No, Vitamin C won’t cure your cold
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No, Vitamin C won’t cure your cold

October 7, 2019


*sneeze* Orange juice. What did you say?
Orange juice. For when you’re feeling hot
and not so hot. Don’t you worry about Suzie getting enough
Vitamin C? Many people reach straight for orange juice
when they get a cold. Or mix up one of these cold busting, immune boosting
supplements packed full of Vitamin C. It’s supposed to help cure the common cold. They’re a growing two-hundred million dollar
industry. And, unsurprisingly, their sales peak when
the cold and flu season does. And with boxes that claim that Vitamin C helps
support your immune system, why wouldn’t you pop a fizzy tablet when you start to feel
a bit stuffy? But if you follow this little astrecks, you’ll
see that the claim isn’t supported by the FDA. That’s because Vitamin C doesn’t doesn’t
cure your cold. A powerhouse of Vitamin C! You really crave orange juice and that craving
is your body wisdom. My what? You just can’t beat that great taste. You can trace the Vitamin C craze back to
this guy: Linus Pauling. He was a pretty big deal. He won a Nobel Prize
for his work with quantum chemistry and a Nobel Peace Prize in the 60s for his anti-nuclear weapon
advocacy. So when he came out with a book in 1970 claiming
that Vitamin C could help you avoid colds and improve your health, it took off. Americans cleared drugstore shelves. Newspapers wrote that the sales were “not
to be sneezed at” and called it “The Great Cold Rush.” But the medical community was cold to Pauling’s
cold claims. For one, they weren’t based on any actual
science — Pauling had personally started taking Vitamin C at the suggestion of a friend
and he got less colds. The criticism, of course, was that just because
it happened to him, it didn’t make it a real study. Which Pauling admitted to, and asked that
“someone” actually do one. But doctors already knew that taking large
amounts of Vitamin C wasn’t the best idea. Adults only need 75-90 mg of Vitamin C a day. It’s found in a ton of different foods. Most people are eating enough Vitamin C in
their normal diet for a healthy immune system. But Pauling’s book suggested taking 2,000
mg or more a day. 22 times the amount you really need. Just because Vitamin C is good for you, doesn’t
mean that taking more is better for you. A review of 46 different scientific trials
with more than 11,000 participants found that taking Vitamin C supplements regularly doesn’t
prevent you from getting colds. It can reduce the length of your cold by a
megar 8 percent — less than half a day. But taking a supplement at the beginning of
a cold doesn’t help make it go away faster. Vitamin C was found to be most useful for
people engaged in “intense physical exercise” — like marathon runners. But for most people, “routine supplementation
is not justified.” And taking extra Vitamin C can result in a
classic “too much of a good thing.” That 2,000 mg Pauling recommended is the amount
in two Emergen-Cs. It’s also the threshold of how much you
can take before you may start to feel cramping or have diarrhea or nausea. It could get worse. A Swedish study found that men who took just
1,000 mg of Vitamin C a day were twice as likely to develop kidney stones. But that’s about as bad as it gets. The reason this hasn’t been more highly
regulated, is you can’t seriously hurt yourself with Vitamin C. No one has died from an overdose. Pauling himself said he used to take up to 30,000 mg. It probably gave him tummy troubles,
but he was otherwise fine. So what will help your cold? For one, hydration. Sure, you can still have
that orange juice, but just plain water or clear broth will do the trick. Things like decongestants, ibuprofen, vapor
rubs… they help ease the symptoms of a cold, but don’t necessarily shorten it. The best way to cure a cold… is rest. Let
your immune system do its thing. And don’t worry too much about Vitamin C.

Only registered users can comment.

  1. Vitamin C helps boost your immune system. If you have a strong immune system, your body is more protected from getting a cold. Drinking vitamin c won’t cure a cold.

  2. I never heard it touted for curing a cold, so the premise is kind of wonky to me. But, I come from a family of doctors, so that may be why. My mother and I have compromised immune systems and tend to feel sick for longer and have a harder time bouncing back. We also tend to get rebound bugs, catching another bug or cold before our immune systems self-repair, and then we’re sicker for longer and it takes even longer to recover. I’d have to be really careful for two weeks after being sick when I was in school, because if not, I’d have to miss a few more days from a rebound cold. I could end up missing six days because I got one cold and one thing led to another.

