Does vitamin C help a cold ?


I talked to people during the corona pandemic to find out their view points about what helped fight the corona. Everyone had a different opinion. From staying warm, to avoiding crowds, to keeping clean, to eating healthy and exercising, the options provided were varied. But some of the commonly suggested ones did strike a chord- eat vitamin C( lots of it), eat vitamin D( get the sun), and if by chance, you do get corona, drink soup or chicken soup if you can get it.

In today’s blog, lets explore if vitamin C does help stark off a cold?

When I start of symptoms of a cold, like feeling low or a sore throat, or a runny nose, I dose myself with vitamin C tablets of at least a 1500mg. I can’t t say if it is my trust in the tablets but within an hour I feel better.


Linus Pauling,the Nobel Laureate, popularized that vitamin C helps fight and ward off “colds”.  The Recommended daily allowance for vitamin C is 70mg for women and 90 mg for men. Yet Pauling advised that mega doses of vitamin C like up to 2000 times the RDA helped prevent colds.

Research has shown that increasing vitamin C doses to more than twice the RDA cannot prevent colds.

  1. Regular vitamin C supplementation in the RDA doses does reduce the severity of cold symptoms.
  2. And speeds up the recovery time from colds.

Foods with vitamin C:-

We need to remember that vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin and our bodies do not manufacture it. So it needs to come from our foods- like from citrus fruits, the Indian gooseberry, tomatoes, and green leafy vegetables. When the body is deprived of fresh foods, particularly plant food, it is more likely to get vitamin C deficient.

But our topic for today is colds and vitamin C. Vitamin C is important for among other things – immune function,bone strength,carbohydrate metabolism,iron absorption,healthy skin and hair.


  1. Consume vitamin C regularly in diet through foods rich in the vitamin- citrus fruit, green leafy vegetables, etc..,
  2. Once exposed to a cold virus and the symptoms have started, vitamin C levels might drop. This is because it is used in the formation of white blood cells,neutralizing free radicals that are gormed as a result of the warfare of the white bloof cells against yhe viruses ,and for regenerating the body’s antioxidants.
  3.  In high risk populations like those with altered carbohydrate metabolism-diabetics,the obese ,ghe elderly -vitamin c supplementation can help the body,s immunity against cold viruses.  For Covid -19, there is some evidence that those who are at high risk can benefit from high doses of vitamin C supplementation.




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