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Does Vitamin C Help With Sickness

What About High Dosages

This is Why You Need Vitamin C Everyday

Vitamin C is found naturally in foods like oranges, bell peppers, and strawberries, and it certainly wont do us any harm. But what about the massive doses found in vitamin C supplements and products like Airborne and Emergen-C?

A tablet of Airborne, for instance, contains 1,000 milligrams of vitamin C along with zinc, vitamins A and E, selenium, and a blend of herbs including ginger and echinacea.

Emergen-C also contains 1,000 milligrams of vitamin C and recommends users take it up to two times daily. Each serving also includes B vitamins, zinc, and electrolytes, which is why it claims to enhance energy .

While neither of them outright say that they can prevent or cure colds, the mega doses of vitamin C are generally the reason many cold-sufferers sniffle their way to the supplement aisle.

The Nutrient Appears To Have Modest Prevention Power

Image: Wavebreakmedia Ltd/Thinkstock

Vitamin C is often touted as a natural cold remedy. The nutrient is featured in supplements promising to boost the immune system. Nobel laureate Dr. Linus Pauling famously claimed that taking large doses of vitamin C helps thwart a cold. Is there something to these claims? “The data show that vitamin C is only marginally beneficial when it comes to the common cold,” says Dr. Bruce Bistrian, chief of clinical nutrition at Harvard-affiliated Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

Hangover Cures & Remedies

A hangover is caused by a combination of the toxic by-product of alcohol metabolism , dehydration, and Vitamin A, B and C depletion caused by the chemical action of alcohol on your system. The symptoms are usually a dry mouth, nausea, fatigue, dizziness and headache and are caused by a combination of these factors.

Apart from the obvious toxic effects, you should realise youre suffering the effects of a mild overdose of a depressant drug and your nerves are reacting accordingly, and you have also flushed a signifnicant quantity of vitamins and nutrients from your system causing a degree of metabolic shock that your body is struggling to compensate against. This is why hangover symptoms often include disorientation and the jitters.

Some drinks give you worse hangovers than others due to the actions of impurities called Congeners. While its the ethyl alcohol that gets you drunk, amyl alcohol, butyl alcohol, methyl alcohol, propyl alcohol, and isopropyl alcohol is also found in most drinks to varying degrees, and the concentration of these Congeners will go a long way to determining the severity of the hangover.

Vodka and gin are generally lower in congeners than whisky, rum and bourbon, due to the filtering process involved, and hence usually give a less intense hangover. Unfortunately the congeners also give flavor, smell and appearance to alcohol.

Hangover Remedies

  • Worcestershire sauce

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How To Avoid Altitude Sickness When Hiking Finally Understand

When people are not used to highaltitudes, they go quickly from lower altitudes to 8000 ft or higher. When you drive over a highmountain pass, hike to a highaltitude, or arrive at a mountain resort, you may get a headaches. Mild altitudesickness can be caused by the bodys ability to cope with altitude being impaired.

It can be caused by a number of factors, such as a lack of oxygen to the brain, a change in the amount of carbon dioxide , or a combination of these factors. Mild elevation sickness is not life-threatening, but it can make you feel dizzy, lightheaded, and nauseous. You may also experience nausea and vomiting. If you experience these symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.

Does Caffeine Help Altitude Sickness

Truth Time: Does Taking Large Doses Of Vitamin C Really Prevent And ...

Dont use caffeine at altitude, thats the myth. Coffee is helpful at altitude because it stimulates your brain, kidneys, and breathing. Its not a good idea for people who drink several beverages a day. Caffeine is a diuretic, which means it causes water to be lost from the body. This can lead to dehydration.

If you drink too much caffeine, your body will try to flush it out of your system as quickly as possible. But if you dont drink enough water, you can end up dehydrated and dehydrating yourself even more. Its important to drink plenty of water before, during and after your climb, and to stay hydrated throughout the day.

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Vitamin C And Cancer Therapy

Vitamin C may help treat cancer, though experts have not confirmed this.

As an antioxidant, vitamin C protects the body from oxidative stress, which can occur when ROS levels are high. Oxidative stress can lead to cell damage and may play a role in some cancers.

A found that taking high doses of vitamin C may slow the growth of some types of cancerous tissue. The paper suggests that vitamin C could, one day, become a new treatment for colorectal cancer.

Also, the authors of a suggest that vitamin C might work well alongside other treatments to benefit people with cancer.

The note that some alternative therapists already use intravenous vitamin C when treating cancer, fatigue, and infections. However, they note that more research is necessary.

Intravenous vitamin C

2,000 mg per day .

Taking too much vitamin C is unlikely to cause any significant problems, but if a person consumes more than 1,000 mg of vitamin C per day, they will not absorb it all. This may lead to diarrhea and gastrointestinal discomfort.

People are unlikely to consume too much through their diet, and their bodies cannot store it. However, having a high intake through supplements may result in kidney stones.

This may also increase the risk of cardiovascular problems in females after menopause, but there is not enough evidence to confirm this.

How Does Vitamin C Reduce The Severity Of Colds

Vitamin C is an antioxidant and necessary to produce collagen in the skin.

