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Vitamin C

U.S. National Institutes of Health
Despite the popular belief that vitamin C can cure the common cold, the scientific evidence for this is conflicting. A few studies have suggested that taking vitamin C supplements when you are exposed to a cold virus or when you first have symptoms can shorten a cold or even prevent one. Other research has shown that vitamin C supplementation has no impact on a cold's severity or length, but it can significantly reduce how often a person catches a cold.

Vitamin C may only be useful in case of a cold if you have low levels of this nutrient to begin with. The likelihood of success may be very individual -- some people improve, while others do not.

People with kidney disease should avoid vitamin C supplements. Most experts advise that you meet your daily vitamin and mineral requirements by eating a balanced diet. Taking more than 500 mg of vitamin C at any one time provides no advantage. More than that amount is simply lost through non-absorption or urination.
    - "Colds and vitamin C"
Mayo Clinic
... In a subset of studies in people living in extreme climates or under extraordinary conditions, including soldiers in sub-arctic exercises, skiers, and marathon runners, vitamin C significantly reduced the risk of developing colds by approximately 50%.

This area merits more study and may be of particular interest to elite athletes or military personnel. - "Common cold prevention (extreme environments)"

Just what constitutes an optimum dose isn't clear, but amounts in excess of 2,000 mg a day may cause nausea and diarrhea.
    - "Cold remedies: What probably doesn't hurt"



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The content presented in this website is for informational purposes only. Before taking any health supplement or therapy, consult your healthcare professional. Even mild supplements can have varying effects on individuals, and can conflict with your existing medications and diet. See additional information.

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