As this year’s cold and flu season is right around the corner most of us are likely to start looking for something to boost our immune system and prevent us from getting sick.
The most common thing people reach for as a preventative measure for the flu is Vitamin C.
However, it feels like no matter how much Vitamin C you consume, if the flu has your name on it, you’re bound to get it.
I’m sure at some point you have wondering if vitamin c actually can prevent you from getting the flu?
Well, that’s a great question, let’s break it down!
A few studies have shown that vitamin c doesn’t prevent a common cold.
This study (Study A) says, “Long term daily supplementation with vitamin C in large doses daily does not appear to prevent colds.”
Meanwhile, this study says, “The failure of vitamin C supplementation to reduce the incidence of colds in the general population indicates that routine vitamin C supplementation is not justified.”
Let’s not ditch using Vitamin C entirely because Study A found that, “There appears to be a modest benefit in reducing duration of cold symptoms from ingestion of relatively high doses of vitamin C.”
However, because Vitamin C won’t prevent all your colds let’s talk about what can help prevent them.
Let’s start with Vitamin D. Specifically, Vitamin D3.
This study reports, “Vitamin D3, or cholecalciferol, is more readily absorbed by the body and more potent than vitamin D2, or ergocalciferol, the form often found in multivitamins.”
The conclusion, “The [test group taking] vitamin D was 58 percent less likely to catch influenza A, the researchers report in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.”
While this study reveals some drastic information around how effective the results of using Vitamin D are in place of using Vitamin C, it says: “The results are dramatic, with complete resolution of symptoms in 48 to 72 hours.”
What about other options like mixing Vitamin C, Zinc, and Echinacea?
This study concludes, “the current evidence of efficacy for zinc, vitamins D and C, and Echinacea is so interesting that CC patients may be encouraged to try them for preventing/treating their colds.”
In conclusion, while Vitamin C may not be the most effective way to prevent colds there are a handful of other options that are a little less popular but more successful at preventing influenza. We recommend a mix of Vitamin D3, Vitamin C, Zinc, and Echinacea. *
*To ensure proper supplementation speak with a certified medical professional about dosing.