Does Vitamin C Really Help You Fight a Cold?

"As a powerful antioxidant, vitamin C helps protect your cells against the effects of free radicals, which may play a role in heart disease, cancer, and other diseases."

Many people take vitamin C to prevent and fight off colds, but does it really work? According to research, it depends. While studies show that taking vitamin C does decrease the severity and duration of colds, the impact is minimal and only really beneficial when initiated within 24 hours of experiencing cold symptoms.1 Even more, consuming vitamin C from food, rather than supplements, seems to have a stronger effect.

Learn more about what vitamin C can and can’t do, the best preventative methods for colds and flus, and when to see a doctor. 

Facts About Vitamin C 

Vitamin C won’t cure a cold, but it does have a variety of health benefits. As a powerful antioxidant, vitamin C helps protect your cells against the effects of free radicals, which may play a role in heart disease, cancer, and other diseases.2 These antioxidant effects may strengthen one’s immunity because they help white blood cells function more effectively.3

There’s also some evidence that vitamin C is highly concentrated in immune cells and quickly depleted during an infection or when you are under considerable stress.4 By upping your intake of vitamin C while ill, you’re actively helping to restore these cells.

Studies show that vitamin C may reduce the severity of colds and recovery time by 8 percent in adults and 14 percent in children, but it does not prevent them.5 

Other benefits of taking vitamin C include: 

  • Heart health: An analysis of 15 studies found that consuming vitamin C from foods was linked to a lower risk of heart disease.6
  • Eye health: There’s some evidence that people who have higher levels of vitamin C in their diets have a lower risk of developing cataracts.7
  • Prevents iron deficiency: Vitamin C helps your body absorb and store iron, which is necessary for growth and development.
  • Supports memory: Vitamin C may lower the risk of developing dementia as high levels of the vitamin have been shown to have a protective effect on thinking and memory.8 

Foods rich in vitamin C include lemons, oranges, kiwi, papaya, strawberries, bell peppers, tomatoes, and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage.

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How Much Vitamin C Do You Need to Fight a Cold? 

Vitamin C has proven to be beneficial when taken at doses of 1-2 grams for children and 6-8 grams per day for adults. It may be even more effective for those under greater physical stress like marathoners. So while the vitamin may not prevent a cold or make it go away, it’s possible you can shave off a day or 2 of illness and feel a little less miserable.

In addition to using vitamin C to fight off your cold faster, try taking a homeopathic medication like Brillia Cold-Flu Recovery, which is clinically proven to shorten the duration and severity of colds and flus. Consisting of targeted antibodies that reduce inflammation and increase your body’s immune response, Cold-Flu Recovery helps to reduce congestion, runny/stuffy nose, cough, sore throat, and body aches without making you drowsy, lightheaded, or causing an upset stomach. Free from harsh, synthetic chemicals, Cold-Flu Recovery is gentle on your system and can be safely taken by anyone over the age of 1.

Best Preventative Methods for Colds & Flus 

It’s important to remember that there is no cure for a cold. While vitamin C will not prevent you from getting sick, there are a number of other things you can do to reduce your likelihood of catching a cold:

When to See a Doctor 

As a virus, a cold must run its course and typically does not require medical attention. However, you should contact your doctor if you have a fever over 101.3 F lasting 3 or more days or if your symptoms worsen or fail to improve after 3 weeks. There is also a possibility that your cold can lead to a secondary infection like an ear or sinus infection, strep throat, bronchitis, or pneumonia. Another benefit to taking Brillia Health products is that they can lower your risk of catching a secondary infection by helping to rebuild your immune system and relieve the stress that illness places on your body.

While vitamin C is not a magic cure for the cold, it still holds tremendous value in your overall health and should be a mainstay in your home along with other important vitamins and minerals like vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin D, and zinc.

Find more tips on how to build your immunity all year long and feel better faster when you do fall ill at the Brillia(nce) Resource Center.

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References: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

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