Enough with the vitamin C already
Okay, so i’ve been horribly sick the last week with this insane flu that’s going around, but possibly the most irritating thing about being sick is all the people telling me to take lots and lots of vitamin C. And then on top of it, I woke up the other morning to the sound of Patrick Holford on the radio assuring the DJ that you should definitely be taking megadoses of vitamin C if you have a cold, and the worst thing that could happen is that you ‘got the runs’, but it was like curry that way.
I’ve bloody well had enough of the lot of you.
So here it is for you: in nearly 40 years of studies and meta-studies, no one has ever been able to prove that you can prevent colds and flu by taking mega-doses of vitamin C. Some of the studies showed a small decrease in the duration of the illness if you were already taking vitamin c regularly before the onset of the illness, but other studies showed the same sort of results regardless of whether the dose was 250mg or 10,00mg. Studies also show you don’t get any benefit from taking a megadose once you’ve already got the cold.
So considering I can get the same (questionable) benefit by drinking a glass of orange juice as I can taking ten tablets, and seeing as the readily admitted side effects are far worse that what’s being treated in the first place, improvement or not, and seeing as it’s only possibly beneficial if I’ve being doing it on a daily basis starting quite some time before I ever got the cold, there is no bloody reason to tell me to stuff myself with vitamin C when you hear I have the flu. So cut it out.
The funniest thing about all of this is that the same people who push the vitamin C urban legend are the ones who complain about Big Pharma, yet it is this same Big Pharma behind the legend in the first place. The Linus Pauling Institute, the chief instigator of the whole myth, is funded by one of the biggest vitamin C manufacturers in the world, global pharmaceutical giant Hoffmann-La Roche. Patrick Holford is himself head of a hugely profitable, multinational pharmaceutical company peddling vitamin C and other products to the credulous masses, without the inconvenience of having to answer to the FDA or publish any studies to back up his claims. These people are Big Pharma, with the added bonus of not having to bother with nonsense like bribing federal watchdogs or faking lab results. They are in it for the same reasons as Pfizer and all the others – the money. And you lot are far too enamoured of your little old wives’ tale to bother checking if any of it is actually true. You just keep on repeating the line you’re fed in all the marketing material these people push out. Wake up and smell the propaganda, you pill-popping sheep!
Christ, I think my irony gland just exploded.