T Nation

how much vitamen C

How much vitamen C do you all recommend if you are battling a cold?

1000-2000mgs spread evenly throughout the day.

Personally if battling a cold i’ll take 4-6 1000mg caps spread throughout the day.

I take about 3g/day 6x500mg. I find that loading on glutamine 5g 4-6 times a day helps too.

I’m more aggressive. 1 gram every hour because the effects of vitamin c only last an hour. Incidentally, I take this dosage before my cold gets serious. As a result I haven’t had a full-blown cold for five years. I kill it before it happens. btw, if you’re just beginning to get a sore throat, take zinc lozenges. It’ll kill it too.

According to Eric Cressey, who just wrote an article on Beating the Flu/Cold, here is what he says, “Based on the available literature, I recommend 2-2.5g of supplemental vitamin C daily during normal training conditions and 4-5g daily during flu-like symptoms and times increased of training stress. Also, be sure to spread your intake throughout the day in 500mg doses. Dosages of 500mg are proven to increase cellular ascorbic acid absorption by up to 40%, whereas dosages greater do not increase this absorption.”

I'm not sure what TC's plans are with this article, but the information is solid, well researched and very well written and I hope to see it very soon, especially as cold/flu season is about to get started.

When I feel a cold coming upon me, I’m also aggressive about my Vitamin C intake. I’ll take 500mg an hour. I’ve been doing this since, oh, waaaaay back and it’s always worked for me.

Just a note. There was a double-blind study done on the effect of Vitamin C in battling colds. All participants were already ill, and were given either placebo or Vitamin C (a couple grams a day). There was no statistically significant difference in the recovery times of the two groups. They did not, however, study the effects of Vitamin C in preventing illness.

Couldn’t have said it better myself:)

Colds and the flu are different creatures. The former is usually bacterial in nature and can be effectively treated with antibiotics. The flu, however, is viral in nature. Even though your doctor might give you antibiotics, it’s just to stave off or prevent any secondary complications.

For those of you out there who’d like to have something in the medicine cabinet that will get rid of the flu in 48 hours, consider ordering some Ribavarin, and I’ll quote from www.lef.org:

“Ribavirin is a broad-spectrum, antiviral drug that is especially effective against influenza-like viruses. Ribavirin is approved in almost every country to treat influenza except the United States (though it can be purchased at U.S. compounding pharmacies with a doctor’s prescription or from offshore pharmacies). When you first develop the symptoms of the flu, take 200 mg of ribavirin every 3 to 4 hours. In many cases, this can prevent the full development of the flu because of ribavirin’s ability to interfere with influenza virus replication. Do not take ribavirin for more than 2 weeks without having a blood test to make sure the ribavirin is not causing a reduction in red blood cell production (anemia). Those with preexisting anemia may want to avoid ribavirin as about 10% of those taking ribavirin for 6 continuous months develop anemia within that 6-month period. Those with coronary artery disease or pulmonary insufficiency have to be especially concerned about anemia and should not take ribavirin for more than 1 to 2 weeks. Those with pre-existing kidney disease have been advised to use caution when taking ribavirin even though the published research does not indicate that ribavirin is especially toxic to the kidneys.”

It’s incredibly effective. Ribavarin IS available in the US because it’s used in the treatment of Hepatitis C (along with Interferon). Way back when, a bunch of researchers in a labratory were looking for a cure for feline leukemia (pretty effective for the kitties, too) and decided to pop some when they came down with the flu because they understood the mechanisms by which it worked. Two days to full recovery!!! Talk about non-standard uses.

So get your doctor to precscribe some Ribavarin if you come down with a flu virus (the sooner the better). Doctor’s ARE able to prescribe prescription drugs for non-standard uses. Or order some yourself IN ADVANCE . . . “Ribavirin can be obtained in Mexico, or you can call (800) 747-0149 for a list of offshore suppliers who will mail it to you. If you already have the flu, it will take too long to obtain Ribavirin by mail to be of any help.”

DISCLAIMER: Of course, never take my or anyone’s word for anything medicinal or therepeutic in nature that you’re going to take. DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH AND COME TO YOUR OWN CONCLUSIONS. This information is provided for educational purposes only.

I don’t know about vit c, but ever since I’ve been supplementing with flaxseed oil I haven’t gotten a cold or the flu. Neat eh? Its been a year, and usually I’d be sick about twice in that period.

Um, Mr. Question Mark, I really hate to break this to you, but “colds” are not bacterial infections, nor are they treated effectively with antibiotics. They’re viral and tend to run their course regardless of what you do, including Vit. C. Believe me, guys, when I say that I’d love for Vit. C to work the way we think it does, but the research simply does not bear this out at present. I realize that there’s plenty of anecdotal evidence and testimonials, but we all know what that’s ultimately worth. As somebody mentioned earlier, at current there is no research evaluating the efficacy of Vit. C in the prevention of “colds,” and there are plenty of other great effects from it, so I’ll continue to take my C every day, but I won’t be upping the dosage on the rare occasion that I get a cold.

Don’t just use vitamin C. Go for Black Elderberry extract, also called Sambucol ™ and available in almost any health food store. It works wonders for me. The theory is that something in black elderberry interferes with viral replication.

I didn’t get sick at all (maybe once a year) until I got married and had a baby. Now, it seems to happen all the time. I’ve been sick the past 3 days and about 2 weeks ago was sick over the weekend. The reason I get sick is always the same reason. Not enough sleep. I’m not sure if there is any vitamin that can make up for that.