Every year, millions of people heed the barrage of dire warnings about the flu and make their annual pilgrimage to a local clinic, pharmacy or community center to become inoculated against seasonal influenza.
But if youtTake larger doses of Vitamin C, it may significantly help in reducing the duration of the viral infection, a study shows.
The findings showed that people who consumed six-eight grams of Vitamin C per day during their cold helped them reduce its duration.
Vitamin C administration does not decrease the average incidence of colds in the general population, yet it halved the number of colds in physically active people, the researchers said.
“Given the consistent effect of Vitamin C on the duration of colds, and its safety and low cost, it would be worthwhile for individual common cold patients to test whether therapeutic eight gram per day Vitamin C is beneficial for them,” said Harri Hemila from the University of Helsinki, Finland.
“Self-dosing of Vitamin C must be started as soon as possible after the onset of common cold symptoms to be most effective.” Hemila added, in the paper published in the journal Nutrients.
Vitamin C is also present in bell peppers, dark leafy greens, kiwi fruit, broccoli, berries, citrus fruits, tomatoes, peas, and papayas.
Various animal studies have found that Vitamin C significantly prevents and alleviates infections caused by diverse bacteria, viruses, and protozoa.
However, the practical importance of Vitamin C in human infections was not yet known.
For the study, the team analysed two randomised trials which investigated the effects of two Vitamin C doses on the duration of the common cold.
The results showed that people who had six gram per day dose of Vitamin C shortened the duration of cold by 17 per cent, while the eight gram per day dose shortened the duration of cold by 19 per cent.