Newsbrief: The common cold and the benefits of Vitamin C

by Elora Philbrick
edited by Whitney Dowds

New research has been found on the effects of Vitamin C in reducing the duration of colds and preventing them, according to

“It’s fair to say that vitamin C supplementation both shortens duration of cold and offers some protection against colds, though it’s not very dramatic,” said Stephen Lawson, a researcher at the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University.

Vitamin C first gained its reputation after Linus Pauling, two-time Nobel Prize winner, first told of the benefits of the micronutrient in a series of books.

(Photo: Google Images)

(Photo: Google Images)

The American Association of Family Physicians believes the vitamin is unlikely to shorten the length or severity of colds, while the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners believes it could only be effective at reducing the length of a cold.

Lawson believes that even though it is unclear how vitamin C might prevent the common cold, one possibility is that it activates white blood cells.

Another possibility was found in a small study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, which found that vitamin C may dampen the inflammatory response caused by the chemical histamine. This antihistamine effect could reduce the common symptoms of a cold that occur when the body must activate its inflammatory response.

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