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Vitamin C Shortens Cold, Does not Prevent

Update Date: Oct 03, 2012 09:08 AM EDT

So the moment you start sneezing, advice starts pouring in on how you should make sure you have vitamin C regularly in order to prevent cold, etc. We have been hearing it for years that the best way to avoid an encounter with cough and cold is to take a lot of citrus fruits which contain high doses of vitamin C.

However, it seems that after years of studies and research, it's time to declare the notion as a myth.

Recent studies have revealed that vitamin C may slightly shorten the length of a cold, but does not prevent it from happening.

The study by researchers at Australia's National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health analyzed more than 30 published trials investigating vitamin C's ability to prevent and treat the cold before concluding the study.

All the studies put together had more than 10,000 participants and the researchers could determine after analysis that those taking vitamin C every day in doses as high as 1 gram, caught about the same number of colds as those who did not take any extra vitamin C, reported the San Francisco Chronicle.

The findings of the study also revealed that those who took extra vitamin C for several months through winter, did not have their cold symptoms last long. On average, it was found that colds for these people lasted for about half a day shorter than it did for others.

Vitamins play a significant role in keeping our body healthy as some of its advantages, apart from shortening the duration of a cold, include strengthening bones, cartilage and muscle and helping in the absorption of iron. According to The National Institutes of Health, the recommended daily intake of vitamin C for men is 90 milligrams and for women it is 75 milligrams.

Natural sources of vitamin C include citrus fruits, dark green vegetables, peppers, strawberries and cantaloupe but storing these or cooking them could drain them out of the vitamin. Cooking and steaming dissolves some of the nutrient. Thus, in order to take in maximum vitamin C from fruits and vegetables, one must eat them fresh and raw.

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