Vitamin C and the Common Cold: What You Need to Know

The surprising facts about vitamin C and your health
Vitamin C cannot prevent or cure the common cold.


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Many people believe that vitamin C can prevent or cure the common cold. But is this true? Let’s look at the facts.

What is vitamin C?

Vitamin C is a nutrient that our body needs for many functions. It helps make collagen, a protein that keeps our skin and tissues strong. It also acts as an antioxidant, protecting our cells from damage by free radicals.

This vitamin is found in many fruits and vegetables, especially citrus fruits like oranges and lemons. We can also take vitamin C supplements in pills or chewable tablets.

Does this vitamin prevent colds?

The short answer is no. Many studies have shown that taking this vitamin regularly does not reduce the risk of catching a cold .

However, some people may benefit from taking vitamin C before they get sick. For example, people who do intense physical activities, such as marathon runners or skiers, may cut their risk of colds in half by taking this vitamin every day.

Does this vitamin treat colds?

The short answer is maybe. Taking vitamin C after you get sick may not make your cold go away faster, but it may make your symptoms less severe and shorter .

On average, taking 1-2 grams of this vitamin per day can shorten the duration of a cold by 8% in adults and 14% in children. Some studies have found even higher doses (6-8 grams per day) to be effective.

This vitamin may help your immune system fight off the infection better. When you are sick, your vitamin C levels go down quickly, so taking extra vitamin C may replenish them.

How much this vitamin should I take?

The recommended daily intake (RDI) of vitamin C for adults is 75 mg for women and 90 mg for men. For children, the RDI ranges from 15 to 45 mg depending on their age.

Taking more than the RDI may not be harmful, but it may cause some side effects, such as diarrhea, nausea, or stomach cramps. The upper limit of vitamin C intake is 2,000 mg per day for adults and 400 to 1,800 mg per day for children.

If you want to take vitamin C supplements for colds, talk to your doctor first. They can advise you on the best dose and duration for your situation.


Vitamin C is a vital nutrient for our health, but it is not a magic bullet for colds. Taking vitamin C regularly may not prevent you from getting sick, but it may help you recover faster and feel better.

The best way to prevent colds is to wash your hands often, avoid touching your face, and stay away from people who are sick. And if you do catch a cold, drink plenty of fluids, rest well, and eat healthy foods.