The lowdown on Vitamin C

Cooking with Kathy Man

A major review of the evidence has found that taking vitamin C supplements does not prevent people catching colds, and doesn’t cure them, either, although it might help your cold clear up slightly sooner.

What do we know already?

The common cold is a major cause of illness, and of time off work and school. It’s not usually serious, and it clears up by itself. But the symptoms can be unpleasant and exhausting.

There are about 200 viruses than can cause cold symptoms, and there isn’t much doctors can do about them. Antibiotics are useless against colds – antibiotics fight bacteria but can’t help against viruses. Over-the-counter treatments like paracetamol and decongestants can treat some of the symptoms, but they aren’t a cure.

Doctors have been looking at whether vitamin C helps prevent and treat colds for about 70 years, and studies have found different results. This review looked at…

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