Does Vitamin C Really Prevent Colds and Flu?
Benefits Dec 02, 2022
Many of us have heard about the many benefits of vitamin C. It is the staple in many cold and flu remedies. Although the benefits of vitamin C are widely regarded, the question of whether or not it prevents colds and flu is still hotly debated. Many recent reviews of randomized controlled studies have found little evidence to support this benefit. Also, most studies looked at vitamin C in small doses and after the onset of a cold.
When you get sick, one of the things that you want is relief as soon as possible. Thus, the rational question is: Can vitamin C cut down on a cold? Does it treat symptoms? And should you take it if you get sick? Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps fight cell damage. It comes in many forms and does not have equal effects or bioavailability from all sources. While it’s found naturally in some fruits and vegetables, there are also plenty of great dietary sources as well as dietary supplements. Colds are caused by an infection, so vitamin C may make little difference for most people when sick. But for some people who have a low dietary intake of this vitamin or those using a supplement, it may have a positive effect on some symptoms. Here’s what science has to say about whether taking vitamin C will make you feel better if you get sick.
In addition to its antioxidant properties, vitamin C also has anticancer properties. Research shows that a high-dose vitamin C intake decreases the risk of several types of cancer, including stomach, mouth, pharynx, and esophagus. Moreover, studies show that vitamin C prevents nitrosation and interferes with experimental induced carcinogenesis. This makes vitamin C a valuable preventive agent for cancer.
While vitamin C is often touted as a natural immune system booster, the scientific evidence on its efficacy is mixed. While vitamin C has multiple roles in the body, it is best known as a powerful immunity booster. Vitamin C plays an important role in the production of collagen, which is an essential protein in the skin and aids in the healing of wounds. It also enhances the absorption
of iron from foods.
People with diabetes should monitor their blood glucose levels after eating. The problem is that high blood sugar spikes can lead to complications, including cardiovascular disease, nerve damage, and kidney failure. This problem is exacerbated by insulin resistance, which prevents the body from properly using glucose as fuel. High blood sugar, or hyperglycemia, also increases the risk of many diseases. However, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you should give up on sugary snacks or occasional treats.
It’s a proven fact that vitamin C can enhance absorption of non-heme iron. Plant-based foods contain a large amount of non-heme iron, which your body absorbs better than heme iron. If you’re trying to reduce the amount of iron you take in each day, adding vitamin C to your diet is a good way to improve absorption.
A recent meta-analysis of twenty-nine studies suggests that taking 500 milligrams of vitamin C daily can reduce high blood pressure by five points over the course of eight weeks. While such a small difference may seem insignificant, it does have a huge impact on your overall health.
According to Dr. Edgar “Pete” Miller, associate professor of general internal medicine at Johns Hopkins University, the effects of vitamin C on high blood pressure are well documented.
Is taking vitamin C to prevent a cold worth the cost and effort? The main problem with this question is that there is no definite answer. Scientists and researchers have studied this topic in depth, but still, many people wonder if it is worth taking vitamin C to prevent a cold. Some say yes, while others say that it has never been proven to work, or that it doesn’t work very well. So where does this leave you? Unfortunately, there simply isn’t enough information available to give a resounding yes or no answer. But we do know some things: first of all, neither vitamin C nor zinc has ever been shown to be effective at preventing or treating the common cold virus. Second, neither one has any known side effects. And third, you can always consult your doctor for advice on which cold remedies are best for you and your family—and whether each might help reduce the likelihood of catching a cold.