    Dentist offices are also terrible. I get sick one of every three visits from November to March. We also order our groceries using a curbside pickup because being in a grocery store gets us sick one of every roughly five visits. We can still get sick if we don’t wipe down the items from people picking them up and then putting them down. I sort of have to screen friends and my guy before a visit. If they’ve been around someone who’s been sick in about the last week and a half, they could be carrying it with them and make me sick, even if they never become symptomatic themselves. Or they could become symptomatic a day or two after seeing me.

    Now my mother has cancer, so it’s even more important to avoid getting sick. I won’t be able to see her for almost three weeks if I do get sick. My dad also has to make patients reschedule if they’ve been ill. Luckily, he’s been open about his marriage with her being the biggest blessing of his life that they tend to want to avoid risking getting her sick. I’m lucky to work remotely, but if I did have to go to an office daily, my risk would skyrocket.

    I don’t think the usefulness of any kind of treatment, preventative or otherwise, should be overstated or relied on too heavily, but it’s good to know what weapons you have in your arsenal to help fend off even minor illness or return to a (relatively) healthy state when needed.

  3. No one else notice that the music at the start uses the same piano sample as Zipper by Brockhampton or am I the only dork here ?

  4. Is there anything that gives immune support instead? Not to remove the risk of a cold but to help the body have less mild symptoms?

  5. Chamomile tea with honey takes away my sore throat. I also eat veggies high in nutrients that actually do boost your immune system and make a soup with organic veggie broth with them. I also use a diffuser and put in essential oils

  6. False claims at the start! Supplements never have their statements proven by the fda and that doesnt mean they are all wrong!

  7. My doctor recommends Vitamin C when I go in with a really bad cold. Along with panadol and sleep, etc. Obviously no extra than on a bottle or just an extra glass juice.

  8. I didn t know bout it until when I was in highschool I wonder why all of those commercials did not banned even they exaggerate the effects of their products? I heard that it is illegal thing tho there are so many vitamin c products as if they cure my cold

  9. Idk, I am someone who used to get cold really easily, I started to drink those 1.3litre innocent orange juice more or less throughout the day and I haven't got a cold since 🤔

  10. 1:34 "He got less colds". Imagine working at Vox and not having anyone who knows the difference between "fewer" and "less". Turned the video off after that mistake

  11. I haven’t watched the video yet but I want to get my thoughts in first.

    Why do I crave VIT C when I am sick? I also crave chile (capsaicin).

    When I am sick I take the max amount of Zinc. I buy lots of OJ and will add a 1/2 tsp of powdered VIT C. I drink a glass 3 times a day. I bump up my intake of the spiciest chiles I can eat.

    Doing all of these things I notice: I feel much better & my symptoms are reduced drastically.

    VIT C may be hype but it seems to help in mega doses and my body craves it. Why, if it is only a placebo?

  12. No, most people aren't 'eating enough Vitamin C'. Most people aren't getting nearly enough Vitamin C is more like it.

  13. I haven't seen the video yet, but I'm sure it was a lie invented by some food/pharma companies in the mid of the 20th century in order to sell more and increase profit. Always is about increasing profit

  14. This is not true lol. I ate oranges 3 oranges 3 days in a row, and my cold was gone by the second day. I didn't do this the next time I had a cold, and again, it lasted like 2 weeks (I was in first year of uni, so my immune system was trash) 😂 nah, you need oranges.

    Edit: Probably don't take the supplement, but the real thing will do you wonders

  15. The only thing I keep in my purse when I feel something coming on is straight BEE POLLEN…I take a spoon of the dry pebbles and leave it in my mouth til it turns to liquid…then follow with a glass of water! I SWEAR BY THIS! any tickle in the throat any headache any cough sneeze or nasal stuffiness is almost immediately cured! I am convinced having flown abroad last year and everyone on board was coughing and hacking and (I usually get sick with flu after an airplane ride )I just held onto my Bee Pollen…It works for me. Vitamin C is great for your skin!

  16. Surely, the advice to "rest and stay hydrated" is learnt in basic high school science. The cold is a virus and you can't "cure" it. Your body will get over it by itself!

  17. that 60mg a day is a minimum limit to prevent the onset of scurvy, not an optimal dosage (so I read years ago).

  18. I knew it doesn't help your cold. The only time that I take more Vitamin C is when I have a sore throat. For some reason orange juice helps my sore throat.

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