Vitamin C in Treatment of the Common Cold
Is Vitamin C the cure for the common cold? Will it reduce the severity and duration of a cold? Will it prevent you from ever having another cold? Of course, we would all like to think that would be true, but what’s the real effect of Vitamin C supplements?
What is Vitamin C and Where Can I Find It?
Vitamin C is water soluble and functions as an antioxidant and as a coenzyme. Furthermore, it can perform different functions in various situations, such as aiding in collagen formation for teeth, cartilage, and connective tissue and aiding in the formation of new tissue in wound healing. Vitamin C can be found in foods such as ...view middle of the document...
Although unsure if massive doses would produce the same effect in humans, the author warned against chronic massive supplementation.
Vitamin C and Colds: How Does it Work?
Vitamin C is often used for both prophylactic and therapeutic purposes. Wilson, Loh, and Foster (1972) state that the prophylactic effect refers to the ability of vitamin C to prevent a cold Furthermore, commencement of administration of vitamin C when cold symptoms first appear constitutes the therapeutic use. Rhinoviruses, which cause common colds, appear to cause damage by attracting the body’s defense cells to the site of injury. Vitamin C may be able to reduce the severity of symptoms during a common cold by reducing the number of oxidizing agents produced by the body’s defense cells.
Vitamin C and Colds: What Do the Supplements Claim?
"Useful in the prevention and cure of cold. . .a natural and invaluable aid to health and
"The great this about Vitamin C is that you can’t get too much of it..."
"Daily Amount/Application: 2,000 milligrams, taken as 4 divided doses"
"Clinical studies discovered its efficacy in treating the common cold years ago and we
have all been enjoying the benefits ever since: one or more grams of vitamin C a
day can reduce the intensity, the duration of a cold"
Procedure for seeing if vitamin C will help you prevent or minimize colds:
"Take vitamin C to bowel tolerance limit twice a day."
"If you start to feel a cold coming on, increase this level to at least 1000mg per
hour or as much as you tolerate. This must start IMMEDIATELY."
"Continue this for as long as your bowel tolerance level stays high."
If this is unsuccessful, you must not have taken as much as advised.
". . .vitamin C is safe, there are no contraindications. . .of side effects"
"Besides buying Daily-C for its preventive and healing benefits, many consumer find it is a
healthier, fat-free alternative to candy."
What Does the Research Show?
For many years, large doses of ascorbic acid (commonly known as vitamin C) have been used for both the prevention and the treatment of the common cold; however, research has yet to prove that vitamin C has a marked effect.
Wilson, Loh, and Foster (1973)
Wilson, Loh, and Foster sought to compare the incidence, duration, severity, and total intensity of cold characteristics, and of cold frequencies between different treatment groups. Subjects were students in four boarding schools located in Dublin, Ireland. All children in...