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Can Vitamin C Prevent Colds?

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Can Vitamin C…ascorbic acid… really keep you from getting a cold?

The controversy about vitamin c‘s role ..if any… in preventing and treating the common cold… has raged for more than 70 years.
- Its use dramatically increased after Dr. Linus Pauling concluded it could prevent colds and reduce cold symptoms.

A new study published in the Cochrane Database of Systemic Reviews combines existing data-to help set the record straight.

72 studies were analyzed . Only those using supplement doses of 200 mg or higher were included.
the conclusion- for preventing colds-29 trials and more than 11,000 patients- showed for most people, vitamin C didn’t help much- it reduced colds by only 3%.

But for those under high physical stress- marathon runners, skiers, and soldiers doing subartic exercise. – the result were dramatically different- - the extra vitamin c in these patients cut colds in half.

Next- duration of symptoms- nearly 10,000 colds in 31 studies- the conclusions-
For adults- an 8 % reduction in duration of cold symptoms and nearly twice that for kids- a 14% reduction .

For severity of cold symptoms- in kids- doses of one to two grams daily seemed to help-

The bottom line
More randomized controlled trails are needed- but based on the data so far- vitamin c doesn’t do much to keep you from getting a cold- unless you’re seriously stressed.
On the other hand, it’s cheap and relatively safe- and does seem to help a little with how long your cold lasts and how bad it is.

Couldn’t hurt.

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