How to get rid of a cold - does taking vitamin C supplements really help?

Vitamin C could help to relieve some symptoms of colds, including a sore throat, a runny nose and a fever, according to a study.

But, you’re just as likely to get a cold whether you take vitamin C supplements or not, it claimed.

Vitamin C-rich foods include oranges, kale and bell peppers.

It’s also been claimed the vitamin could reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer.

“In the past few decades, multiple randomised controlled studies have examined whether the vitamin has any actual effect on the common cold,” said Healthline nutrition researcher, Kris Gunnars.

“The results have been fairly disappointing.

“Basically, if you take vitamin C, you'll get just as many colds as you did before, but they may be slightly less severe and last for a slightly shorter time period.”

Symptoms of the common cold also include a cough, sneezing, headache and aching muscles, according to the NHS.

They study combined data on vitamin C and common colds from 29 previous trials.

Scientists from the Cochrane Acute Respiratory Infections Group studied more than 11,300 people as part of the 2007 study.

While scientists found vitamin C had no effect on the amount of colds patients reported, the duration and severity of the colds were lower in those taking regular supplements.

Cold symptoms lasted eight per cent less in adults, and 13 per cent less in children, that had more vitamin C, the scientists found.

The NHS advises patients suffering from the common cold to drink plenty of fluids, and get plenty of rest.

A low-fat, high-fibre diet was also recommended, including plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables.

Painkillers, decongestants and cold medicines could also help to relieve symptoms.

Vapour rubs and menthol sweets could also help patients, while there is some evidence that zinc supplements could speed up recovery from a cold, the NHS said.



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