March 8, 2019

Will taking vitamin C help you avoid getting a cold?

Will taking vitamin C help you avoid getting a cold?

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UAMS medical myths vitamin C oranges

Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is good for preventing scurvy, which British sailors discovered in the mid-1700s. However, it won’t prevent colds or relieve any of the symptoms associated with them, according to the UAMS College of Pharmacy.

Many people are convinced that taking large quantities of vitamin C will keep them from getting sick. To test this theory, several large-scale, controlled studies involving children and adults have been conducted. To date, no conclusive data has shown that large doses of vitamin C prevent colds. The vitamin may reduce the severity or duration of symptoms, but there is no clear evidence.

Taking vitamin C over long periods of time in large amounts may actually be harmful. Too much vitamin C can cause severe diarrhea, a particular danger for elderly people and small children.

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