Think twice before loading up on vitamin C supplements –

The warm weather may make it feel like spring, but it is still possible to catch a cold.

When the sneezing and achiness take hold, Consumer Reports says it is best to think twice before loading up on the vitamin C supplements.

“There is some evidence that shows taking a daily dose of vitamin C supplement on a regular basis while you’re still healthy might shorten your cold by a day or so,” said Lauren Cooper with Consumer Reports. “But starting to take a vitamin C supplement once you’re already sick really won’t help.”

Taking vitamin C won’t prevent a cold, according to the National Institutes of Health, and studies show that high doses can cause other health problems.

Men who take excessive amounts of vitamin C are twice as likely to develop kidney stones, and consuming more than 2,000 mg a day can cause an upset stomach and painful cramps.

The NIH recommends 90 mg per day for men and 75 mg per day for women – the equivalent of a single orange – for maintaining good health.

Some of the best foods for vitamin C include red and green peppers, citrus fruits, kiwi and broccoli.

According to Consumer Reports, someone in need of cold relief should try over-the-counter medications, including ibuprofen and acetaminophen for aches and fever, or single-ingredient decongestants. To help a cough, throat lozenges or honey are recommended.

Vitamin C supplements can also interact and interfere with certain kinds of treatments and drugs, such as chemotherapy and heart medication. It is recommended to check with a doctor before taking supplements.


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