Does vitamin C help with colds? 

Dr. Olesya Bruslik, an endocrinologist and vitamin and micronutrient specialist, explains where vitamin C is found, how cold and flu prevention works, and whether you should drink tea with lemon if you are already sick.

Confess: in the season of colds and flu, who drinks tea with lemon to increase the daily dose of vitamin C?

There are two mistakes.

  1. Believing that lemons are rich sources of vitamin C. Turns out, they’re not so rich. The average lemon has 50 mg of vitamin C; a slice has even less. Plus, vitamin C is destroyed by heat, which means you won’t find it in tea.
  2. Buying vitamin C at the drugstore and hoping to protect yourself from a cold or reduce the symptoms. But how can you not hope for it if this method was founded by Nobel laureate Linus Pauling?

Does vitamin C help with colds and flu?

Linus Pauling decided that high doses of vitamin C had an effect on the incidence of colds and flu. The proof: a study of ski school students during which the first group was given 1,000 mg of vitamin C and the second group wasn’t.

As a result, group 1 had a 61% shorter duration of illness and 65% less severity. This study and Pauling’s belief in the miraculous properties of vitamin C created advertising and pharmaceutical fever. Now everyone knows that vitamin C is the main, if not the only, remedy for colds.

And no one knows that other studies have been done after that. For example, a meta-analysis (“arithmetic average” of studies on the same topic) of 29 studies involving 11,000 people. 

The participants didn’t know if they were taking vitamin C or a placebo. In the end, 9,700 subjects got sick. Those who took vitamin C had as much as 8% less cold duration! When you consider the average of more than 7 days, that’s 0.5 days.

Plus, the meta-analysis looked at studies involving regular people and skiers, runners, and soldiers with active lifestyles in sub-arctic climates. With high doses of vitamin C, the incidence of colds was cut in half among these active individuals.

The conclusion for vitamin C to help is:

  • You must be engaged in heavy physical activity.
  • You must do it in the cold.

Well, no one canceled tea with lemon! It’s an undeniably delicious and atmospheric fall drink.

What does vitamin C help with?

The body needs vitamin C for various functions. Some of them are:

  • It helps collagen assimilate, which means it helps skin be wrinkle-free and helps joints be mobile.
  • It helps with the absorption of iron.
  • It’s an excellent source of antioxidants that help fight inflammation.
  • It’s used to treat depression and chronic fatigue syndrome. It plays a role in the formation of the happiness hormone serotonin.
  • It may help with hangovers, but it’s better to take it in combination with mineral water, B vitamins, and succinic acid.

How much vitamin C do I need daily? 

The daily allowed amount is 75-90 mg.

What foods contain vitamin C?

vitamin C sources

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