As I sit here, all sniffly, clinging to a tall glass of orange juice, I am somewhat surprised to discover that there is no evidence to support vitamin C as an effective protector against colds. Whether you take it as a regular supplement, or just pack it in after the cold hits, it doesn’t help prevent colds, and it doesn’t help you recover from colds. Bummer.
This is the conclusion of multiple scientific studies, comparing vitamin C against placebos in varying doses and schedules. With the rather odd exception of marathon runners, skiers, and soldiers training in the arctic, most people received no increased protection from the ravages of the sniffles.
So vitamin C won’t help your achy-stuffy-watery-goobery self get through a cold, but don’t knock it. It still has many other health benefits such as preventing further complications from colds, keeping your skin looking young, and reduce the risk of strokes, cancer, and heart troubles. Oh, and scurvy.
Bonus fact: On the other hand, grandma’s chicken soup has been proven to have scientific merit for fighting colds. The combination of the heat, the broth, and the vegetables do make for a beneficial treatment.