Sunday, October 1, 2023

Is Vitamin C Good For Flu

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How Flu Is Spread

Should You Take Vitamin C Supplements For a Cold? | Dr. Ian Smith Answers

Stomach flu is very contagious, especially in the winter months when you might spend more time in close contact with others. You can catch stomach flu when someone who has it coughs or sneezes and sends virus-filled droplets into the air you breathe. How susceptible you are to the viral infection may be determined in part by your genes, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention .

Some things to avoid that might be responsible for developing stomach flu are:

  • Eating food or drinking liquids that are contaminated
  • Touching surfaces or objects contaminated with the virus, such as door handles, then touching your mouth, nose or eyes
  • Through direct contact with someone who is infected, such as sharing food or eating utensils

How To Protect Yourself

There is no effective treatment for stomach flu. Drugs can’t cure stomach flu, and antibiotics cannot help because the condition is caused by a virus. So prevention is the best medicine.

The best way to prevent being infected by someone else is by practicing proper hand hygiene. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water, especially before eating or after using the toilet and always before preparing or handling food. Practice food safety by carefully washing fruits and vegetables.

Read more:How to Avoid Catching a Stomach Virus

Vitamin C Deficiency And Flu

If vitamin C may help your cold, is it useful for treating the flu? Studies suggest that vitamin C may provide specific benefits for preventing the flu.

In a 2006 study published in The Journal of Nutrition, a group of researchers investigated the effects of vitamin C deficiency on the progression of influenza infection in the lungs of mice.

Specifically, the researchers studied the influence of vitamin C deficiency on the response of the immune system to the influenza virus. They divided the mice into 2 groups. While one group served as a control, the other group was given daily doses of vitamin C for 3 weeks before both groups were infected with the influenza A virus.

The result of the study showed that populations of the flu virus were the same in the lungs of mice in both groups. However, vitamin C-deficient mice responded poorly to the infection.

The researchers found out that vitamin C supplementation was needed to boost the immune system and produce an adequate immune response to the invading flu virus.

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Zinc May Be Your Best Bet Against The Common Cold

Unlike vitamin C, which studies have found likely does nothing to prevent or treat the common cold, zinc may actually be worth a shot this season. The mineral seems to interfere with the replication of rhinoviruses, the bugs that cause the common cold.

In a 2011 review of studies of people whoâd recently gotten sick, researchers looked at those whoâd started taking zinc and compared them with those who just took a placebo. The ones on zinc had shorter colds and less severe symptoms.

Zinc is a trace element that the cells of our immune system rely on to function. Not getting enough zinc can affect the functioning of our T-cells and other immune cells. But itâs also important not to get too much: an excess of the supplement may actually interfere with the immune systemâs functioning and have the opposite of the intended result.

So instead of chugging fizzy drinks loaded with vitamin C, stick to getting the nutrient from food. Strawberries and many other fruits and veggies are a great source. And if you arenât getting enough zinc in your diet, try a zinc supplement. Chickpeas, kidney beans, mushrooms, crab, and chicken are all rich in zinc, and zinc-rich lozenges may also help boost your intake.

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Mythbusting: The Science On Vitamin C And Colds

11 Best Vitamin C Powders for Flu Season in 2020

Researchers have studied the role that vitamin C, aka ascorbic acid, plays in preventing and treating the common cold for more than 70 years. And spoiler: We still dont quite know all the facts.

A 2013 research review concluded that supplementing your diet with 200 milligrams or more of vitamin C has no impact on the risk of getting a cold. But it does have the potential to shorten the duration of an existing cold and reduce its severity.

Research showed that taking 1 to 8 grams of extra vitamin C per day may lighten your sniffles. A 2006 research review showed that when your body is fighting an infection, the immune cells that store vitamin C get depleted. So, taking more vitamin C when youre sick may improve those cells.

