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Vitamin C

More evidence: Vitamin C does protect against colds

Friday, February 15, 2013 by: Sherry Baker, Health Sciences Editor
Tags: vitamin C, colds, prevention

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(NaturalNews) By the time he died in 1994, Linus Pauling had long been branded a "quack" by mainstream medicine and much of the mainstream media. Why? Because he advocated the use of vitamin C to treat many diseases, including the common cold. He claimed the medical establishment had long ignored important studies by respected scientists who provided evidence of vitamin C's disease-fighting properties.

Now, in a review of multiple placebo-controlled vitamin C studies, scientists at the University of Helsinki have found evidence that backs up what Dr. Pauling was saying decades ago. Bottom line: once again, it appears clear that vitamin C could well be a powerful source to avoid or shorten colds -- especially in people under heavy physical stress.

Vitamin C was found to have a "modest but consistent effect in reducing the duration of common cold symptoms..based on 31 study comparisons with 9745 common cold episodes." However, in five randomized studies of research subjects with heavy short-term physical stress, the results were more dramatic. Vitamin C cut the incidence of the common cold in half.

Three of the trials involved marathon runners, one studied Swiss school children in a skiing camp and another looked at Canadian soldiers during a winter exercise. In an additional, recent randomized trial involving adolescent competitive swimmers, the research team found that vitamin C given to males who had colds cut the duration of their illnesses by 50 percent, although the vitamin didn't seem to have the same effect on females.

The study by the University of Helsinki researchers was recently published in the Cochrane Review. In a media statement, the scientists noted "these findings unambiguously show that vitamin C has a biological effect on colds." They also noted that vitamin C had no dangerous side effects.

So, for anyone interested in natural health and staying well for as much of the time as possible, it would certainly seem reasonable to consider taking vitamin C regularly, right?

Amazingly, the very scientists who say an analysis of research shows the efficacy of vitamin C versus the cold claimed in their press statement that it's "not reasonable" to take vitamin C every day to shorten colds. The reason? Because adults and children have so few colds a year, they say it doesn't seem worthwhile.

Then the researchers turned around and added a seemingly contradictory statement to the press that seems more in line with their actual evidence. "Nevertheless, given the consistent effect of vitamin C on the duration and severity of colds in the regular supplementation studies, and the safety and low cost of vitamin C, the authors consider that it may be worthwhile for individual common cold patients to test whether therapeutic vitamin C is beneficial for them," they concluded.



About the author:
Sherry Baker is a widely published writer whose work has appeared in Newsweek, Health, the Atlanta Journal and Constitution, Yoga Journal, Optometry, Atlanta, Arthritis Today, Natural Healing Newsletter, OMNI, UCLA''''s "Healthy Years" newsletter, Mount Sinai School of Medicine''''s "Focus on Health Aging" newsletter, the Cleveland Clinic''''s "Men''''s Health Advisor" newsletter and many others.
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