Does Vitamin C Work Against Colds?

Orange juice has Vitamin C

Most of us grew up hearing unqualified praises for vitamin C during the cold season, for both preventing colds and curing colds faster. Here’s a short summary of scientific evidence for whether vitamin C is good for colds and exactly how much you need for any benefits:

To view top vitamin C products on the market, visit Labdoor’s Vitamin C Rankings.

The relation between Vitamin C and colds
  • Infographic Design: Sherzod Max
  • Almendrala, A. (2015, September). Sorry, Your Vitamin C Megadose is Basically Useless; Maybe Just Wash Your Hands More?. Huffington Post.
  • Douglas RM, et al. (2004, October). Vitamin C for preventing and treating the common cold. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews.
  • Gorton HC & Jarvis K. (1999, October). The effectiveness of vitamin C in preventing and relieving the symptoms of virus-induced respiratory infections. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapy. 22(8):530-3.
  • Hemiliä, H. (2004). Vitamin C Supplementation and Respiratory Infections: a Systematic Review. Military Medicine, 169:920-925.
  • Hemiliä, H., Chalker, E., & Douglas, B. (2007). Vitamin C for preventing and treating the common cold. Cochrane Database Systematic Reviews, 3;CD000980. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD000980.pub3
  • K Akhilender Naidu. (2003). Vitamin C in human health and disease is still a mystery? An overview. Nutrition Journal. 2:7. doi: 10.1186/1475-2891-2-7
  • Mayo Clinic. (2015). Drugs and Supplements – Vitamin C (ascorbic acid).
  • Michels AJ and Frei B. (2013). Myths, Artifacts, and Fatal Flaws: Identifying Limitations and Opportunities in Vitamin C Research. Nutrients. 5(12):5161-5192. doi: 10.3390/nu5125161
  • Paddayatty, SJ & Levine, M. (2001, February). New Insights into the Physiology and Pharmacology of Vitamin C. Canadian Medical Association Journal. 164(3).
  • Schleicher, R.L., Carroll, M.D., Ford, E.S., & Lacher, D.A. (2009). Serum vitamin C and the prevalence of vitamin C deficiency in the United States: 2003-3004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 90, 1252-1263.
  • Thompson, June (2007). Vitamins, minerals and supplements 5: Overview of vitamin C. Community Practitioner, 80(1), 35-36.