"Oranges" by Susan Slater / CC BY-SA 4.0

No, Vitamin C won’t cure your cold

Oct 3, 2019

By Madeline Marshall

Many people reach straight for the orange juice when they start to get a cold. Or pick up a Vitamin C supplement that claims to boost your immune system.

But studies have shown that Vitamin C can’t actually cure your cold.

At most, taking 1,000 mg of Vitamin C regularly could reduce your cold by a meager 8 percent. Taking it when your symptoms begin doesn’t really do anything at all. Generally, it only has an effect on people engaged in “intense physical exercise,” like marathon runners. But for regular people, it’s not much help.

So where did the belief in Vitamin C as a cold-buster come from? A Nobel Prize-winning scientist from the 1970s.

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