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Home > Health Conditions > Colds/Flu


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  • If you want to protect yourself from the flu, you may want to try this natural remedy - 10News, 1/20/20 - "“No, you definitely want to have your flu shot, it’s just good to have as a backup,” Bradley said ... The doctor even takes it herself ... ”I have taken it and I have a bottle at home. And I recently had a friend who had influenza and the first thing I told her was, 'go to the doctor and take elderberry syrup,' ” she said" - Note:  It doesn't show any studies to back it up however, see elderberry syrup at Amazon.com and note all the 4.6 and 4.7 star ratings.
  • A high-fiber diet protects mice against the flu virus - Science Daily, 5/15/18 - "A high-fiber diet blunts harmful, excessive immune responses in the lungs while boosting antiviral immunity by activating T cells. These dual benefits were mediated by changes in the composition of gut bacteria, leading to an increase in the production of short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) through the microbial fermentation of dietary fiber ... Taken together with past studies, the new findings suggest that the modern Western diet consisting of food high in sugar and fat and low in fiber could increase susceptibility to inflammatory diseases while decreasing protection against infections"
  • Randomized, Double Blind and Placebo Controlled Study Using a Combination of Two Probiotic Lactobacilli to Alleviate Symptoms and Frequency of Common Cold - Food and Nutrition Sciences, 2013, 4, 13-20 - "Although the number of episodes was similar in both groups, cold episodes in the active group were significantly shorter than in the placebo group. The total sum scores of cold symptoms were significantly lower in the active group as compared with the placebo group, as well as in the intention-to-treat (ITT) as in the per-protocol (PP) collectives (ITT: 75.2 ± 40.3 vs. 113.4 ± 66.3" - [Nutra USA] - See probiotic products at Amazon.com.
  • Zinc acetate lozenges may increase the recovery rate from the common cold by three-fold - Science Daily, 5/11/17 - "According to a meta-analysis of three randomized controlled trials, zinc acetate lozenges may increase the rate of recovery from the common cold three fold. On the fifth day, 70 percent of the zinc lozenge patients had recovered compared with 27 percent of the placebo patients ... The dose of zinc in the three studies was between 80 to 92 mg/day ... Even though there is strong evidence that properly formulated zinc acetate lozenges can increase the rate of recovery from the common cold by 3 fold, many zinc lozenges on the market appear to have either too low doses of zinc or they contain substances that bind zinc ions, such as citric acid" - See zinc acetate lozenges at Amazon.com.
  • Common cold duration is shortened similarly by zinc acetate and zinc gluconate lozenges - Science Daily, 5/3/17 - "Three trials had used zinc acetate lozenges and found that colds were shortened on average by 40%. Four trials had used zinc gluconate lozenges and colds were shortened on average by 28%. The 12% difference between the average effects of the two kinds of lozenges was explained purely by random variation. Furthermore, one of the zinc gluconate lozenge trials was an outlier inconsistent with all the other six zinc lozenge trials. If that outlier trial was excluded, the difference between the three zinc acetate and the three zinc gluconate trials shrinked to just 2%, i.e., a 40% vs. 38% reduction in common cold duration. Thus, properly composed zinc gluconate lozenges may be as effective as zinc acetate lozenges"
  • Larger doses of vitamin C may lead to a greater reduction in common cold duration - Science Daily, 3/30/17 - "The dose-response relationship in these two trials was also quite linear up to the levels of 6-8 g/day, thus it is possible that even higher doses may lead to still greater reductions in the duration of common cold" - See American Health Products - Ester C W/Citrus Bioflavonoids, 1000 mg, 180 veg tablets at Amazon.com.
  • Vitamin D Tied to Lower Risk of Colds, Infections - WebMD, 2/16/17 - "The 12 percent reduction meant that 33 people would need to take vitamin D supplements to prevent one acute respiratory tract infection. The benefit of the supplements was greater among people who took daily or weekly vitamin D without additional large doses ... The protective effect of vitamin D supplements was strongest for those with severe vitamin D deficiency. In this group, only four people would need to take vitamin D supplements to prevent one acute respiratory infection" - See vitamin D at Amazon.com.
