The vitamin C is one of the best nutrients for Health, mainly due to the different functions it performs inside the organism. Traditionally, the consumption of this vitamin has been associated to reinforce the functioning of the immune system.
Thus, one of the virtues linked to vitamin C is its ability to cope with the flu or the common cold. Mainly due to one of the most outstanding characteristics of this micronutrient, which is its antioxidant power; which protects the cells of the immune system from damage caused by oxidative stress during an infection.
But also having adequate levels of vitamin C is proven to offer benefits for the skin, helps fight allergies, reduces the risk of chronic disease, reduces uric acid in the body or prevents a lack of iron. Some experts even speak of this micronutrient as a protective nutritional element against Covid-19.
Expert Opinion on Vitamin C and the Common Cold
Today it is taken for granted that the consumption of vitamin C reduces the symptoms of the common cold, although it does not prevent the appearance of this condition, but what do the experts really say about the link with this micronutrient?
A meta-analysis by Hemilä and Chalker studied data from 29 placebo-controlled clinical trials, involving 11,306 people. All of them had taken at least 200 mg of vitamin C per day for an approximate period of time between 2 weeks and 5 years.
So these were the results of the analysis. A modest but steady reduction in common cold symptoms was seen in people who took vitamin C regularly.
Specifically, the length of time for common colds was reduced by 8% among adults who took vitamin C and up to 14% in children who also followed this nutritional habit.
Another important aspect that emerges from this study is that vitamin D supplementation did not reduce the risk of colds. That is, having significant levels of this micronutrient in the body does not prevent colds.
However, participants who performed high intensity physical exercises, such as skiing or running marathons, showed that the risk of the common cold was reduced by almost half.
In short, the majority of studies carried out on the effects of vitamin C in the common cold certify the ability of this micronutrient to reduce the symptoms and the duration of the health condition.
Are Vitamin C Supplements Safe?
Experts assure that supplementation with vitamin C is highly safe. In this sense, the deficiency of vitamin C in the body is much more harmful than the excess of this micronutrient.
As they point out from ‘Grassroots Health Nutrient Research Institute’, there are studies in which participants have been provided with up to 10 grams of vitamin C per day, without verifying any toxic or harmful effects on health.
Similarly, the maximum tolerable intake level for this vitamin was set at 2000 mg daily, with the aim of preventing symptoms such as diarrhea or gastrointestinal upset.
Similarly, the minimal side effects of consuming high amounts of vitamin C can also be minimized by dividing the intake into several doses throughout the day.