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Vitamin C and colds

Colds and vitamin C

 

Information

Popular belief is that vitamin C can cure the common cold. However, research about this claim is conflicting.

Although not fully proven, large doses of vitamin C may help reduce how long a cold lasts. They do not protect against getting a cold. Vitamin C may also be helpful for those exposed to brief periods of severe or extreme physical activity.

The likelihood of success may vary from person to person. Some people improve, while others do not. Taking 1000 to 2000 mg per day can be safely tried by most people. Taking too much can cause stomach upset.

People with kidney disease should NOT take vitamin C supplements.

Large doses of vitamin C supplementation are not recommended during pregnancy.

A balanced diet almost always provides the required vitamin and minerals for the day.

 

References

Fashner J, Ericson K, Werner S. Treatment of the common cold in children and adults. Am Fam Physician. 2012;86(2):153-159. PMID: 22962927 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22962927.

Hemilä H, Chalker E. Vitamin C for preventing and treating the common cold. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2013;1. PMID: 23440782 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23440782.

National Institutes of Health, Office of Dietary Supplements. Fact sheet for consumers: vitamin C. Updated February 17, 2016. www.ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminC-Consumer/. Accessed April 29, 2016.

Shah D, Sachdev HPS. Vitamin C (ascorbic acid). In: Kliegman RM, Stanton BF, St Geme JW, Schor NF eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 20th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 50.

 
  • Vitamin C and colds

    Vitamin C and colds - illustration

    Vitamin C promotes healthy teeth and gums, helps in the absorption of iron, aids in the maintenance of normal connective tissue, and promotes wound healing. It also helps the body's immune system.

    Vitamin C and colds

    illustration

    • Vitamin C and colds

      Vitamin C and colds - illustration

      Vitamin C promotes healthy teeth and gums, helps in the absorption of iron, aids in the maintenance of normal connective tissue, and promotes wound healing. It also helps the body's immune system.

      Vitamin C and colds

      illustration

    A Closer Look

     

      Talking to your MD

       

        Self Care

         

          Tests for Vitamin C and colds

           

             

            Review Date: 1/10/2016

            Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director and Director of Didactic Curriculum, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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