Collagen is the most abundant protein in mammals, keeping skin and various tissues tough but flexible.

A vitamin C deficiency results in a condition known as scurvy, which isnt really a problem today, as most people get enough vitamin C from foods.

However, its less known that vitamin C is also highly concentrated in immune cells and quickly depleted during an infection .

In fact, a vitamin C deficiency significantly weakens the immune system and increases the risk of infections (

For this reason, getting enough vitamin C during an infection is a good idea.


Vitamin C is essential for the proper functioning of immune cells. It is depleted during infections, so a vitamin C deficiency may increase their risk.

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The Role Of Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that acts as an antioxidant by neutralizing reactive oxygen molecules, called free radicals, that contribute to infections and disease. No recent studies have targeted an association between vitamin C and any viruses specific to gastroenteritis. Research reported in the Journal for Orthomolecular Medicine has determined, however, that infectious disease causes a depletion of vitamin C and greatly increases vitamin C requirements in the body.

Many studies have examined the role of therapeutic doses of vitamin C on the common cold and influenza and have found that daily supplementation may shorten the duration and severity of the illnesses. These results are promising leads for the potential use of vitamin C to have some biological effect on the stomach flu virus, as well.

With the antimicrobial and antioxidant properties in vitamin C, it makes sense that maintaining or supplementing your levels will help boost your immune system to help fight off the virus. Certainly, being deficient in vitamin C will likely have an adverse effect on your body’s defense system, which could increase susceptibility to severity of infections.

Supplementing With Vitamin C Treats Scurvy

Should You Take Vitamin C Supplements For a Cold? | Dr. Ian Smith Answers

It may come as no surprise that scurvy a disease that results from vitamin C deficiency is commonly treated with vitamin C supplementation. According to research, the recommendation is to take 1 to 2 g of vitamin C for the first two or three days of treatment, 500 mg a day for the next week, then 100 mg a day for up to three months afterward.

The majority of people treated for scurvy experience symptom improvement within 48 hours and are fully recovered within 14 days, says Kelly Springer, RD, owner of Kelly’s Choice based in Skaneateles, New York.

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Does Vitamin C Help With Colds

In the 1970s, Linus Pauling, a double Nobel laureate and self-proclaimed champion of vitamin C, promoted megadoses of the vitamin. He recommended the equivalent of 12 to 24 oranges a day to prevent colds and some chronic diseases, such as cancer and heart disease. And on one aspect, he was right: Science does support daily intake of vitamin C because, as a water-soluble vitamin, the body doesnt store it easily. But high doses of vitamin C dont prevent disease.

No studies have conclusively shown vitamin C has any benefit in preventing illness, especially the common cold. It does play an important role in boosting the immune system, but most people in the United States are not vitamin C-deficient, so taking extra vitamin C doesnt necessarily boost the immune system, says Oladimeji Oki, M.D., a family physician at the Montefiore Medical Center and a professor of family and social medicine at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. There are some exceptions to this rule, he says. We tend to see vitamin C deficiency in people with little access to food or severe poverty, people who are institutionalized and not eating well, or those who have an aversion to most if not all foods and vegetables, such as some children with autism.

What Food Is High In Vitamin B3

Vitamin B3 is found naturally in a wide variety of both animal and plant-based foods, including beef, liver, poultry, eggs, dairy products, fish, nuts, seeds, legumes, avocados, and whole grains. It is also found in fortified cereals and bread. Vitamin B3 can also be produced in the body from the amino acid tryptophan.

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The Dangers Of Too Much Vitamin C

In 2004, Duke researchers found that when patients with osteoarthritis consumed high amounts of vitamin C, they were more at risk for developing bone spurs and joint damage. This was due to a protein in the blood triggered by vitamin C. Because a vitamin C deficiency can put you at a higher risk of developing arthritis, its important to find the right balance.

Why Getting Vitamin C Through Your Diet Is Important

Does Vitamin C Actually Help When You

Vitamin C is an important nutrient for your body since it:

  • Acts as an antioxidant
  • Supports your immune system

In addition, vitamin C is thought to have beneficial effects on your overall health, including reducing your risk of cancer, heart disease and the most common causes of vision loss .

While vitamin C is an important nutrient, your body doesn’t actually make it so it’s important to make sure you’re getting enough vitamin C from your diet.

The amount you need depends on your age and gender, but, in general, adults should aim to get between 65 to 90 mg of vitamin C per day. You can get all the vitamin C you need by drinking a glass of orange juice or eating a cup of strawberries, bell pepper, broccoli, Brussels sprouts or kale. In addition, some of the herbs you commonly cook with also contain significant amounts of vitamin C, including thyme and parsley.

Another reason to get the recommended amount of vitamin C through your diet, rather than a supplement, is that healthy, whole foods also contain other beneficial vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber.

Most people following a healthy diet have no problem getting the recommended amount of vitamin C every day. However, if you think you aren’t, you can always consider taking a multivitamin as most contain the recommended amount of vitamin C you need every day.

