The truth about Vitamin C. Does it really prevent colds? And should you be taking a daily supplement?

Chilly weather usually brings with it a range of colds, flus and nasty bugs that nobody wants. For many of us the first thing that comes to mind when we think about winter supplements is vitamin C. Many people dose up with one or two vitamin C tablets a day as part of their cold and flu prevention arsenal. But is it really necessary?

The truth about vitamin C

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Vitamin C is an essential water-soluble nutrient. It is potentially the most popular single vitamin supplement purchased due to its perceived ability to prevent colds and flu.

However, a recent study examining more than 50 years of research has shown vitamin C doesn’t actually prevent or help cure colds!

It does, however, provide a range of other benefits. It boosts our immune system, helps your body absorb iron and supports collagen production for skin, tendon, and cartilage repair. It also acts as an antioxidant protecting our cells from free radical damage, helps to heal wounds, and maintains healthy bones and teeth!

The body has no real storage system for vitamin C, so we must consume it daily from what we eat. Luckily, this is actually really easy! For most people, a well balanced, healthy diet will do the trick. A large orange, 1½ cups of sliced strawberries, chopped red capsicum or broccoli will provide double the recommended dietary intake of vitamin C (45mg per day).

If you have too much vitamin C, your body will simply take what it needs and then flush any extra out through your urine. In my opinion eating plenty of fruits and vegetables the best way to ensure you’re getting enough vitamin C.

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