High Doses Of Zinc Shorten Colds And Make Them Less Intense
Several studies have shown that zinc can be successfully used to prevent and treat colds. The number of colds that actually broke out decreased significantly among the subjects. Even the probability that an existing cold would last seven days becomes very low. In addition, the cold symptoms among the subjects were a lot milder. However, to benefit, high zinc doses must be taken immediately after the first cold symptoms appear, and no later than 24 hours after the cold has started.
The correct zinc compound is also important, as this effect could be seen only when high doses of organic zinc compounds, that exceeded 75 mg, were taken. Organic zinc compounds are readily biologically available and can be specifically taken in consultation with your physician when zinc deficiency is detected.
How Much Vitamin C Per Day
According to a recent analysis published inSeminars in Preventive and Alternative Medicine, we may not be getting enough Vitamin C in our daily diets. This analysis looked at over 100 studies on Vitamin C, and found that higher doses are actually better for our health.
Just because the RDA is 75 to 90 mg per person per day, that may not be enough. The RDA is designed to prevent any vitamin deficiencies from happening. It is not the ideal number for most vitamins and minerals.
The best way to get your vitamin C is from food. Fruits and vegetables are an incredible source of vitamin C and are loaded with many other nutrients critical for health. The goal is to consume at least 5 servings of fruits and veggies. Thats the only way to be certain that youre getting enough vitamin C! Foods highest in vitamin C include: strawberries, citrus and bell peppers, but most fruits and vegetables are a good source.
Oral Supplementation And Side Effects
Vitamin C has an excellent safety profile, primarily due to its high water solubility and rapid clearance of excess levels by the kidneys . Although it is not possible to establish a UL for vitamin C, values of 1,0002,000 mg/day have been suggested as prudent limits by some countries, based on a potential risk of osmotic diarrhea and related gastrointestinal distress in some individuals at higher doses .
Since vitamin C is partially converted to oxalate and excreted in the urine, high doses of vitamin C could be associated with calcium oxalate stone formation . Ferraro et al. studied 156,735 women and 40,536 men, who reported episodes of kidney stones during an average follow-up of 11.311.7 years. The authors signicantly correlated the total vitamin C intake with a higher risk of incident kidney stones in men, but not in women. However, it is important to outline that this study had limitations to be considered. The presence of confounding factors were not taken into account during the follow-up, and the authors assessed vitamin C intake only through a questionnaire and with very long time intervals .
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How Flu Is Spread
Stomach flu is very contagious, especially in the winter months when you might spend more time in close contact with others. You can catch stomach flu when someone who has it coughs or sneezes and sends virus-filled droplets into the air you breathe. How susceptible you are to the viral infection may be determined in part by your genes, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention .
Some things to avoid that might be responsible for developing stomach flu are:
- Eating food or drinking liquids that are contaminated
- Touching surfaces or objects contaminated with the virus, such as door handles, then touching your mouth, nose or eyes
- Through direct contact with someone who is infected, such as sharing food or eating utensils
How To Reduce The Chances Of Getting A Cold In Time
Every year in Germany, the average adult must expect to endure the flu from two to four times, and children even up to twelve times. Therefore a certain risk level is always present. Through smear- and droplet-infections, rhinoviruses spread quickly from one host to another. Within just 24 hours, they reproduce quickly in the nose and throat that cold symptoms set in and spread to people nearby. The average cold is over after 7.4 days, but sometimes it takes up to 14 days. Since there are numerous cold viruses that reproduce very quickly and mutate, there are often veritable flu seasons responsible for many sick notices and missed days at work and in schools. Especially in already weakened or more susceptible persons, the flu can lead to more serious secondary diseases such as middle ear infections or sinusitis. In this case, quick action or better preventive measures should be taken to strengthen the immune system and to resist the flu every time it strikes!
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How Much Vitamin C Should You Take To Fight Colds
Abigail Courtenay, a Johannesburg-based registered dietician, recommends taking about 200mg of vitamin C on a daily basis to help fight colds during winter. This dose may slightly reduce the duration and severity of cold symptoms, she says, adding that if youre an athlete or experience extreme physical stress, it may reduce the incidence of colds by as much as 50%, as the above study showed.
However, a higher dose of vitamin C once a cold is already present doesnt appear to be beneficial on duration or severity of symptoms when compared to a placebo, she says, also noting that the therapeutic use of vitamin C has not been studied in children.
