Showing posts with label Common Cold. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Common Cold. Show all posts

Feb 24, 2017

Zinc and Colds

It is one of the few ingredients linked to shortening a cold. Unlike Vitamin C, which studies have found likely does nothing to prevent or treat the common cold, zinc may actually be worth it. The mineral seems to interfere with the replication of rhinoviruses, the bugs that cause the common cold.

In a 2011 review of studies of people who recently became ill, researchers looked at those who started taking zinc and compared them with those who just took a placebo. The ones on the zinc had shorter colds and less severe symptoms.

Oct 11, 2013

Vitamin C Myth Lingers

As we approach the cold and flu season, I thought it might be interesting to follow up on the persistent vitamin C myth of using it as a prevention and cure for the common cold. Some people have also claimed it to be a cure for cancer.

Hundreds of studies have now concluded that vitamin C does not treat the common cold. The results of many studies of various types, involving hundreds of thousands of people from around the world have all arrived at the same conclusion - vitamin C has no effect to prevent or cure colds or cancer.

The FDA, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Medical Association, the American Dietetic Association, the Center for Human Nutrition at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and the Department of Health and Human Services do not recommend supplemental vitamin C for the prevention or treatment of colds. Vitamin C does have other benefits and the studies did not say vitamin C is bad for you, it just does not provide the cancer and common cold remedies claimed.

Oct 9, 2012

Flu Season

It is that time of year again when the flu bugs invade and many people get the flu or a cold. Most viruses last a week or less, while others last for weeks. There is no cure, due to the many varieties of viruses.

The name “common cold” came into use in the 1500s, because its symptoms seemed to appear in cold weather. Of course, we now know that a common cold is not limited to cold weather. It seems more prevalent, because people spend more time indoors in close proximity to each other and sharing the virus.

Good news, kissing reduces levels of the stress hormone cortisol, thereby lowering blood pressure and optimizing immune response. Also, kissing a person with a cold will not cause you to catch it. The quantity of virus on the lips and mouth are miniscule.

Zinc, echinacea, vitamin C, garlic, eucalyptus, honey, lemon, menthol, steam, hot toddies, alcohol, Zicam, chicken soup, and many other “cures” have been repeatedly tested and have been scientifically proven to not prevent or shorten the duration of a cold. At best they provide some physical relief.

Flu shots are designed to prevent the most common types of virus. Most are effective for only those types.

Antibiotics do not cure a cold as they work on bacteria and most colds are caused by virus. However, if it is bacterial, such as half of pneumonia strains, it does help. Bacterial pneumonia usually comes on suddenly and viral types take some time to develop.

Oct 7, 2011

Vitamin C Facts

It has been talked about as a cure-all for everything from preventing colds and AIDS to curing cancer. The death of its biggest proponent and Nobel prize winner in Chemistry (not medicine), Linus Pauling died of cancer. Reminds me of the eye doctor on TV pushing his weight loss pills.

Vitamin C, ascorbic acid, does slow down and prevent some cell damage. It really does prevent scurvy and anemia. It is essential for the repair of bones and teeth. It helps to produce collagen and cells are held together by collagen. Collagen is found in your skin, bones, ligaments, tendons, liver, cartilage, bone marrow and blood vessels.

Occurrence of cataracts, hay fever, and asthma can be reduced, to some extent, with daily doses of the vitamin and its role in reducing common cold is known, but sometimes debated about dosage required. The body eliminates vitamin C rapidly, so it is better to take a lesser amount more often to keep it in your body.

it is not usually mentioned, but meat and potatoes both contain vitamin C. It is a preservative that can be used in jams and pickles. Kiwi has almost twice as much vitamin C as an orange.

Too much Vitamin C can cause kidney stones and also cause diarrhea.

Jul 16, 2010

Common Cold

I 'caught a cold' a few weeks back, (actually it turned out to be pneumonia, contracted from a visit to the doctor and it is gone now). Anyway, it started me thinking about where the name 'common cold' came from.

The name "common cold" came into use in the 1500s, because its symptoms seemed to appear in cold weather. Of course, we now know that a common cold is not limited to cold weather. It seems more prevalent, because people spend more time indoors in close proximity to each other, sharing the virus.

It is difficult to catch a cold by eating something infected with cold virus. The secretions of the mouth tend to kill the virus and any that survive end up in the stomach where gastric juices quickly destroy them. Also, kissing a person with a cold will not cause you to catch it. The quantity of virus on the lips and mouth are miniscule.

There is no cure, due to the hundreds of varieties of viruses, but many medicines can mask the symptoms until it runs its course, usually a week or less. People are most infectious during the first 24 hours, even if the symptoms have not begun to show.

Zinc, echinacea, vitamin C, garlic, eucalyptus, honey, lemon, menthol, steam, hot toddies, alcohol, Zicam, chicken soup, and many other "cures" have been repeatedly tested and have been scientifically proven to not prevent or shorten the duration of a cold. At best they provide some physical relief. People believe these are effective because of the varied nature of colds. Some viruses only last a few days, while others last for weeks.

Flu shots are designed to prevent the most common type of virus and are effective for only that type. Antibiotics do not cure a cold as they work on bacteria and most colds are caused by virus. However, if it is bacterial, such as half of pneumonia strains, it does help. Bacterial pneumonia usually comes on suddenly and viral types take some time to develop.

Imagine a person with a four-day form of cold. If he does nothing he will be well in four days, but he immediately drinks a gallon of orange juice. A couple of days later he feels great and tells everyone that the vitamin C in the juice killed his cold. His story quickly spreads and everyone starts drinking orange juice. The vitamin C didn't cure it.

On the other hand, people who try a cure and find that it doesn't work aren't as likely to report it, because most folks do not brag about failures. Human nature and the variability of the cold virus create a situation where beliefs in cold cures persist in spite of overwhelming scientific evidence to the contrary.