  • Zinc acetate lozenges may reduce the duration of the common cold by nearly 3 days, according to a recent analysis - Science Daily, 7/6/16 - "Zinc acetate lozenges may reduce the duration of the common cold by nearly 3 days ... Common cold patients should be encouraged to try zinc acetate lozenges not exceeding 100 mg of elemental zinc per day for treating their colds" - See zinc acetate lozenges at Amazon.com.
  • Garlic Lowers Blood Pressure in Hypertensive Individuals, Regulates Serum Cholesterol, and Stimulates Immunity: An Updated Meta-analysis and Review - J Nutr. 2016 Jan 13 - "Our updated meta-analysis on the effect of garlic on blood pressure, which included 20 trials with 970 participants, showed a mean ± SE decrease in systolic blood pressure (SBP) of 5.1 ± 2.2 mm Hg (P < 0.001) and a mean ± SE decrease in diastolic blood pressure (DBP) of 2.5 ± 1.6 mm Hg (P < 0.002) compared with placebo. Subgroup analysis of trials in hypertensive subjects (SBP/DBP ≥140/90 mm Hg) at baseline revealed a larger significant reduction in SBP of 8.7 ± 2.2 mm Hg (P < 0.001; n = 10) and in DBP of 6.1 ± 1.3 mm Hg (P < 0.001; n = 6). A previously published meta-analysis on the effect of garlic on blood lipids, which included 39 primary RCTs and 2300 adults treated for a minimum of 2 wk, suggested garlic to be effective in reducing total and LDL cholesterol by 10% if taken for >2 mo by individuals with slightly elevated concentrations [e.g., total cholesterol >200 mg/dL (>5.5 mmol/L)]. Garlic has immunomodulating effects by increasing macrophage activity, natural killer cells, and the production of T and B cells. Clinical trials have shown garlic to significantly reduce the number, duration, and severity of upper respiratory infections" - See garlic supplements at Amazon.com.
  • Getting less than 6 hours of sleep makes you 4x more likely to get a cold - Washington Post, 8/31/15 - "lack of sleep was the most important factor in predicting the likelihood of someone catching a cold, more so than age, stress levels and whether someone was a smoker, factors that were previously associated with a cold risk ... Available data suggests insufficient sleep disrupts the immune system and makes it less able to fight off a virus"
  • Ginseng Protects Against Respiratory Syncytial Virus by Modulating Multiple Immune Cells and Inhibiting Viral Replication - Nutrients. 2015 Feb 4;7(2):1021-1036 - "Ginseng has been used in humans for thousands of years but its effects on viral infection have not been well understood. We investigated the effects of red ginseng extract (RGE) on respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection using in vitro cell culture and in vivo mouse models ... Taken together, these results provide evidence that ginseng has protective effects against RSV infection through multiple mechanisms, which include improving cell survival, partial inhibition of viral replication and modulation of cytokine production and types of immune cells migrating into the lung" - See ginseng at Amazon.com and Cold FX, 300mg 168 Capsules at Amazon.com.
  • Bifidobacterium bifidum R0071 results in a greater proportion of healthy days and a lower percentage of academically stressed students reporting a day of cold/flu: a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study - Br J Nutr. 2015 Jan 21:1-9 - "B. bifidum resulted in a greater proportion of healthy days than placebo (P≤ 0·05). The percentage of participants reporting ≥ 1 d of cold/flu during the 6-week intervention period was significantly lower with B. bifidum than with placebo (P< 0·05) ... The proportion of participants reporting a cold on any given day was lower at weeks 2 and 3 with B. bifidum and B. infantis than with placebo for the average level of stress and the most commonly reported number of hours of sleep. Daily intake of bifidobacteria provides benefit related to cold/flu outcomes during acute stress" - See probiotic products at Amazon.com.
