Vitamin C reduces the duration of colds and cuts the chances of catching a cold by half

Doctors reviewed 31 cold studies covering 9,745 cold episodes, where people took at least 200 mg of vitamin C per day, or a placebo. Overall compared to placebo, for adults who took vitamin C, the duration of colds was 8 percent shorter, and for children, 14 percent shorter.

In children who took doses of 1,000 mg to 2,000 mg of vitamin C per day, colds cleared up 18 percent quicker. In five studies involving 598 marathon runners and skiers who were exposed to extreme physical stress, compared to placebo, vitamin C cut the chances of colds by half. 

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