Saturday, March 29, 2014

How Do You Stave Off a Cold?

by Walter Green

1. Get Sufficient Sleep
2. Wash Your Hands Often
3. Don't Smoke or Drink
4. Get Steamed Up and Moving
5. Eat Chicken Soup
6. Get More Sunshine or Vitamin D

  • Vitamin C: The jury is still out on Vitamin C's role against colds; a review of studies with 11,000 total participants found 200mg or more of vitamin C a day didn't reduce the risk of getting a cold, though it reduced the duration by just a few hours.P
  • Echinacea: Likewise, studies are mixed for echinacea, possibly due to differences in the echinacea plants used and their preparation. The largest study of echinacea found a placebo worked as well as the herb for preventing a cold.P
  • Zinc: A recent review of 15 studies did find zinc lozenges or syrup can shorten colds by one day if the person takes the zinc within 24 hours of getting cold symptoms. However, the quality of the studies has been questioned and further research is still needed. Duvauchelle points to a meta-analysis published in Oxford's "Clinical Infectious Diseases" medical journal; over 14 placebo-controlled studies of zinc combatting the common cold, 7 showed positive effect and 7 showed no effects.P
  • Saline nasal spray: Can provide relief from congestion, but won't make a cold disappear or keep from invading your body.P
  • Over-the-counter cold medications and antihistamines: As with saline spray, they might make you feel better, but won't prevent a cold or shorten how long a cold lasts.P
  • Antibiotics also don't work on colds, because a cold is a virus while antibiotics only work on bacterial infections.P
  • Increased exposure to people with colds: I wondered if doctors and other people who are often around sick people (e.g., teachers) build up their immunity by exposure, but Dr. Adalja said, not really. There are too many variants of the cold virus that you couldn't really build your immunity to all of them.   Read More at

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