Can you get a cold from cold weather?

Your opinion of this? Link covers benefits, has this note.
Warns against doses far below the one you recommend above. Also warns about cutting off dosage too quickly.

Your opinion of this? Link covers benefits, has this note.
Warns against doses far below the one you recommend above. Also warns about cutting off dosage too quickly.


You note the frequent use of “may.” I don’t believe there is any proof that vitamin C causes kidney stones, altho it has oft been so accused. Kidneys stones consist of calcium and are precipitated by too much oxalatic acid, not ascorbic acid. Chewable may cause tooth decay. Then, again, it may not. Finally, there was equivocal evidence of oxidative damage to DNA. I think I read since that issue of the Wellness Letter came out that there were other factors involved and subsequent studies showed no such damage. I cannot give any cites. Sorry.

Incidentally, I take powdered vitamin C. I put 1/4 tsp in my orange juice every am, which is about half a gram or so (I believe). The only place I know that sells the powder is Bronson’s Pharmaceuticals, by mail order. That place was recommended by Linus Pauling for the powder vitamin C in his first book. It is the cheapest way to buy it.

In my opinion, Zinc is far better than Vit C for this sort of thing.

As for Pauling, the guy spent a lot of time in Big Sur, California, known for its great pot.

The early studies of zinc lozenges sublingually were quite favorable. I tried that. Didn’t work for me. C does. More recent studies have put the zinc theory in doubt. The December issue of * Mayo Clinic Health Letter* states: “A study in 1996 created a lot of excitement when cold symptoms disappeared a full 3 days earlier…However, studies have had mixed results, with some showing benefit and some not.” Anyway, it doesn’t do anything for me.

As for Linus Pauling, he won two Nobel prizes for his work on DNA. He was a biochemist. Incidentally, the person who isolated vitamin C, Zvent-Ghorgi, or some name like that, I don’t remember the exact name, lived to almost 100 and he took 20 grams a day.

I’ve heard zinc is good for guys with extremely active sex lives? :slight_smile:

I wouldn’t know.

Cecil Adams on Zinc for Common Colds.

The Cecil Adams cite is almost 3 years old. In this field, a lot happens in that short time. Refer to the article in the Mayo newsletter above for subsequent studies on zinc, for a thumbnail synopsis. Also vitamin C has, contrary to what Cecil said in 1998, has once again raised its “ugly” head.

The following is from a piece I wrote recently for the local running rag:

Although a zinc deficiency can weaken the immune system, studies have been inconsistent in showing that it could reduce severity of cold symptoms and increase immune responses. Six recent trials failed to find a clear benefit against the cold. Megadoses can interfere with iron and copper absorption, lower HDL cholesterol, impair blood cell formation, and depress the immune system. Side effects include nausea, mouth irritations, and mouth sores. (27) (28) Like lead, megadoses may slowly damage the kidneys and peripheral nerves (causing weakness, muscle wasting, impaired sensation, and possibly dementia). One of the first toxic effects to be detected is anemia and a low white blood cell count, both of which are adverse effects of zinc upon the bone marrow (Health Gazette, December 1999).

Most Americans, however, have a low-zinc diet and zinc is also lost through sweat. A deficiency can weaken the immune system, retard muscle growth, slow the healing process, cause white spots on nails, dull the sense of taste and smell, cause hair loss, and cause lethargy. Zinc may also help prevent or slow age-related macular degeneration. The National Eye Institute is undergoing a 7-year study to test this. (Remedy, Nov/Dec 1999.) Zinc is found in wheat germ, pumpkin seeds, brewer’s yeast, osyters, eggs, seafood and lean meats.

Zinc is essential for normal sexual development during male adolescence and for producing healthy sperm. Only two good studies have been done for sexual function, and they were inconsistent. (Nutrition Action, July/August 2000).

Just for the record, people get more colds during winter months in the tropics too, where the temperature doesn’t vary much season to season. So it’s not because of cold air, people being cooped up together inside, or dry indoor air. I don’t think anyone knows why this is so.

To answer the OP, I know it’s happened to me several times. I go outside for 10 minutes or so in cold weather without wearing a jacket. I feel cold but I continue to check my tires or whatever I’m doing. The next day I come down with a cold. Explain that. It’s not due to being with other sick people etc.

Yes Major Feelgud, I get the same thing. After being cold for a while, I get a cold (in spite of my vitamin C). If I don’t turn the thermostat up high enough in the winter and feel a little cold around the house, even tho I don’t contact anyone, I get a cold. So no one is going to convince me that it’s not the cold weather. I don’t know the mechanism, but I feel it’s because of lowered resistance.

I’m not looking to debate either of you, but did you happen to read the last three paragraphs in Cecil’s column (that Fredge posted) in regard to cold stress and psychological stress?

Yes, I read it. The fact remains that if I stay warm enough, regardless how cold and dreary it is outside, I don’t get a cold; but if I get cold for an extended time I am likely to get a cold.

I think the point was that it might not be a virus-caused cold, but instead “cold stress” with similar symptoms. But I am not claiming to be an authority on the subject…