Say NO! to colds with vitamin CVitamin C has long been a recommended form of treatment to help prevent the common cold and flu by boosting the immune system. And itís no wonder when you take a peek at the overwhelmingly positive body of evidence relating to its immune support benefits.
How do Cs work
Since our immune cells are responsible for protecting our bodies against invading viruses and bacteria, it comes as no surprise that vitamin Cís actions are directly focused on these immune cells. Thereís up to 100 times more vitamin C in our white blood cells than in the plasma (fluid component) of our blood. Vitamin C has also been shown to increase the production and activity of our immune cells, as well as protect these cells against degeneration.
Preliminary research published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition suggests that vitamin C levels in white blood cells decrease at the onset of a cold. This reflects the increased usage of vitamin C by our immune cells whilst fighting an infection. Vitamin C is also retained better by the body during a cold, due to decreased excretion. It may therefore be suggested that boosting vitamin C intake at the onset of a cold may be beneficial.
Managing colds and flu
Vitamin C is well-known for its role in assisting with the nutritional management of the common cold. A review published in the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials in 2000 revealed that vitamin C reduces the severity and duration of cold symptoms. This research also showed that vitamin C intake of up to 1,0 g/day for several winter months showed a modest, but consistent, beneficial therapeutic effect on duration of cold symptoms. The intake of vitamin C after the onset of cold symptoms showed greater benefits with larger doses than with lower doses.