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Regular vitamin C does not prevent colds

Regular vitamin C does not prevent colds

Regular vitamin C does not prevent colds
10:47 28 June 2005 news service
Emma Young, Sydney

Regular doses of vitamin C will not prevent a cold in most people - though they might reduce its duration slightly, according to a major new review of existing research.

The idea that the vitamin can prevent and treat a cold became popular following the 1970 publication of Nobel laureate Linus Pauling’s book, Vitamin C and the Common Cold. “Pauling’s book was very influential. But I’m confident that the general population doesn’t stand to gain any great benefit in terms of colds from taking regular doses,” says Robert Douglas of the Australian National University in Canberra, who co-authored the review.

Douglas and Harri Hemilä of the University of Helsinki, Finland, considered 55 studies dating from 1940 to 2004. These studies compared the effect of at least 200 milligrams daily versus a placebo.

From 23 studies investigating prevention in the general population, the pair concluded that regular doses of vitamin C do not reduce the risk of a cold. But they found the duration of any cold that did develop was shortened, though “only by about half a day in adults, and slightly more in children”, Douglas notes.

Extreme physical stress
However, people suffering extreme physical stress through exertion or freezing temperatures did benefit substantially from taking vitamin C. Studies of skiers, soldiers and marathon runners suggest that regular vitamin C can slash their incidence of colds in half. Pauling was heavily influenced by a ski school study, in particular.

“I don’t understand why - but it does seem there is a small subset of people who do seem to have substantial prevention benefit from taking vitamin C, when for the general population it’s zilch,” Douglas says.

As well as considering the effect of regular daily does, the pair also looked at whether starting to take vitamin C as soon as a symptoms appeared could shorten a cold. They found no evidence that it could, except for in one study which involved a huge 8 gram dose on the first day of symptoms.

“For all except this 8 gram group, the evidence is quite unimpressive that taking largish doses makes any difference at all once a cold has started,” says Douglas.

Journal reference: PLoS Medicine (Vol 2(6), p e68)

“You see, I don’t want to do good things, I want to do great things.” ~Alexander Joseph Luthor

I know Lewd Ferrigno personally.

Originally Posted by New Scientist
“I don’t understand why - but it does seem there is a small subset of people who do seem to have substantial prevention benefit from taking vitamin C, when for the general population it’s zilch,” Douglas says.

And they say doctors go to school for 8 years and they really learn. :wtf:

Let me spell it out for them. P-L-A-C-E-B-O-E-F-F-E-C-T.

A positive mind enhances any vitamins, proteins, exercise, recovery from sickness. I did not go to school for 8 years. I serve no Big Pharma companies. I’m not a paid spokesmen for any company.

The human body, with the right nutrition, exercise, mindset, and such, has the potential to live to 120 and beyond, happy and healthy.

The preceding announcement has been brought to you by I’ve Had My Head in this Game for Years Now.

Shhhhhh…. never underestimate the value of fooling yourself effectively. :)

This is a relatively old post, and I’m not entirely sure anyone will be reading this, but I actually did some research on vitamin-C, and there are some things that folks should know. 1.) Primates, and a few small birds, are among the ONLY animals on earth that don’t generate their own vitamin C. 2.) Vitamin-C is essential in the formation of collagen, hence why scurvy hit all those sailors and they lost their teeth way back when. 3.) You can safely take many times the daily recommended value and be fine, in fact often better than fine. 4.) quick quiz, did you know that the daily reccomended allowance of vitamin c is the ammount neccessary to keep you from generating scurvy.

I take sizable quantities of vitamin c, myself. Now, I can’t say that it prevents colds, but I have had fewer colds comparing it to what I getting before taking vitamin c supplements. I’ll also mention that I generally felt less sore after workouts, and if I did have a cold, it lasted a day or two instead of 5-6 like it used to. My suggestion isnt for folks to take daily doses. But I would suggest people start eating more fresh fruit and keep a bottle of vitamin c chewables around for when colds start to set on.-PN

Excellent Post ProtoNation. :up:

Welcome to the forum.

I forgot to mention before. When I said that the daily reccomended about keeps you from getting scurvy, it keeps you from suffering from the vitamin C deficiency. This does not mean it is the healthiest amount to have. Also, it is very hard to overdose on Vitamin C since it is water soluble and you pee all the excess out. However, if you take too much, ie 1500% in a single day, you can develop a case of irritated bowels. You can work up to that ammount and beyond. I know one individual who swears by 10 grams a day. He worked up to this level, though, so any plans to start supplementing the diet to this extreme should be tentative and have a good gradual timeline implemented. Some people suggest eating vitamin c tablets until you reach that point, back off the on ammount a bit, then take that everyday. That, however, is silly. Like I said before, a healthy diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables and maybe a few chewables for the sick season seems more reasonable.

Last edited by protoNation : 07-08-2005 at . Reason: forgot to add a little infor

It’s been my experience that taking vitamin C immediatly at what seems the onset of a cold invariably holds one off, or lessens the symptoms if I do get one. I’ll stick with the C no matter what they say.

Btw, if you have a job that puts you in high contact with the outside world, wash your hands very often.

Do this experiment: Try NOT to touch your eye area, nose, mouth for a half hour on any day. You will fail.



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