Do You Need To Supplement
Currently, no evidence supports the use of oral vitamin C supplements to prevent COVID-19.
Vitamin C may help shorten the duration and severity of colds caused by other viruses, but this is no guarantee that it will have the same effect on the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
Additionally, vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin. It dissolves in water, meaning that excess amounts arent stored in your body but instead eliminated through your urine. Taking more vitamin C does not mean that your body is absorbing more .
High dose vitamin C supplements may even cause diarrhea, as they can signal your body to pull water out of the cells and into your digestive tract .
Moreover, although high dose vitamin C appears promising for COVID-19 treatment, these doses were exceptionally high and given via IV not taken orally. Additionally, it was only given in cases severe enough to require hospitalization.
Your best bet is to eat a diet thats full of a variety of fruits and vegetables, which naturally provide all the vitamin C a healthy person needs along with many other nutrients and antioxidants.
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Get Vaccinated At One Of 400 Clicks Pharmacies
A strong immune system is a vital prevention measure against viruses. Getting the flu vaccine is one of the most effective ways to boost your immunity and protect your family against infection.
Book an appointment for a flu vaccination at a Clicks Clinic by calling 0860 254 257 or follow the link to the online booking portal: clinicbookings.clicks.co.za
The good news is that most medical aids now cover the flu vaccination and sometimes even reward members. Contact your medical aid scheme for eligibility.
Take note that the following people cannot get vaccinated:
- Babies younger than 6 months
- Anyone allergic to eggs
- Anyone who already has a fever
- Anyone who has shown a past reaction to a vaccine
We have increased our flu vaccination footprint to over 400 Clicks pharmacies. Follow the link for the list of Clicks pharmacies:
For more info visit or speak to your Clicks pharmacist.
IMAGE CREDIT: 123rf.com
Zinc May Be Your Best Bet Against The Common Cold
Unlike vitamin C, which studies have found likely does nothing to prevent or treat the common cold, zinc may actually be worth a shot this season. The mineral seems to interfere with the replication of rhinoviruses, the bugs that cause the common cold.
In a 2011 review of studies of people who’d recently gotten sick, researchers looked at those who’d started taking zinc and compared them with those who just took a placebo. The ones on zinc had shorter colds and less severe symptoms.
Zinc is a trace element that the cells of our immune system rely on to function. Not getting enough zinc can affect the functioning of our T-cells and other immune cells. But it’s also important not to get too much: an excess of the supplement may actually interfere with the immune system’s functioning and have the opposite of the intended result.
So instead of chugging fizzy drinks loaded with vitamin C, stick to getting the nutrient from food. Strawberries and many other fruits and veggies are a great source. And if you aren’t getting enough zinc in your diet, try a zinc supplement. Chickpeas, kidney beans, mushrooms, crab, and chicken are all rich in zinc, and zinc-rich lozenges may also help boost your intake.
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Effects Of Ia Of Vitamin C On Inflammation Markers
Figure 1 Schematic mechanism in which an IA of vitamin C could modulate specific functions of neutrophils , inhibiting pathways involved in the Neutrophil Extracellular Trap formation and reducing the uncontrollable inflammatory cytokine production in the alveolar space. Potential effects on reducing cytokine production have also been speculated in lymphocytes and macrophages. ROS, reactive oxygen species NFkB, nuclear transcription factor kappa B , inhibition stimulus dashed arrow, reduced effect or production.
Vitamin C Does Not Prevent Colds
But Pauling had little evidence to back his claim. The foundations of his argument came from a single study of a sample of children in the Swiss Alps, which he then generalized to the overall population.
Turns out he overgeneralized, and numerous studies have since disproved Pauling’s claim.
“Unfortunately, follow-up research has shown that vitamin C does not prevent the common cold,” Sevilla says. Yet this misconception continues to live on.
“In my family practice office, I see patients from a variety of cultures and backgrounds and the use of vitamin C for the common cold is well known across all of them,” Sevilla says.
