The cure for everything under sun has been attributed to Vitamin C. Although it takes center stage for so many things going on in the body, the controversy surrounding its benefits have gone on for decades. The big question is, if you take Vitamin C for the cold virus, will it really make a difference?
Linus Getting Friendly With Some Molecules
In the 1970’s, two-time Nobel Prize winner, Dr. Linus Pauling wrote a book called Vitamin C and The Common Cold. It became a nationwide bestseller. He recommended the vitamin to lessen the duration and dampen the severity of a cold. Dr. Pauling felt that with significant changes in our diet over the years, many individuals suffered from a subclinical deficiency of Vitamin C. Subclinical deficiency means that negative changes are occurring in the body that modern medicine could not measure with current techniques. A patient would still feel fine with no outward symptoms. Any doctor observing the patient from a physical exam with labs tests would see nothing wrong with the patient. Dr. Pauling insisted that individuals with subclinical deficiency would be more susceptible to the cold viruses. He claimed from his studies that the average person should be on 2,300 mg daily of Vitamin C. This is known as “Mega-dosing”. The normal dose of Vitamin C daily is 75 mg for a woman and 90 mg for a male according to the NIH (National Institute Of Healthy). These are the average daily amounts that will prevent you from getting the deficiency disease known as scurvy.
Please check out my previous article from Renovating Your Mind about more on Vitamin C:
He’s Come Undone!
Recent studies have shown that stressed individuals who take Vitamin C supplements cut their chances by 50% in catching a cold versus those not taking a C supplement. There were three groups evaluated in the study which included Swiss children in a ski camp, Canadian military personnel going though a winter exercise and marathon runners. All of these individuals were undergoing both mental and physical stresses. When the body undergoes any kind of stress, the adrenal glands spits out tiny amounts of cortisol (steroid) which increases demand for Vitamin C. If the increased demand for the nutrient is not met, then immunity status will usually plummet. That is the perfect opportunity for a cold virus to get into the body and start doing its dirty work.
Other than the stress study, most research shows that Vitamin C doesn’t prevent a cold. Many experiments did show that ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) slightly shortened the duration of the cold. Other results found that ascorbic acid also decreased the severity of the cold’s symptoms.
So in cases of stress, Vitamin C may, depending on the situation decrease chances of catching a cold. In everyone else, Vitamin C will probably decrease the severity of the cold and cut its duration too.
There are over 200 types of cold viruses. As we age, we usually catch fewer colds. The reason being that each time we are infected with the cold virus, we build up an immunity against that specific virus for the future. Once we have come in contact with the most prevalent cold viruses, risks are lowered for running into ones that are not as prevalent.
Antibiotics don’t work against colds because colds are viruses. Viruses are non-living proteins. They get into your body’s cells by injecting their insides like the contents of a syringe. They hijack your cells genetic instructions and force them to start making virus protein. Eventually the amount of viral protein produced inside the hijacked cell gets very high. The cell becomes swollen with the protein and implodes releasing newly produced viral proteins. Remember the feeling of chills that you get when you are sick with a cold? That is the mass implosion of viruses coming out of your cells going to infect healthy cells. The cycle continues with healthier cells taken over by the parasitic proteins till your immune system goes blitzkrieg on the invaders .
Can’t Kill Something That’s Not Living
The word anti biotic means against (anti) life (biotic or biosis). Since viruses are lifeless proteins there is nothing living for the antibiotic to kill.
Increasing Your Chances Against Those Lifeless Protein Strands
The most important preventative step is always washing your hands with soap and water. No antibacterial soaps. This keeps your hands free of the cold virus.
Never touch any part of your face unless you have previously just washed your hands. This prevents the virus from getting into your eyes, nose and mouth.
Great Ally Against Colds
Vitamin C is fine to take for a cold but I prefer foods rather than supplements. Just remember citrus as being loaded with the vitamin.
For most people, safely supplementing with Vitamin C to help fight the cold is not a concern. Too much Vitamin C will cause diarrhea. Check with your doctor or pharmacist if you have a medical condition(s) or on any prescription or over the counter medications or vitamins.
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