If you have been religiously popping all those Vitamin C pills in the belief that it boosts your immune system against the common cold, then think again.
A recent review of 30 studies conducted by several researchers in the past few decades and published now by The Cochrane Library has shown that Vitamin C, contrary to popular belief, doesn’t really help guard the common man against cold. Vitamin C, they concluded, is really effective only when used by people who are used to activities that result in a high degree of physical strain such as marathon runners or avid trekkers. For people falling under this bracket, taking Vitamin C helped reduce the chances of catching a cold by a whopping 50%.
In almost everyone else who popped the pill daily, and who were not subject to such high degree of physical stress, the effects of Vitamin C in helping to thwart colds and reduce its duration were practically negligible. According to medical correspondent of The Early Show Dr. Emily Senay, it appears now that it’s hardly worth the cost and effort in taking Vitamin C pills to prevent the common cold. However, she cautions that this study should not be taken to mean that Vitamin C is useless for the human body. The vitamin is essential in ensuring the normal growth and repair of tissues, and acts as an antioxidant. So don’t discard this vital vitamin from your nutritional diet, Senay warns.
So, are researchers any closer to finding a cure for the common cold? Senay says that instead of a cure common sense methods such as washing our hands often would go a long way in preventing colds.