Vitamin C for Fever

Fevers consist of an abnormality with your body heat, which causes your temperature to rise 1 degree or more above the average body temperature of 98.6 degrees. There are a variety of reasons why your body temperature rises, but fever is typically caused by fighting off an infection, especially in relation to the cold, flu or other illnesses like pneumonia or gastroenteritis. When fever is in relation to sickness, one remedy often discussed is vitamin C.

A glass of orange juice next to whole and halved oranges. (Image: 463421fc_202/iStock/Getty Images)

General Effects

Vitamin C, also commonly listed as ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin necessary for creating collage in most structures of your body, including bones, blood vessels, ligaments, tendons and muscle. Vitamin C is also necessary for absorbing adequate amounts of iron. The vitamin is also required for the synthesis of certain neurotransmitters, especially norepinephrine, which is essential for proper brain function.

Immune System

Vitamin C is essential for the health of your immune system. Vitamin C has been shown to stimulate both the function and production of white blood cells, or leukocytes, for your immune system, according to Oregon State University's Linus Pauling Institute. White blood cells are specialized defense cells that aid the body in fighting off harmful diseases and other foreign invaders.

Fever

While vitamin C is integral for the function of your immune system, it is often touted as a way to help treat the common cold or respiratory infection, of which a fever is counted as a symptom. The Mayo Clinic says there is not enough current research, as of 2011, to support the use of vitamin C in treating these afflictions or the resulting symptoms, like a fever. But there is promise in vitamin C shortening the length of time you experience symptoms. Meeting the recommended upper limit of vitamin C is 2,000 mg per day can help your immune system stay healthy and increase your chances of fighting off a fever-causing illness.

Dangers

While there is no harm in taking a little extra vitamin C through supplements or natural foods like oranges or carrots, too much can cause unwanted side effects. Additional vitamin C is often exported out of the body through urine, but mega doses, such as 10 g or more, can result in diarrhea, vomiting, heartburn, cramps, headache, kidney stones and insomnia.

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