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Effects Of Ia Of Vitamin C On Mortality
Of the critical outcomes considered the potential effect of vitamin C on mortality rates appears to be the most controversial one, with RCTs studies that underline promising results which are not supported by recent meta-analysis. A significant reduction of 28-day mortality during ICU hospitalization was observed in a small group of patients with sepsis treated with IA of vitamin C compared to the control group . More recently, findings from the CITRIS-ALI study showed a reduced mortality at day 28 in the vitamin C group compared to the placebo group . Conversely, according to the meta-analysis of Zhang and Jativa, although vitamin C IA seems to be linked to positive vasopressor effects, temporally reducing the need for mechanical ventilation, no positive effect in favor of overall mortality emerged , leading the authors to conclude that it does seem improbable that vitamin C, considered as a single agent, could be so dramatically decisive on the physiopathology of a critical illness as to influence the incidence of mortality . Similar conclusions were drawn by Wei et al. , who, by including recently published retrospective studies in their meta-analysis, suggest the lack of benefit on 28-day mortality, both in ICU and in-hospital patients with sepsis.
Mythbusting: The Science On Vitamin C And Colds
Researchers have studied the role that vitamin C, aka ascorbic acid, plays in preventing and treating the common cold for more than 70 years. And spoiler: We still dont quite know all the facts.
A 2013 research review concluded that supplementing your diet with 200 milligrams or more of vitamin C has no impact on the risk of getting a cold. But it does have the potential to shorten the duration of an existing cold and reduce its severity.
Research showed that taking 1 to 8 grams of extra vitamin C per day may lighten your sniffles. A 2006 research review showed that when your body is fighting an infection, the immune cells that store vitamin C get depleted. So, taking more vitamin C when youre sick may improve those cells.
One study found that consuming high doses of vitamin C benefited cold treatment if administered within 24 hours of having cold symptoms and continued for 5 days. Still, the research on whether vitamin C can prevent a cold is inconclusive.
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‘routine Vitamin C Supplementation Is Not Justified’
A 2013 review of 29 trials which involved more than 11,300 people found “no consistent effect of vitamin C … on the duration or severity of colds.” The only place the authors observed some benefits of vitamin C supplementation was in marathon runners, skiers, and soldiers on “subarctic exercise” and even in those small populations, the observed effect was small.
“The failure of vitamin C supplementation to reduce the incidence of colds in the general population indicates that routine vitamin C supplementation is not justified,” the study authors wrote.
And megadoses of vitamin C on the order of 2,000 milligrams or more may come with substantial harms, including raising your risk of painful kidney stones.
If you want to increase your overall vitamin and mineral intake, research backs getting it from fresh fruits and vegetables. This is the best way for your body to process it and ensures you get the most nutrients possible.
Beyond The Common Cold
Although supplements can’t ward off the common cold, vitamin C is still important to your health. It serves essential roles in the human body and supports normal immune function, according to a 2017 report in the journal Nutrients.
Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant, meaning it neutralizes free radicals generated by the body’s normal metabolism and by exposure to environmental stressors, including ultraviolet radiation and air pollution. Free radicals are charged particles that can damage cells, tissues and genetic material if left unchecked, and thus trigger harmful inflammation.
Besides stopping free radicals, vitamin C helps to activate several key enzymes in the body, which go on to synthesize hormones and build collagen, a tough protein found in skin and connective tissues, according to the 2017 report. These hormones help control the response of the cardiovascular system to severe infections, while collagen fortifies the skin against injury.
Vitamin C may also bolster the fatty membranes in skin and connective tissue, thus protecting organs like the lungs from pathogens, according to cell culture and preclinical studies. When bugs do infiltrate the body, vitamin C helps direct immune cells called neutrophils to the site of infection and defends these cells against free radicals, the 2017 report noted.
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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.
Cold And Flu: Prevention And Natural Therapies
Its important to strengthen and maintain a healthy immune system all year round so that your body can adequately fight influenza viruses and the viruses that cause the common cold. Though many people believe its not possible to ward off a cold or the flu, with the exception of the flu vaccine, the truth is we actually have a great deal of control over our health during the cold and flu season. Scientific studies support the effectiveness of cold and flu prevention strategies and natural therapies. By following these measures, we can exert some control over whether we get sick, the duration of recovery time, and the severity of symptoms.
8 Preventive Strategies To help you maintain a healthy immune system, incorporate these 8 strategies into your daily routine:
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What Is Vitamin C
Vitamin C is an important vitamin and antioxidant that the body uses to keep you strong and healthy. Vitamin C is used in the maintenance of bones, muscle, and blood vessels. Vitamin C also assists in the formation of collagen and helps the body absorb iron.
Vitamin C is found naturally in vegetables and fruits, especially oranges and other citrus fruits. This key vitamin is also available as a natural dietary supplement in the form of vitamin C pills and vitamin C chewable tablets.