One study found that consuming high doses of vitamin C benefited cold treatment if administered within 24 hours of having cold symptoms and continued for 5 days. Still, the research on whether vitamin C can prevent a cold is inconclusive.

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Vitamin C Helps To Lower The Chances Of Catching A Cold

A balanced vitamin C level contributes to the healthy function of the immune system. Once the cold viruses have reached our mucous membranes, vitamin C becomes active in various places. It induces the formation of white blood cells, adheres to free radicals, neutralizing them and regenerating more of the body’s own antioxidants. In this way, it keeps our immune system going and reduces oxidative stress. When a cold starts, the vitamin C level occasionally falls drastically owing to the increased expenditure. If this happens, it is advisable to take high doses of vitamin C quickly to support our bodys defense system that it is not brought down to its knees.

As little as two glasses of freshly squeezed orange juice a day help us to have a healthy immune system. This was shown by some studies, in which a balanced vitamin C level could shorten the duration of a cold somewhat and alleviated symptoms. If you notice the first signs of a cold, it is therefore a good idea to fill up the vitamin C reservoir immediately and not to give up until you have hopefully recovered quickly from the cold.

Can Vitamin C Fight A Cold

A small amount ofresearch from the 1970s suggestedvitamin C was the answer to preventing and treating the common cold. For decades this has fueled the old wives tale that vitamin C boosts the immune system and can prevent illnesses such as cold and flu. Continuing research has indicated that this isnt quite the case. Whilesome datasuggests that extra vitamin C may help those who partake in extreme exercise or are active in cold environments, its not the magic pill people many folks make it out to be. If you are falling short of your daily needs for vitamin C you will potentially see better immune function when that deficiency is corrected. A study from 2017 determined that meeting needs for vitamin C would be enough to help prevent some infections from occurring while higher doses are needed to fight inflammation from existing infections.

The research is more compelling on how the antioxidant powder of vitamin C can fight inflammation and possibly shorten the duration of an illness when taken at the onset of symptoms. Newly publishedresearchcontinues to explore the antioxidant powder of vitamin c and both athletes and non-athletes. More importantly, this doesnt translate to more is better. Thereissuch thing as too much vitamin C.

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Flu Viruses And Vitamin C Megadoses: A Personal Statementby Robert G Smith Phd

Like most Americans, throughout most of my life I have occasionally been down with a virus. But for a long time, a simple cold for me started as a headache, sore throat and congestion in my nasal passages, and typically progressed to prolonged infection in my lungs, and a terrible cough. The whole experience took up to two weeks for recovery from the virus, and several more weeks for my lungs to recover.

In his book Vitamin C and the Common Cold , Linus Pauling explained that vitamin C, taken at the proper dose, can prevent a virus from taking hold in the body. This pioneering book, written back in 1970, was ignored by many doctors but was well-received by the public. One chemistry professor told me that he had heard of Pauling’s book and the vitamin C therapy but didn’t think taking a big dose of an acid, even a mild one like ascorbic acid, would be good for the body. As for me, I imagined Pauling was probably correct about the details he had researched, because he was a renowned scientist and knew much more than most about biochemistry. Perhaps, I thought, he had simply gotten some of the medical details wrong or had missed some of the important studies about the effects of vitamins. But I started taking 1,000 mg of vitamin C every day and kept this up for several decades.


Pauling L. Vitamin C and the Common Cold. W.H. Freeman and Company, San Francisco, 1970. Also: Vitamin C, the Common Cold, and the Flu. W.H.Freeman, San Francisco, 1976.

Here Are Some Myths And Facts About Immune

UNTV Life: How Vitamin C cures common colds

Myth: Vitamin C prevents illness.

Turning to large doses of vitamin C in the winter to avoid getting sick doesn’t work. However, vitamin C may shorten the duration of a cold once you’re already under the weather. Vitamin C is also an antioxidant, and those anti-inflammatory properties may reduce swollen sinuses.

Myth: Zinc boosts your immune system.

