The Straight Scoop on Vitamin C and Colds

Fresh OrangesWe’re heading into cold and flu season. Flu shot clinics are opening up at drug stores and grocery pharmacies across the country. Commercials for cold remedies are flooding television. A flu shot will protect you from getting the flu this winter; but avoiding the sneezing, coughing misery of the common cold is trickier. Nothing has been unequivocally proven to prevent colds; but there are a few alternative remedies that researchers say may shorten the length or severity of a cold — including vitamin C from Florida oranges,

Vitamin C has been touted as a cold preventative for years and many people swear by its power to keep them cold-free. While scientific research to date has not proven that vitamin C from Florida oranges can prevent colds; on its website, the renowned Mayo Clinic says, “taking vitamin C before the onset of cold symptoms may shorten the duration of symptoms.” Researchers have also found that daily doses of vitamin C may help protect people who are at high risk of contracting colds due to frequent exposure to cold germs, including children in daycare, schoolchildren, day care providers, teachers, medical personnel, parents and grandparents.

The bottom line: A daily glass of vitamin C-rich Florida orange juice isn’t guaranteed to prevent you from getting a cold; but it certainly won’t hurt. And if you do get a cold, it just might shorten your misery.

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