Vitamin C and the common cold

Vitamin C and the common cold

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Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is found mainly in fruits and vegetables as a water-soluble vitamin that is an essential part of life. This specific vitamin is an essential component of the body required to form and maintain bones, blood vessels, and skin. [ Vitamin C] is perhaps the most popular vitamin among the common nutrients and is said to uphold the body’s natural equilibrium. Vitamin C along with sodium, potassium, and calcium salts are commonly used as antioxidant food additives. Once ingested, vitamin C is readily absorbed by the intestines and continues through the watery components tissues that make up the human body. As a result, collagen protein build-up occurs while doubling as an antioxidant along the way (Michael W. Smith, 2007).

Vitamin C Benefits

A study conducted involving Vitamin C which took place at the Methodist Hospital in Brooklyn, New York, found significant reductions in blood levels of histamine after people took 1,000 milligrams of Vitamin C for three consecutive daysfact. An Italian study found that people with hay fever, who had taken 2,000 milligrams of Vitamin C daily, were better able to maintain the volume of air they could exhale (NutraBio, 2007)unreliable source. Since vitamin C was isolated in the 1930s it has been proposed to be linked to respiratory infections. Forty years later, vitamin C became particularly popular for the common cold when [ Linus Pauling] , the Nobel Prize Winner, drew conclusions from earlier placebo-controlled trials of large dose vitamin C on the incidence and occurrence of colds (Douglas RM, 2007). A vast majority of individuals are convinced that taking more vitamin C during the cold season will help reduce the risk of catching a cold or flu. Many of those who generally do not take Vitamin C or Mineral supplements on a regular basis will still take the Vitamin C tablet when feeling a cold coming on.

For years, individuals have relied on vitamin C to fight and protect the body from colds without side effects. However, research has shown vitamin C is ineffectual and unsuccessful against a cold, and also has dangerous effects when taken inadequately and inappropriately.fact

ources of Vitamin C

As well as:

green peppers, watermelon, papaya, grapefruit, strawberries, broccoli, tomatoes, cauliflower, cabbage, and citrus juices or juices fortified with Vitamin C. Raw and cooked leafy greens (turnip greens, spinach), red and green peppers, canned and fresh tomatoes, potatoes, winter squash, raspberries, blueberries, cranberries and pineapple

Vitamin C and Common Cold Study

In the past 30 years, numerous placebo-controlled trials have examined the effect of vitamin C supplementation on the prevention and treatment of colds. More than 30 clinical trials with over 10,000 participants have examined the effects of taking daily vitamin C in doses up to 2 g/day. Overall, no significant reduction in the risk of developing colds has been observed. When observing those individuals who developed the common cold while taking vitamin C, no significant difference in severity of symptoms was noticed within the study overall. Although an extremely small significant reduction in the duration of colds has been reported, the decrease cannot be significantly linked to vitamin C intake (Ethan Basch, Catherine Ulbricht, Christine Ulbricht, & Wendy Weissner, 2007). However, in a subgroup of marathon runners, skiers, and soldiers training in the Arctic doses ranging from 250 mg/day to 1 g/day decreased the incidence of colds by 50% (Jane Higdon & Balz Frei, 2006). Therefore, the majority of studies of non-athletic people, when looked at collectively, led researchers to conclude that vitamin C does not prevent or treat the common cold.


According to the Linus Pauling Institute of Oregon State University, here is the daily recommended allowance:


* Commission, A. A. (2002, April 1). University of Maryland Medical Center. Retrieved March 06, 2008, from Vitamin C (Ascorbic acid):

* Douglas RM, H. H. (2007, May 14). Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 1998, Issue 1. Retrieved March 05, 2008, from Vitamin C for preventing and treating the common cold:

* Ethan Basch, M., Catherine Ulbricht, P., Christine Ulbricht, P., & Wendy Weissner, B. (2007, October 16). Medline Plus. Retrieved March 05, 2008, from Vitamin C (Ascorbic acid):

* Jane Higdon, P., & Balz Frei, P. (2006, January 31). Linus Pauling Institute. Retrieved March 05, 2008, from Micronutrient Information Center: Vitamin C:

* Jeffrey S Hampl, P. R. (2004, May). American Journal of Public Health. Retrieved March 04, 2008, from Vitamin C Deficiency and Depletion in the United States: The Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1988 to 1994:

* Michael W. Smith, M. (2007, December 11). Web.MD. Retrieved March 06, 2008, from Vitamin C and Colds:

* NutraBio. (2007, January). Retrieved March 05, 2008, from Vitamin C:

* Tapia-Andersen, K. (2008, February 18). Los Angeles Times . Retrieved March 06, 2008, from Cold sufferers mindlessly reach for vitamin C:,0,4209454.story

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