Does Vitamin C Prevent Colds?

Wednesday Apr 29th, 2020

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In recent studies, there is "questionable" evidence that vitamin C prevents colds, except in one small class of people: athletes. In studies where vitamin C or a placebo was given to marathon runners, skiers and soldiers exposed to significant cold or physical stress, there was a 50% reduction in common cold incidence. For the rest of us, however, there is apparently no measurable effect.

Could vitamin C, then, be a possible treatment for an established cold? Studies show that taking a single very high dose of the vitamin (8g) on the day symptoms start can lead to a shorter illness compared with people who take a placebo pill.

If you feel a cold coming on, here are some vitamin C-rich foods to shore up your immune system: The Kakadu plum and the camu camu fruit contain the highest concentration of vitamin C at more than 3,000mg compared to an orange, which contains about 50mg. Liver and oysters contain as much vitamin C as a grapefruit. And broccoli has almost twice the vitamin C as an orange in the same quantity!

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