Do large doses of Vitamin C help prevent the cold?

By: Kevin Hurd Email
By: Kevin Hurd Email

EAU CLAIRE, WIS. (WEAU) -- 3-year-old Arthur Weible loves what felt like warm weather on a Friday afternoon.

But with temperatures dropping, his parents are mindful of keeping he and his sister warm, keeping not just the cold weather at bay, but the common cold as well.

"Dress extra warm, mittens, hats, doesn't really matter if it matches," said Sheila Weible.

She and her husband, Vinny, say they have had minor colds already and want to keep their kids away from it.

"We always wash their hands when we leave a place like the Children's Museum or the library," she added.

And it is that quick thinking that keeps the colds away.

Billie Hague, a Nurse Practitioner at the Marshfield Clinic Elk Mound Center, says hand washing is a big part of prevention.

"Anytime you touch doorknobs, money or anything that transmits viruses wash your hands," she said.

We also asked her about products filled with large amounts of Vitamin C, to which she says the number does not add up.

"The research hasn't proven that taking high doses of Vitamin C actually helps," she said.

Rather she says it is about zinc, both of the products we looked at have half the amount you need in a day per tablet.

"There has been some research that taking zinc can help because zinc actually helps at the cellular level with fighting off illness and bacteria," she added.

"When it started it was more severe," said Amy Greathead, a student at UWEC. She has been sick for about a month.

"Slowly lost my voice after I was coughing, even had a bit of a fever for a while, runny nose, stuff like that," Greathead said.

If you are already sick like Amy, Hague says it is about treating the symptoms, Tylenol and ibuprofen can be helpful she says, along with rest and water.

"Viruses have to run their course, and it takes time," Hague added.

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