  • Improvement of common cold with Pycnogenol®: a Winter registry study - Panminerva Med. 2014 Dec;56(4):301-8 - "All subjects used the "best management" for colds and one group added Pycnogenol® capsules (50 mg, bid/die) from day zero. The resulting registry groups were comparable ... The number of days with a perceived cold affecting the patients was reduced in the supplement group (3.1;0.4 days) in comparison with controls (4.2;0.2). Lost working days were significantly decreased in the supplement group (0.55;0.3 versus 0.67;0.3 in controls). The need to use any other compound (on demand basis; OTC products) to manage symptoms and the occurrence of any clinically significant complications were significantly lower in the Pycnogenol® group ... Pycnogenol® supplementation appears to make regression faster for all symptoms in comparison with controls" - [Nutra USA] - See Pycnogenol at Amazon.com.
  • Vitamin C supplementation slightly improves physical activity levels and reduces cold incidence in men with marginal vitamin C status: a randomized controlled trial - Nutrients. 2014 Jul 9;6(7):2572-83 - "The early indications of vitamin C deficiency are unremarkable (fatigue, malaise, depression) and may manifest as a reduced desire to be physically active; moreover, hypovitaminosis C may be associated with increased cold duration and severity ... This study examined the impact of vitamin C on physical activity and respiratory tract infections during the peak of the cold season. Healthy non-smoking adult men (18-35 years; BMI < 34 kg/m2; plasma vitamin C < 45 µmol/L) received either 1000 mg of vitamin C daily (n = 15) or placebo (n = 13) in a randomized, double-blind, eight-week trial ... In the final two weeks of the trial, the physical activity score rose modestly for the vitamin C group vs. placebo after adjusting for baseline values: +39.6% (95% CI [-4.5,83.7]; p = 0.10). The number of participants reporting cold episodes was 7 and 11 for the vitamin C and placebo groups respectively during the eight-week trial (RR = 0.55; 95% CI [0.33,0.94]; p = 0.04) and cold duration was reduced 59% in the vitamin C versus placebo groups (-3.2 days; 95% CI [-7.0,0.6]; p = 0.06)" - See vitamin C products at Amazon.com.
  • Tamiflu reduces risk of death by 25 percent in adults hospitalised with H1N1 pandemic influenza - Science Daily, 3/18/14 - "NAIs should be started within 2 days of symptoms developing. The risk of death was halved when starting treatment within 48 hours of symptom onset compared with later treatment, or no antiviral treatment. Each day that starting antiviral treatment was delayed after 2 days from illness onset was associated with about a 20% increase in the risk of death compared with treatment started within 2 days" - See Tamiflu at IAS.
  • Immunomodulatory Activity of Red Ginseng against Influenza A Virus Infection - Nutrients. 2014 Jan 27;6(2):517-29 - "We investigated whether red ginseng extract (RGE) has preventive effects on influenza A virus infection in vivo and in vitro. RGE was found to improve survival of human lung epithelial cells upon influenza virus infection. Also, RGE treatment reduced the expression of pro-inflammatory genes (IL-6, IL-8) probably in part through interference with the formation of reactive oxygen species by influenza A virus infection. Long-term oral administration of mice with RGE showed multiple immunomodulatory effects such as stimulating antiviral cytokine IFN-γ production after influenza A virus infection. In addition, RGE administration in mice inhibited the infiltration of inflammatory cells into the bronchial lumens. Therefore, RGE might have the potential beneficial effects on preventing influenza A virus infections via its multiple immunomodulatory functions" - See ginseng at Amazon.com.
