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Does vitamin C treat or prevent colds?

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Vitamin C has been studied for many years as a possible treatment for colds, or as a way to help prevent colds. Though findings have been inconsistent, most experts agree that high doses of vitamin C (2-3 grams per day) decrease the duration of cold symptoms by a day.

SOURCES: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases: "Common Cold." PubMed: "Intake of Vitamin C and Zinc and Risk of Common Cold: A Cohort Study." Mayo Clinic: "Cold Remedies: What Works, What Doesn't, What Can't Hurt." Medscape: "Vitamin C May be Effective Against Common Cold. Primarily in Special Populations." Douglas, R.M. , 2007. UptoDate: "The common cold in adults: Treatment and Prevention." Medline Plus: "Flu" and "Common Cold."






The Cochrane Collaboration

National Institutes of Health.  

Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson on May 13, 2019

SOURCES: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases: "Common Cold." PubMed: "Intake of Vitamin C and Zinc and Risk of Common Cold: A Cohort Study." Mayo Clinic: "Cold Remedies: What Works, What Doesn't, What Can't Hurt." Medscape: "Vitamin C May be Effective Against Common Cold. Primarily in Special Populations." Douglas, R.M. , 2007. UptoDate: "The common cold in adults: Treatment and Prevention." Medline Plus: "Flu" and "Common Cold."






The Cochrane Collaboration

National Institutes of Health.  

Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson on May 13, 2019

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Is it safe to take vitamin C supplements?

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