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Vitamin C Boosts Immunity: Helps Prevent Colds & Flu

Ingesting vitamin C several times a day is one of the most effective ways to boost your immune system. Unfortunately, many people do not consume enough vitamin C to realize its vast array of health benefits. Most adults incorrectly assume that the government recommended RDA of 75-90 mg of vitamin C is an optimal daily dose. This RDA or “recommended dietary allowance” is only enough to prevent vitamin-deficiency disease states such as scurvy—but not nearly enough to provide optimal support for your immune system.

Nobel prize-winning scientist Dr. Linus Pauling was among the first to recognize the importance of high-dose vitamin C supplementation more than 30 years ago. Since then, scientists have amassed impressive evidence supporting the numerous benefits of high-dose vitamin C.

Vitamin C has anti-viral activity in the body, so it helps protect against winter colds and the flu. When the body is under stress (physical and/or emotional), vitamin C levels get depleted very quickly. Hence, much higher doses of vitamin C are required to support the immune system during times of stress.  

Numerous studies have shown that vitamin C can dramatically reduce infection time as well as boost one’s resistance to infections. For example, studies of vitamin C supplementation in military personnel and other subjects living in close quarters have shown that pneumonia occurred a remarkable 80-100% less often in subjects taking vitamin C than in those who did not supplement with the vitamin. 

In developing countries children are highly vulnerable to developing life-threatening infections. In this at-risk population, daily supplementation with up to 1000 mg of vitamin C, along with the mineral zinc, greatly reduced the likelihood of developing potentially deadly pneumonia, malaria, and infection-related diarrhea.  In addition, supplementation with vitamin C improved outcomes even when infections had already occurred. This is just one of many studies reporting that vitamin C helps strengthen children’s resistance against infectious diseases. Based on these findings, I believe it is vital that young children also receive appropriate supplementation with vitamin C.

I recommend that adults take 1,000 mg of vitamin C two or three times daily. For children I recommend from 250 mg to 500 mg of vitamin C two or three times daily.

For more information, the Life Extension Foundation has a good article that I recommend reading titled: Newly Discovered Health Benefits of Vitamin C.

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