It’s the middle of the third week of classes and I am sitting in my Econ102 lecture of 600 students. I usually make sure to get a front seat to avoid getting distracted. Although, this time there is a consistent and very violent noise that is unavoidably distracting and quite frankly disturbing. It’s the dreaded cough and all I can think is it’s a matter of time that washing my hands and taking a good helping of vitamin c won’t protect me from getting infected by the common cold.
I like to make sure to take vitamin c since it is one of the easiest ways to boost your immune system and protect against the contagions that literally surround college students all the time. Although, does vitamin c actually provide this reliability against the common cold?
According to Kris Gunnars at Authority Nutrition, vitamin c has been tested for this proof since 1970 when it became a very popular topic of interest in the science world. Gunnars also gives mention that vitamin c is found in immune cells. When these cells are attacked by infections, vitamin c is depleted.
There have been series of randomized controlled studies that have taken place over the past decade. They concluded with results that showed vitamin c does not reduce chances of getting infected by the common cold, according to Gunnars. Gunnars also says the average human will contract the common cold several times a year.
Although vitamin c may not prevent the common cold, it can shorten the amount of time you are actually sick, said Gunnars. I found this somewhat relieving especially since the studies mentioned in this article were disappointing and a little surprising.
According to Dr. Mark Levine, from the National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive, and Kidney Diseases, he suggests against taking vitamin c supplements altogether and to just make sure you are getting enough fruits and vegetables.
Levine doesn’t support taking in extra amounts of vitamin c because according to trials that tested the long term affects of taking vitamin c, your body can only withhold a certain amount of it. If you take too much, your body will begin to absorb less and less. This is why getting vitamin c naturally may be the best way to go.
I agree with this statement because most of the time, our bodies respond best to the natural supplements we take in. Although, all of our bodies work differently, so it really depends on what your body best responds to.
Since I am new to college life where I have to really take care of myself, getting sick is something myself and everyone else dreads. I try to take advantage of the supplements and foods that keep me healthy, but when studying, doing laundry, and campus life in general become a full time job, it’s easy to let other responsibilities become not as much of a priority as they should.