  • A Combination of High-dose Vitamin C Plus Zinc for the Common Cold - J Int Med Res. 2012;40(1):28-42 - "Vitamin C and zinc play important roles in nutrition, immune defence and maintenance of health. Intake of both is often inadequate, even in affluent populations ... After an overview of the literature on the effects of the separate administration of either vitamin C or zinc against the common cold, this article presents data from two preliminary, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trials, conducted with a combination of 1000 mg vitamin C plus 10 mg zinc in patients with the common cold. In both studies, a nonsignificant reduction of rhinorrhoea duration (range 9 - 27%) was seen. In pooled analyses of both studies (n = 94), vitamin C plus zinc was significantly more efficient than placebo at reducing rhinorrhoea over 5 days of treatment. Furthermore, symptom relief was quicker and the product was well tolerated"
  • Consumption of cranberry polyphenols enhances human gammadelta-T cell proliferation and reduces the number of symptoms associated with colds and influenza: a randomized, placebo-controlled intervention study - Nutr J. 2013 Dec 13;12(1):161 - "Subjects drank a low calorie cranberry beverage (450 ml) made with a juice-derived, powdered cranberry fraction (n = 22) or a placebo beverage (n = 23), daily, for 10 wk ... The proliferation index of gammadelta-T cells in culture was almost five times higher after 10 wk of cranberry beverage consumption (p <0.001). In the cranberry beverage group, the incidence of illness was not reduced, however significantly fewer symptoms of illness were reported" - See cranberry extract at Amazon.com.
  • Vitamin C is beneficial against the common cold, review suggests - Science Daily, 2/13/13 - "Regular doses of vitamin C of one gram per day or higher have reduced the average duration of colds in adults by 8% and in children by 18%" - See vitamin C at Amazon.com.
  • Baker's Yeast Beta-Glucan Supplement Reduces Upper Respiratory Symptoms and Improves Mood State in Stressed Women - J Am Coll Nutr. 2012 Aug;31(4):295-300 - "Several studies have shown a baker's yeast beta-1,3/1,6-d-glucan, extracted from Saccharomyces cerevisiae, is effective in reducing the incidence of cold and flu symptoms. This study evaluated the effect of a specific beta-glucan supplement (Wellmune) on upper respiratory tract symptoms and psychological well-being in women with moderate levels of psychological stress ... Healthy women (38 +/- 12 years old) prescreened for moderate levels of psychological stress, self-administered a placebo (n = 38) or 250 mg of Wellmune (n = 39) daily for 12 weeks ... Subjects in the Wellmune group reported fewer upper respiratory symptoms compared to placebo (10% vs 29%), better overall well-being (global mood state: 99 +/- 19 vs 108 +/- 23, p < 0.05), and superior mental/physical energy levels (vigor: 19.9 +/- 4.7 vs 15.8 +/- 6.3, p < 0.05)" - See beta-glucan products at iHerb.
  • Do herbal flu treatments work? - Fox News Video, 1/13/13 - "Herbal Treatments for flu: echinacea, elderberry, ginger, Andrographis, boneset. "The only one that comes close to Tamiflu is Andrographis, which shortens the period that people suffer from flu symptoms."" - See Andrographis products at iHerb.
  • Probiotics are secret weapon for fighting symptoms of the common cold in college students, study suggests - Science Daily, 10/22/12 - "randomized 198 college students aged 18 to 25 and living on-campus in residence halls at Framingham State University in Massachusetts. Groups received either a placebo (97 students) or a powder blend containing Chr. Hansen's probiotic strains BB-12® and LGG® (101 students) for 12 weeks. Each day, students completed a survey to assess the effect of the probiotic supplementation ... The study found that while all students caught colds at roughly the same rate, the students who took the probiotic supplementation experienced: ... A duration of colds that was two days shorter (four days vs. six days) ... Symptoms that were 34% less severe and ... A higher quality of life that resulted in fewer missed school days (15 vs. 34 missed by students taking the placebo) ... consumers need to read the label to be sure that the product contains Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG [LGG] and Bifidobacterium animalis lactis BB12 [BB12]. There also are some yogurts that contain LGG and/or BB12 but check the labels, since companies change the probiotics strains often" - See probiotic products at Amazon.com.
