10 Remedies That Do Absolutely Nothing to Treat the Common Cold

Vitamin C
While for most of us, taking vitamin C isn't going to help prevent or treat a cold, if your body is under extreme stress -- runners, skiers, and soldiers stationed in extreme sub-arctic areas -- it may help reduce your risk of catching a cold. ©iStockphoto/Thinkstock

If you're one of the many people who boost your vitamin C intake when you feel a cold coming on, it turns out you're wasting your time. Vitamin C doesn't reduce your risk of catching a cold, nor will it help treat your cold. There is conflicting research about whether or not taking vitamin C can shorten the duration of your cold –- but even if it does, it may not be by much. Some studies find vitamin C supplementation may shorten a cold by about a day while others suggest it's only shortened by a few hours, and yet others find it does nothing at all to shorten a cold's duration. Bottom line? Vitamin C won't hurt you, but it probably won't help your cold -- and beware -- taking too much can cause an upset stomach.