Are you sick of being sick? Try vitamin C. Research has found that taking a vitamin C supplement may help shorten the duration of colds
Scientists from the University of Helsinki, Finland, found that, if taken at the onset, relatively high doses of vitamin C may shorten the length of a cold.
Analysing two randomised trials, researchers found that compared to placebo, 8g of vitamin C administered on the first day of the cold shortened the duration by an average of 19 per cent, while the second study showed that taking 6g of vitamin C a day shortened colds by 17 per cent.
“Given the consistent effect of vitamin C on the duration of colds, and its safety and low cost, it would be worthwhile for individual common cold patients to test whether therapeutic 8 g/day vitamin C is beneficial for them,” said head researcher Dr Harri Hemilä. ”Self-dosing of vitamin C must be started as soon as possible after the onset of common cold symptoms to be most effective,” he added.
Vitamin C protects cells from free-radical damage
Another study also found that vitamin C may be helpful in supporting immunity, protecting cells from free-radical damage and cardiovascular and chronic disease, promoting muscle repair and generally contributing to improved health.
Increasing vitamin absorption
Additionally, studies show that a new technology known as liposomal encapsulation may increase the bioavailability of important nutrients in the body, including vitamin C.
Liposomes are tiny, “nano-sized” fat-soluble bubbles made from phospholipids. Liposomal encapsulation of vitamin C helps improve absorption and protects against degradation as the contents pass through the harsh digestive system and into the blood.
A study shows improved concentrations of vitamin C in the body through liposomal delivery while research shows its advantages include high bioavailability and absorption compared to other oral supplementation. It has also shown to be non-invasive, to increase intracellular delivery and to be more cost-effective as lower doses can be taken.
7 Immune-boosting tips
Nutritional expert Vanessa Ascencao says Liposomal vitamin C has shown to be significantly more bioactive than ordinary vitamin C supplements and may be taken throughout the year, but especially in winter.
She shares the following immune-boosting tips for the winter season:
- Increase intake of vitamin C, B, D, zinc and Echinacea to help boost the immune system and fight illness.
- During a cold, drink plenty of hot water with lemon and honey, green tea or chicken soup to help relieve congestion and dehydration.
- Increase intake of fresh fruit, vegetables, herbs and spices.
- Increase intake of good fats such as olive oil, coconut oil, seeds and nuts.
- Take a good probiotic to help keep your gut healthy; try sauerkraut, kefir and plain yoghurt.
- Drink lots of water, exercise daily, manage stress and aim for at least eight hours of sleep a night.
- Avoid sugary food and drinks and heavily processed or oily food.
Liposomal vitamin C is available nationally at leading health stores, pharmacies and Dis-Chem.
While All4Women endeavours to ensure health articles are based on scientific research, health articles should not be considered as a replacement for professional medical advice. Should you have concerns related to this content, it is advised that you discuss them with your personal healthcare provider.