Peterson: Vitamin C no panacea for motel cough – Northwest Herald

I’ve been watching “Star Trek,” and I’m coming to the close of the three-year, 80-episode series – only five more shows to go, and I’m kind of bummed out about it. But I am looking forward to “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” which had a much longer run. “Star Trek” happens about 250 years in the future, which is a lot of time for medical advances. But in a recent episode, Dr. McCoy, the Enterprise’s chief medical officer, was mocked by one of the characters, it could have been Capt. James T. Kirk, for not having cured the common cold. That doesn’t give me much hope for the future.

Cockroaches and germs for the common cold will survive a nuclear holocaust. That’s a great foundation for the next civilization.

But this slight cold – motel cough – has me reassessing my vitamin C strategy. Maybe I should break it up like my parents, and take 500 milligrams in the morning and 500 in the evening. Then I’m getting overlapping protection.

I shouldn’t be getting a cold with 1,000 milligrams of vitamin C pumped into my system. But I can easily split the dosage in half, as I already take three pills at 4 p.m. It’s just a matter of putting that rather large vitamin C pill in with the others. The only problem is water.

Sometimes, I’ve run out of water by the time I take my three pills, but they’re small enough that I can swallow them without it. That won’t be the case with the vitamin C pill. I’ll need to have a small glass of water to slide it down my throat, and that’s a bit of an inconvenience.

But it is well worth it if it wards off another slight cold or motel cough. But motel cough may be a strain that is resistant to prevention. It has many of the symptoms of the common cold, but not quite. My nose isn’t as runny, the cough is dry and infrequent, and the sore throat mostly happens at night when I’m sleeping and not drinking water to lubricate my gullet.I’m not willing to say I have a full-blown cold; the symptoms just aren’t there, and I want to believe in vitamin C.

So motel cough it is, a variant vitamin C doesn’t protect against. Drat.

•Dick Peterson, who lives in Woodstock, is a mental health advocate. He is a freelance writer and a former Northwest Herald Opinion Page editor. He can be contacted at


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