then generalized to the overall population.

Turns out he overgeneralized, and numerous studies have since disproved Pauling's claim.

"Unfortunately, follow-up research has shown that vitamin C does not prevent the common cold," Sevilla says. Yet this misconception continues to live on.

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"The data show that vitamin C is only marginally beneficial when it comes to the common cold ," says Dr. Bruce Bistrian, chief of clinical nutrition at Harvard-affiliated Beth What about claims that massive doses of vitamin C can help prevent a cold ? Some studies have suggested there may be a benefit

Dr Kiel answers the question "Does Vitamin C Actually Help Prevent or Treat the Common Cold ?" MORE VITAMINS , MINERALS, SUPPLEMENTS

"In my family practice office, I see patients from a variety of cultures and backgrounds and the use of vitamin C for the common cold is well known across all of them," Sevilla says.

Vitamin C can help you get over a cold faster

So if you are healthy, feeling well, and are just trying to prevent catching the cold, vitamin C can't do much for you. But if you're already sick, it's a different story.

"It can shorten the length of a cold and decreases the severity of the illness," Sevilla says.

But if you want to cut down your cold time, you'll likely need more than the recommended dietary amount. The Food and Nutrition Board at the National Academies recommends 75 to 90 mg of vitamin C a day for adults. To fight that cold, you'll need more than double that amount.

In one 2013 review, from the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, researchers found evidence from multiple trials that participants who took at least 200 mg of vitamin C regularly over the course of a trial got over their cold faster than participants who took a placebo. Adults who took vitamin C saw an 8% reduction in the duration of their cold compared to the placebo group. And children had an even larger reduction - by 14%.

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It's a common opinion held by many that taking high doses of vitamin C for colds is as effective and logical as Pauling made exaggerated claims that said how vitamin C can eliminate the common cold , retinal detachment Eating a hot (but not too hot!) bowl of chicken soup or any sort of soup.

Can vitamin C really help prevent or even treat colds ? Learn more from WebMD about vitamin C 's role in keeping you well this cold season. Douglas, R. The Cochrane Collaboration, issue 3, John Wiley & Sons Ltd., 2007. Linus Pauling Institute. UptoDate: " The common cold in adults: Treatment

Plus, the review also found that, as Sevilla says, vitamin C can also reduce the severity of the cold once you have one.

You can easily get 200 mg of vitamin C from eating a small papaya, which has about 96 mg, and a cup of sliced red bell peppers, which racks up 117 mg.

But a faster way to get an even larger dose is from powders or supplements, which can give you as much as 1,000 mg of vitamin C in a single packet - that's 1,111% to 1,333% of your recommended daily allowance.

The side effects of too much vitamin C

If you're planning to take that much vitamin C every day for an extended period, it merits a talk with a doctor.

Sevilla says that taking more than 2,000 mg of vitamin C daily has been known to cause GI effects like nausea and abdominal pain. It's primarily because of those issues that the tolerable upper intake level - the max you should take unless under the direction of a doctor - is 2,000 mg for adults.

Gallery: All the Reasons You Need to Add Vitamin C to Your Diet (Provided by Woman's Day)

a pile of oranges cut in half: If you're like us, vitamin C is one of those things you know you should incorporate into your diet, but you don't really know why. To get to the bottom of this, we asked dietitians to break down what this nutrient does for our bodies, if we should be taking a supplement, and if it really is a cure-all for colds (spoiler alert: not quite).

And if you're debating between a food and a supplement, Sevilla recommends sticking with food as your source of vitamin C, if you can manage it.

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