Much like vitamin C, there’s not enough evidence to support taking extra zinc to keep sickness at bay. Meeting daily zinc requirements is important for a healthy immune system, but exceeding these requirements can be toxic. In 2009, the Food and Drug Administration warned consumers to stay away from zinc nasal sprays after studies found they could damage the sense of smell.

Fact: Chicken soup is a cure-all.

The healing benefits of chicken soup are numerous, according to the National Institutes of Health. Not only is grandma’s home remedy heartwarming, but it also has properties that fight inflammation, promote hydration and get mucus flowing.

Myth: Dairy increases mucus production.

Some swear that milk and other dairy products make a phlegmy illness worse, but there’s no science behind it. Most studies have found no relationship between eating dairy and increased mucus production.

Choose immune-boosting nutrients

These nutrients play a role in boosting the immune system:

Keep the immune system strong all year long

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Should We Take Vitamin C Supplements

According to studies, patients relieved of the symptoms of the flu and common cold, after taking vitamin C supplements.

Moreover, researchers gave patients a dose of 1000 mg of vitamin C, three times, daily.

Another study found that extra vitamin C supplementation benefited patients with the common cold. Even though, they were taking vitamin C supplements, before the onset of the disease.

Moreover, vitamin C can decrease the duration and severity of the common cold symptoms .

Most noteworthy, vitamin C has such powerful properties, that may affect pneumonia, as well. Three studies proved that vitamin C supplementation can significantly lower the incidence of pneumonia .

So, the scientific data has shown that adequate vitamin C levels affect the respiratory infections in humans .

Q: Will Vitamin C Or Zinc Immune Boosters Really Help My Cold

A: Many products are marketed to prevent and treat colds and other viral upper respiratory infections. These range from plain vitamin C to fancier powders you can mix with water and drink. Unfortunately, evidence that these products show actual benefits is lacking.

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Vitamin C is an important nutrient. Yet studies evaluating its effectiveness during acute illness show, at best, an 8% speedier recovery meaning youll feel better 13 hours sooner during a typical seven-day illness. At worst, the studies demonstrate no benefit at all.

Some cold and flu prevention products contain zinc. While an old study on its use in treating colds was promising, the results were questioned because a zinc product manufacturer funded the research.

No studies on zinc have since shown any benefit. Whats more, toxicity from taking high amounts of zinc is a definite risk.

Its hard to know whether taking these cold products might produce a placebo effect or if any perceived benefit is due to hydration and electrolyte replacement.

So while taking vitamins when youre sick probably wont hurt you, the best medicine still seems to be time, fluids and rest.

Family medicine physician Donald Ford, MD

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Eat Foods Rich In Antioxidants And Vitamins

Some research suggests that antioxidantsmay play a role in easing common cold or flu symptoms. The thought is that antioxidants may prevent damage to immune cells by neutralizing free radicals agents in the environment that may damage your cells and reduce your immunity.More research is needed to determine the true effects of antioxidants. Still, many foods that contain antioxidants are healthy for your diet because they are rich in other vitamins.Here are a few foods that contain antioxidants:If youre not feeling your best, try the tasty, soothing recipes below to help relieve your symptoms.

  • Almonds, sunflower seeds, and spinach contain alpha-tocopherol .
  • Sweet potatoes, carrots, and dark, leafy greens contain carotenoids .
  • Fruits and vegetables, avocados, tea, and coffee contain polyphenolic flavonoids .

Cold And Flu: Prevention And Natural Therapies

Redoxon Vitamin C with Zinc. Effervescent Dietary Supplement. Helps ...

Its important to strengthen and maintain a healthy immune system all year round so that your body can adequately fight influenza viruses and the viruses that cause the common cold. Though many people believe its not possible to ward off a cold or the flu, with the exception of the flu vaccine, the truth is we actually have a great deal of control over our health during the cold and flu season. Scientific studies support the effectiveness of cold and flu prevention strategies and natural therapies. By following these measures, we can exert some control over whether we get sick, the duration of recovery time, and the severity of symptoms.

