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Should You Take Vitamin C for a Cold?

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Maybe, but probably not in the huge doses many supplements provide. There is evidence to suggest that vitamin C may help prevent a cold, or shorten the symptoms slightly, but your once daily pill isn't probably the cure to the common cold.

A 2013 review found that extremely active people, dedicated to athletic activities, experienced a 50% decline in the rates at which they caught colds, after taking 200mg daily. "But for the general population, taking daily vitamin C did not reduce the risk of getting a cold," says Harvard University. However, "taking at least 200 mg of vitamin C per day did appear to reduce the duration of cold symptoms by an average of 8% in adults and 14% in children, which translated to about one less day of illness."

But don't go crazy on megadosing yourself with the stuff. It's better to get the vitamin from food, but if you need a supplement, you don't need thousands of milligrams. After 400mg, vitamin C is urinated away, and 'megadoses,' 2,000mg or more, can actually cause symptoms like nausea and abdominal pain.

Just eat healthfully, stay active, and wash your hands. You're doing the best you can if you do!

Photo: Pixabay