A cough, a sniff; many people reach for vitamin C supplements at the first sign of a cold. Whether they’re in the form of tea, tablets, cough drops or juice, vitamin C has been touted as the best way to manage a cold. Many people even stock up on vitamin C supplements when the cold season comes around. But does vitamin C help with colds?
Vitamin C and its effect on the common cold: Vitamin C is a water soluble compound that plays a vital role in many essential processes within the body. This antioxidant has been shown to neutralize free radicals formed in the body and therefore prevent their harmful effects. Vitamin C is also important for growth and repair of tissues in the body. It assists in the production of collagen which is important for maintaining muscle and joint tissue. It also aids in the absorption of iron.
Researchers have studied vitamin C for years and continue to do so today. They are especially interested in its role in reducing the risks of catching cold as well as helping to manage colds. The results of many of these studies have been disappointing. These studies have shown that contrary to popular belief, taking vitamin C will not reduce your risk of catching a cold. However, the results showed that taking vitamin C supplements consistently had two benefits. Vitamin C helps to reduce the severity of cold symptoms. It also helps to reduce the duration of colds by an average14 percent in children and 8 percent in adults.
Vitamin C and Your Immune System: While taking vitamin C supplements may not reduce your risk of catching a cold, it does help your immune system. Vitamin C supports a healthy immune system by encouraging the production of white blood cells i.e. lymphocytes and phagocytes. These are an important part of the body’s defense against infections. Vitamin C also helps to improve the function of these white blood cells. It helps them function more effectively. Its antioxidant properties protect these cells from damage from free radicals.
Studies have linked low vitamin C levels to poor health. People with conditions such as pneumonia for example tend to have lower levels of vitamin C. Some studies have shown that taking vitamin C supplements when ill can help to shorten recovery times.
Vitamin C: There are mixed views regarding vitamin C. However, the general consensus is that vitamin C can be beneficial for those affected by the illness. One of the biggest benefits of Vitamin C has been in managing oxidative stress suffered by patients with severe illness. Studies have shown that patients in oxidative stress require more vitamin C. Because various conditions can result in oxidative stress in patients, patients can benefit from vitamin C supplementation.
Should you take vitamin C supplements: There is currently no cure for the common cold. However, you can provide your body with the right nutrients to help speed up recovery. While you may still catch a cold even when taking vitamin C supplements, vitamin C will help to reduce the severity of the symptoms. It will also help you to recover much faster than if you had not taken it. Vitamin C supplements will boost your body’s defenses. It will also promote healing as well as healthy skin and bones. It is therefore worth making vitamin c supplements part of your daily routine.
If you’re unsure about whether or not you should take vitamin c supplements, seek the advice of your doctor. Your health practitioner can help you determine the right dosage for maximum benefits.