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Vitamin C And Immune System Regulation

Besides an extensive range of biochemical pathways in which vitamin C is involved, it also participates in the response of the innate and adaptive immune system . The intracellular content of vitamin C in immune cells depends on the plasma availability. In healthy adults the content of vitamin C in leukocytes can be saturated with an intake of at least 100 mg of vitamin C per day, through foods, obtaining a concentration of about 3.5, 3, and 1.5 mmol/L, respectively, in lymphocytes, monocytes and neutrophils . Leukocytes absorption of vitamin C from the blood is very efficient, through SVCT proteins , resulting in an intracellular content which is 50 to 100 times greater than the plasma concentration . As an effective antioxidant, vitamin C contributes to protecting neutrophils from oxidative stress during the early stages of an immune response, when neutrophils activate phagocytosis and produce reactive oxygen species to destroy antigens . Once the phagocytic capacity is exhausted and neutrophils start to die, vitamin C seems to regulate the process in favor of apoptosis, through the activation of a caspase-dependent cascade, inhibiting the transition to necrosis, and resulting in a more efficient resolution of inflammation .

Q: Will Vitamin C Or Zinc Immune Boosters Really Help My Cold

A: Many products are marketed to prevent and treat colds and other viral upper respiratory infections. These range from plain vitamin C to fancier powders you can mix with water and drink. Unfortunately, evidence that these products show actual benefits is lacking.

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Vitamin C is an important nutrient. Yet studies evaluating its effectiveness during acute illness show, at best, an 8% speedier recovery meaning youll feel better 13 hours sooner during a typical seven-day illness. At worst, the studies demonstrate no benefit at all.

Some cold and flu prevention products contain zinc. While an old study on its use in treating colds was promising, the results were questioned because a zinc product manufacturer funded the research.

No studies on zinc have since shown any benefit. Whats more, toxicity from taking high amounts of zinc is a definite risk.

Its hard to know whether taking these cold products might produce a placebo effect or if any perceived benefit is due to hydration and electrolyte replacement.

So while taking vitamins when youre sick probably wont hurt you, the best medicine still seems to be time, fluids and rest.

Family medicine physician Donald Ford, MD

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What Are The Benefits Of ‘organic’ Vitamin C Vs Supplements

This raises the question: Is supplementing with vitamin C helpful as an antioxidant? It’s hard to say. There are some modest research findings, but the results are mixed. Is this inconsistency of findings possibly due to differences in the amount of vitamin C ingested, or the quality? Or is it the source of vitamin C? In other words, does naturally occurring vitamin C provide an antioxidant that is helpful, while vitamin C synthesized in a laboratory is not?

To be sure, controversy abounds when it comes to organic versus synthetic supplements. Biochemists argue that because the biochemical structure of vitamin C can be replicated and synthesized exactly in the laboratory, the effects should be identical to naturally-occurring vitamin C. While this makes perfect sense, some experts argue that an important difference is the undetectable life force contained in natural sources that is absent in synthetic laboratory concoctions.

Helps Prevent Iron Deficiency

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Iron is an important nutrient that has a variety of functions in the body. Its essential for making red blood cells and transporting oxygen throughout the body.

Vitamin C supplements can help improve the absorption of iron from the diet. Vitamin C assists in converting iron that is poorly absorbed, such as plant-based sources of iron, into a form that is easier to absorb .

This is especially useful for people on a meat-free diet, as meat is a major source of iron.

In fact, simply consuming 100 mg of vitamin C may improve iron absorption by 67% .

As a result, vitamin C may help reduce the risk of anemia among people prone to iron deficiency.

In one study, 65 children with mild iron deficiency anemia were given a vitamin C supplement. Researchers found that the supplement alone helped control their anemia .

If you have low iron levels, consuming more vitamin-C-rich foods or taking a vitamin C supplement may help improve your blood iron levels.


Vitamin C can improve the absorption of iron that is poorly absorbed, such as iron from meat-free sources. It may also reduce the risk of iron deficiency.

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Too Much Of A Good Thing

While there are no product-specific studies testing Airborne and Emergen-Cs effectiveness in preventing and treating the common cold, research that looks at ingredients like vitamin C and zinc can give us some insight into how well the products work.

A 2013 research review showed that vitamin C is water-soluble, so when taken in excess, it at least wont build up in your tissues like fat-soluble vitamins can.

As weve mentioned, the research on vitamin C is mixed, but according to the National Institutes of Health, many health professionals maintain that its not an effective treatment.

Research on zinc is positive but still pretty inconclusive. A 2011 research review found some evidence that taking a zinc supplement soon after the onset of symptoms could significantly reduce the duration and severity.

Researchers are still working on how much, how often, and when to take it for max effect.

There are still a few things to consider before overdoing it on the fizzy drinks. For example, a 2013 study showed that too much vitamin C can cause diarrhea, nausea, stomach cramps, and kidney stones.

The National Institutes of Health suggest that adults consume no more than 2,000 milligrams of vitamin C each day.

Similarly, too much vitamin A might do more harm than good. According to the National Institutes of Health, excess doses of more than 3,000 IU per day can cause dizziness, nausea, headaches, coma, and death.


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