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Does taking vitamin C really shorten the duration of a cold?

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The effect of vitamin C on the symptoms of the common cold is quite confusing, but taking large doses does seem to shorten the duration of the cold by perhaps around 10-20%. The amount of vitamin C required to produce this effect is still unclear. In trials where vitamin C has been given after the cold symptoms have started, there is some evidence that taking larger doses is more beneficial. Large doses of vitamin C can have adverse affects and you should consult your doctor before taking large doses of any vitamin. Does food that contains beta-carotene put me at increased risk from lung cancer? No. The evidence of a potential harmful effect of beta-carotene is from two clinical trials where high dose beta-carotene supplements were given to smokers and other people at high risk of developing lung cancer. There is no evidence to suggest that the amount of beta-carotene found in food presents any risk. In fact, the evidence is the opposite. People who have a diet rich in beta-carotene ... more
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