Vitamin C Prevents Colds? Find Out the True Answer!

Always heard that vitamin C prevents colds, but is it really so? Or will that only help in the treatment of the symptoms? See.

With the winter and the cold weather, arriving the usual flu and colds. Consequently, there arises also the usual advertising of the medications and / or supplements to prevent these conditions. One of the most frequent, if not the most popular, is the vitamin C.

But it will be that vitamin C prevents colds? Or is it a mere illusion and marketing strategy? Let’s see.


Answer: before we answer the question of whether vitamin C prevents colds, it is important to note how it is transmitted this condition.

Constipation is caused by about two hundred different viruses, the most common being the Rhinovirus. Unlike the flu, colds rarely cause serious health problems, although it is considered the infectious disease more frequent in the world.

The transmission of the viruses that cause flu and colds it is always from person to person, usually through coughing, sneezing, of the hands or direct contact with surfaces or objects that are shared with a person who is sick.

Since these viruses can survive for about 48 hours on contaminated objects, the application of measures for prevention of flu and colds it helps to minimize the spread of the virus and decrease the prevalence of these conditions, which, if not properly cared for, they can evolve into more serious situations.

Being a disease caused by a virus, it is important to warn that this is not with antibiotics.

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Certainly since little hear say that vitamin C prevents colds. But what is the real scientific evidence on this subject?

The scientific evidence the latest on this topic indicates that supplementation with vitamin C does not decrease the incidence of colds, but can help in decreasing the duration and symptoms of the same.

Indeed, supplementation with vitamin C although it does not prevent colds, help in their treatment, by decreasing the duration of each episode in about six hours in the case of adults and ten hours in the case of children.

However, to achieve these effects, you do not need to resort to the supplementation of vitamin C, since foods such as the kiwi and the orange have too interesting of this vitamin (200mg of vitamin C is the equivalent of three oranges or three kiwis average).


On the other hand, there is always the tendency to say that in the case of the supplementation of vitamin even if you do not get results, also do not come harmful consequences of taking them.

However, if there are nutrients in that this is true, with vitamin C and other nutrients with capacity antioxidant in it is a different story, and may the supplementation be more harmful than beneficial.

Indeed, supplementation chronic of large amounts of vitamin C may increase the risk of kidney stones, and even mortality.

Even in athletes, this supplementation is not beneficial because it limits a large part of the benefits and adaptations to training, including muscle hypertrophy.

Also taking supplements of zinc, often used to prevent these conditions, it seems, in fact, have an effect negligent in its prevention.


The incidence of flu and colds tends to decrease with age, being very common especially in children under the age of two years. However, the sleep disturbances and the high levels of stress can increase the risk in adults.

Small gestures in their day-to-day can make the difference to avoid that, take a cold, such as:

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  • Washing hands: hands are a vehicle of contact with all types of micro-organisms. Wash them with soap, or solution of the base in alcohol, often helps to eliminate the micro-organisms responsible for the infections;
  • When you cough or sneeze, you should protect your mouth and nose with a tissue or with your arm;
  • Clear with greater attendance, any objects that are subject to handling very frequent for multiple people;
  • Air often indoor spaces, be it your home, the workplace, the school or the nursery school;
  • Clothing: it Is essential to always use appropriate clothing to temperature. In winter, sudden changes of temperature, sometimes accompanied by rain or snow, can lead to colds. Opt to use scarves, hats and gloves and dress warmly as well;
  • Rest and sleep: sleep and adequate rest helps keep the immune system strengthened;
  • Avoid contact with infected people: Avoid closer contact with people showing symptoms;
  • Practice exercise: The practice of physical exercise seems to help prevent the flu and colds, although are necessary more studies to prove, in a more consistent way, this theory.


Not. Can help in the resolution of the situation, through the decrease of symptoms and their duration, but does not help to prevent.

However, it is worth noting the inclusion of vegetables and fruits rich in this vitamin in the routine daily food, along with foods with anti-inflammatory activity to combat the symptoms of this condition and strengthen the immune system.

These include-if:

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  • Vegetables of green color dark (for ex. couve-galega, cabbage, brussels, broccoli, spinach);
  • Vegetables of green color to orange (for ex. carrot, pumpkin, beetroot);
  • Fruit varied (to include citrus fruits like by ex. orange, kiwi, lemon, tangerine);
  • Oleaginous fruits (for ex. walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds);
  • Fat fish (by ex. sardines, salmon, mackerel, tuna, herring);
  • Legumes (for ex. beans, chickpeas, lentils);
  • Cereals and their derivatives the integrals (for ex. bread, dark rice, and pasta full) and water.