Winter always seems to come too soon, and so do the colds and sicknesses that come with it. During this time, many people tend to bring out all of their favorite natural remedies, such as soups, teas, and vitamins. These are believed to reduce the severity of a cold. But does this work? Let's check what the science has to say about it.
What is a cold?
A cold is actually a virus, Rhinovirus to be specific. As a result, it is pretty much impossible currently to cure one. So people who have a cold often have to sit it out for a few days or weeks and let their natural defenses take care of it.
Colds and Flu often spread more during the colder months due to people staying indoors. When you are closer to people, more often, you are more likely to spread or catch this virus. It has been shown that while many people take supplements to prevent or treat colds, they rarely have any effect. Knowing this, can Vitamin C help?
The science behind Vitamin C and Colds
Tons of research has been done on Vitamin C and whether or not it cures or prevents colds. The findings were there was no evidence that it does. For instance, a meta-analysis of 29 studies which included 11,300 participants, found no evidence of Vitamin C preventing colds.
According to the paper: "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, yet vitamin C may be useful for people exposed to brief periods of severe physical exercise. Regular supplementation trials have shown that vitamin C reduces the duration of colds, but this was not replicated in the few therapeutic trials that have been carried out."
When you have a cold, know that taking a Vitamin C supplement, or downing a ton of orange juice, is not going to reduce or prevent a cold. You are better off eating a healthy diet, staying hydrated, and getting plenty of sleep. That way, when a cold does come your way, you won't feel as bad.