WFPs Advice

8 Preventive Strategies To help you maintain a healthy immune system, incorporate these 8 strategies into your daily routine:

  • Get enough sleep: Inadequate sleep weakens your immune system and makes you more susceptible to viruses and illness. Your body needs 79 hours of sleep every night. To help improve sleep, read our 12 tips for better sleep here.
  • Maintain a healthy diet: Consume a diet based on whole foods. Decrease sugar , grains, artificial sweeteners, and all processed foods.
  • Get regular exercise: Consistent physical activity is an excellent way to maintain a strong immune system. For the greatest impact, aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise at a minimum of 34 times per week.
  • Optimize your health: For more ways to strengthen your immune system, see our Preventive 10 strategies.
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    Is Vitamin C Safe To Take

    In general, vitamin C won’t harm you if you get it by eating food like fruits and veggies. For most people, it’s also OK if you take supplements in the recommended amount.

    The RDA, or recommended daily allowance, is 90 milligrams for men and 75 milligrams for women. High doses of vitamin C may cause kidney stones, nausea, and diarrhea.

    If you’re unsure about taking vitamin C for colds, talk to your health care provider.

    Vitamin C And The Common Cold

  • Z
  • Can taking extra vitamin C help ward off the common cold? Researchers and doctors are divided on this issue, but many people claim that taking daily vitamin C supplements provides protection against cold and flu viruses.

    Several studies have been conducted to try to determine if any link exists between vitamin C and the common cold. Recently, researchers compiled and analyzed data from many of these studies. They found that while vitamin C did not seem to prevent people from catching colds, people who took vitamin C sometimes had milder symptoms and a shorter duration of illness. One interesting finding of vitamin C studies is that soldiers, skiers, and marathon runners who took vitamin C supplements reduced their risk of catching the common cold by nearly half.

    Few would debate the necessity of vitamin C in our diets. Vitamin C helps repair tissue, produce collagen, and heal wounds. Vitamin C is also a potent antioxidant that plays a major role in immune system functioning. Most doctors recommend 200 mg of vitamin C as a safe, effective dose. This amount can be obtained through eating six or more servings of fruits and vegetables each day. Good sources of vitamin C include citrus fruits, fortified juice, leafy greens, strawberries, broccoli, baked potatoes, and spinach. Vitamin C supplements are inexpensive and widely available.

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    Tips To Optimize Immune Health

    Sure, you can take in some vitamin C . If you really want to keep those germs away try these tips.

    • Sleep: aim for 7 to 8 hours a night to keep your immune system strong
    • Eat a balanced diet to prevent any nutrient deficiencies.
    • Take steps to manage stress as it can wreak havoc on your system.

    Does Vitamin C Help With A Cold Yes But It Won’t Help Prevent It

    VERIFY: Does Vitamin C cure the common cold?
    • The belief that vitamin C can help you steer clear of a nasty cold has been a myth for decades, but it has since been disproven.
    • Research shows that at least 200 mg per day of vitamin C, while you’re sick, can help you get better sooner and decreases the severity of your symptoms.
    • Though many people turn to supplements to get extra vitamin C, physicians recommend sticking to vitamin C rich foods, like papaya or red bell pepper.
    • This article was reviewed by Tania Elliott, MD, who specializes in infectious diseases related to allergies and immunology for internal medicine at NYU Langone Health.
    • This story is part of Insider’s guide for Treating the Common Cold.

    Walk through the aisles of any pharmacy when you’re trying to keep an impending cold at bay and you’ll be met with a slew of options from over-the-counter medications to cough drops, herbal teas to vitamin C powders.

    The belief that vitamin C can help you steer clear of a nasty cold has been around for decades but has since been disproven. That said, vitamin C can help with your cold in other ways. Here’s what you need to know.

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