Posted By: CustomVite Nutrition Team Date: April 1, 2019 Comments: 0
Have you ever heard that vitamin C helps prevent cold and flu symptoms? Do you often make a mad dash to the medicine cabinet, scrambling to find that bottle of vitamin C tablets (those really good ones that taste like oranges!) when you feel a sore throat coming on? Did you truly believe it was your saving grace? For starters, the body needs vitamin C (ascorbic acid) for proper immune function, bone structure, iron absorption, and healthy skin. Vitamin C is an antioxidant and because the body doesn’t make this vitamin on its own, we get our daily doses from diet and nutritional supplements.
It turns out, that if you relate to the scenario above (bolting to the cabinet to quickly ingest a vitamin C tablet when you feel a tickle in your throat), you may not be using vitamin C to its fullest potential. Taking vitamin C before the onset of symptoms, that is, taking a vitamin every day, even when you are feeling well, is what may help to shorten the duration and severity of cold and flu symptoms. Routinely taking vitamin C has also been shown to help people who are at high risk due to frequent exposure. Both food sources and supplemental vitamin C can work by strengthening the immune system.
Some excellent food sources of vitamin C are fruits and vegetables, specifically citrus fruits, tomatoes, potatoes, kiwi, broccoli, strawberries, brussels sprouts and cantaloupe. With regard to supplements, the RDA suggests 60 mg/day, but this has shown to be too low to provide adequate antioxidant protection. As a result, the level of intake derived from a normal, balanced diet may be insufficient for optimal body function and cold/flu protection. Studies have instead shown that taking 150-200 mg/day will better help to reduce your risk of getting sick. You should certainly make the commitment to take a vitamin C supplement each day, because when you increase your vitamin C, you may just decrease your chances of getting sick!
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(4) Office of Dietary Supplements – Vitamin C. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminC-HealthProfessional/
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