Consume more Vitamin C to prevent infections during monsoon: Doctors

New Delhi: With the national capital witnessing humid weather making people vulnerable to infectious diseases, doctors have urged children to increase intake of Vitamin C rich food, thus helping in killing infected cells in the body.

Though doctors call Vitamic C as one of the best boosters for the immune system, a recent study by Bengaluru’s Indian Institute of Science has also found the molecular mechanism by which Vitamin C impedes and even kills Mycobacterium smegmatis, a non-pathogenic bacterium.

Humid weather during monsoon leads to various types of fungal infections of legs, skin and nails. Hospitals in Delhi have seen a surge in the flow of patients with such cases.

“It is advisable to consume at least 500 mg of Vitamin C on a daily basis as it helps in improving immunity, reducing the severity and duration of common cold, flu and infections.

But remember to restrict the intake to not cross more than 1,000 mg as excess in anything can lead to side-effects,” said S.K. Mundhra, head of internal medicine at city-based Saroj Super Speciality Hospital.

Stating that since the beginning of monsoon he has received over 200-250 cases of patients with infections, Mundra said if one continues to take Vitamin C rich edible items then their immune system cells function well to detect, track and kill the infectious cells.

Saroj Super Specialty Hospital, which caters medical services to the patients of north Delhi, has seen 10-15 per cent surge in patients of infections, skin problems, diarrhoea.

According to authorities at All India Institute of Medical Science, every monsoon the general medicine OPD witnesses 20-30 per cent surge in inflow of patients with infections.

On an average, city-based Sir Ganga Ram Hospital receives 20-30 patients with skin related infections during monsoon.

“Though rare, brucellosis is another type of infection which is more common among animals and can affect humans too.

Usually a human is infected when he consumes animal milk in unpasteurized form but during rainy seasons, the animal excreta mixes with the rainy water and when inhaled or injected into the human body (though involuntarily) infections can happen to affect the liver,” said Reema Khanna, a senior resident with the medicine department at Safdarjung hospital.

Stating that Vitamin C prevents infections to a great extent, Khanna said: “Human body does not synthesize Vitamin C and hence it is gained from external sources only.

Being water-soluble, it is excreted from the body and hence daily doses are necessary for the protection of the body from infections especially during monsoons.”