As a kid whenever I started to get sick my mom would immediately have me start to take vitamin C pills. This blog post is about how vitamin C affects us and if it actually helps shorten a cold. I can say I do think that vitamin C helped me, however; I’m not sure if it is actually do to the medicine or something known as the placebo effect. The placebo effect means the drug is not helping the patient but just the fact that the patient thinks they are receiving treatment they get better. I am not sure exactly how long I would have a cold for but on Wikipedia it says the average length of a cold is between 7 to 10 days. In order for vitamin C to have a positive effect it would need to cut down this time significantly.
Vitamin C is found in many fruits like oranges, lemons, and bananas. According to Author James Shulze Vitamin C was first discovered in 1795 by a British naval surgeon. The Surgeon’s name was James Lind and he had all the men on British ships drink lime juice. During this time scurvy was a big problem on long sea voyages and no one knew what was causing it. Scurvy is a disease of malnutrition specifically the lack of vitamin
C and can often cause death. James Lind did not know why having the sailors drink lime juice was solving this problem all he knew was that it worked (asg.org). Here is a situation that Andrew was talking about in class where a problem was solved but no one knew what solved it. They saw the realization that giving the sailors lime juice helped with scurvy they just didn’t know why this happened.
According to Anna Almendrala we now know that vitamin C does many things for our body including help strengthen our immune system, help absorb iron, and regenerate antioxidants. (Huffington Post). A study was done to truly see the benefits of Vitamin C. The study included over 11,000 participants. These were not participants of average people but of people who were exposed to extreme weather for a long period of time. The participants were given doses of vitamin C everyday from 250 milligrams to 1,000 milligrams. At the conclusion of this study 50% of people experienced less colds. This study was done with people in extreme conditions and had major affects; vitamin C for normal people did not have as great as an affect. The results found that for an average person taking vitamin C everyday did not reduce the number of colds that person experienced. It did however shorten the length of the cold that they experienced. One important fact from this study was that it only reduced the cold if you were taking it before the cold started not during. My mom had the right idea in having me take vitamin C but just had me taking it too late.