When your nose is slowly clogging, the
sniffle that is really bothering you and the cough that's persistently nagging,
your mom would waste no time to give
you a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice along with a vitamin C supplement
in an attempt to get rid of the pesky virus more quickly. When it comes to cough and cold, we still
cling to the old wives tale. After all vitamin C is such an age old and widely
accepted treatment for cold!
goodness of vitamin C - it not only helps to keep us strong and healthy,
but also aids in the formation of collagen in bones, cartilage, muscle and
blood vessels, and in the absorption of iron. It is found in its natural form in fruits and vegetables such as citrus
fruits, dark green vegetables, peppers, strawberries, cantaloupe, and in
products such as fortified juices and cough drops.
glass of orange juice is certainly not going to harm you, but it might not do
much good particularly when it comes to cold, because research has shown that despite
many controlled trials, the role of vitamin
C in the prevention and treatment of cold still remains quite
Few studies have shown positive results while
others have not, but the overall consensus is that there is still no definite
proof that vitamin C would help cure or prevent colds.
Recent research, however, shows that although
vitamin C has little effect on normal people with respect to cold, it is
beneficial for people who are under great physical stress. This new study has
found that vitamin C reduces the occurrence of common cold by half, but only in
people with short-term, heavy physical stress.
Harri Hemilä from the Department of Public Health at the
University of Helisinki and Elizabeth Chalker from Curtin, ACT in Australia
studied three groups of active people: Marathon runners, Swiss school children
in a skiing camp and Canadian soldiers performing winter exercises.
The researchers said "Regular ingestion of vitamin C had no
effect on common cold incidence in the ordinary population, based on 29 trial
comparisons involving 11,306 participants ... However, regular supplementation
had a modest but consistent effect in reducing the duration of common cold
symptoms, which is based on 31 study comparisons with 9745 common cold
The results of five trials involving 598 participants
exposed to short periods of extreme physical stress (marathon runners and
skiers), showed that a daily dose of vitamin C reduced the chances of catching
a cold by 50 percent.
In another recent study, the effects of vitamin C were seen
to be gender specific. When given to teenaged members of a swimming team,
vitamin C cut the duration of cold in half only for the boys, whereas the girls
were not affected by their daily dose of the vitamin.
On an average, adults have only two or three colds a year;
children, on the other hand, suffer from about half a dozen annually. The
researchers found that children appear to be more responsive to vitamin C as
compared to adults. A regular intake of 1 gram of vitamin C per day reduced the
average duration of cold in children by 18 per cent and in adults by 8 per
Few therapeutic trials, wherein vitamin C was given only
after the first symptoms of cold appeared have been carried out, but their
results are not consistent. It was found that when taken after the onset of a
cold, vitamin C supplements do not make it shorter or less severe. Also, the
relationship of dose to therapeutic benefit merits further exploration.
It could take several years of research to
conclusively prove the role of vitamin C in common cold, but that should not
stop you from consuming a diet packed with the goodness of vitamin which is
rich in antioxidants so as to fight free radicals and to boost your immune
Squeeze the health and goodness out of an orange daily
and feel the difference for life!