  • Effect of Lactobacillus rhamnosus LGG® and Bifidobacterium animalis ssp. lactis BB-12® on health-related quality of life in college students affected by upper respiratory infections - Br J Nutr. 2012 Oct 1:1-9 - "College students are susceptible to upper respiratory infections (URI) due to inadequate sleep, stress and close living quarters. Certain probiotic strains modulate immune function and may improve health-related quality of life (HRQL) during URI ... randomised to receive placebo (n 117) or probiotic-containing powder (daily dose of minimum 1 billion colony-forming units of each Lactobacillus rhamnosus LGG® (LGG®) and Bifidobacterium animalis ssp. lactis BB-12® (BB-12®); n 114) for 12 weeks ... The median duration of URI was significantly shorter by 2 d and median severity score was significantly lower by 34 % with probiotics v. placebo (P < 0.001), indicating a higher HRQL during URI. Number of missed work days was not different between groups (P = 0.429); however, the probiotics group missed significantly fewer school days (mean difference = 0.2 d) compared to the placebo group (P = 0.002). LGG® and BB-12® may be beneficial among college students with URI for mitigating decrements in HRQL" - See probiotic products at Amazon.com.
  • Immunoprotective effects of oral intake of heat-killed Lactobacillus pentosus strain b240 in elderly adults: a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial - Br J Nutr. 2012 Sep 5:1-10 - "Oral intake of Lactobacillus pentosus strain b240 (b240) has been shown to enhance the secretion of salivary secretory IgA in elderly adults ... 300 eligible elderly adults were randomly allocated to one of three groups, namely a placebo, low-dose or high-dose b240 group. Participants in the low-dose and high-dose b240 groups were given tablets containing 2 × 109 or 2 × 1010 cells, respectively, of heat-killed b240, while those in the placebo group were given tablets without b240. Each group consumed their respective tablets once daily for 20 weeks ... The accumulated incidence rate of the common cold was 47.3, 34.8 and 29.0 % for the placebo, low-dose b240 and high-dose b240 groups, respectively (P for trend = 0.012). Lower incidence rates were consistently observed throughout the experimental period in the b240 groups (log-rank test, P = 0.034). General health perception, as determined by the SF-36®, dose-dependently increased in the b240 groups (P for trend = 0.016). In conclusion, oral intake of b240 significantly reduced the incidence rate of the common cold in elderly adults, indicating that b240 might be useful in improving resistance against infection through mucosal immunity" - Note:  I calculate that as a 39% reduction in colds [(47.3 - 29)/47.3] = .39 - See Garden of Life, Primal Defense at Amazon.com.
  • Vitamin D may protect against viral infections during the winter - Science Daily, 4/30/12 - "insufficient levels of vitamin D are related to a deficiency in our innate immune defenses that protect us from infections, neoplasias or autoimmune diseases. Since vitamin D levels decrease during autumn and winter when days are shorter and sunlight is relatively weak, this may explain why people are more prone to viral infection during these times. It also suggests that increased vitamin D intake, especially in older populations, could strengthen people's innate immunity against viral infections ... the researchers compared the changes in the blood levels of vitamin D among three groups of healthy subjects: young (age range: 20-30), middle (age range: 31-59), and elderly (age range: 60-86). They found decreased levels of vitamin D with aging, prompting researchers to compare whether such changes kept any relationship with toll-like receptor (TLR) expression measured on lymphocytes and monocytes and function after in vitro stimulation with specific ligands for each of the nine human TLRs and measurement of effector molecules, such as proinflammatory cytokines. Specifically, they found that the TRL most affected by a vitamin D insufficiency is TLR7, which regulates the immune response against viruses" - See vitamin D at Amazon.com.
  • Supplementation with aged garlic extract improves both NK and γδ-T cell function and reduces the severity of cold and flu symptoms: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled nutrition intervention - Clin Nutr. 2012 Jan 24 - "After 45 d of consuming an encapsulated aged garlic extract, γδ-T cells (p = 0.039, n = 56) and NK cells (p = 0.043, n = 56) were shown to proliferate better compared to placebo. After 90 d of supplementation, illness diary entries showed that the incidence of colds and flu, a secondary outcome, were not statistically different; however, the group consuming the aged garlic extract appeared to have reduced severity as noted by a reduction in the number of symptoms reported (21% fewer, p < 0.001, z-test of proportions), a reduction in the number of days (61% fewer, p < 0.001, z-test) and incidences (58% fewer p < 0.001, z-test) where the subjects functioned sub-optimally and the number of work/school days missed due to illness (58% fewer, p = 0.035, z-test) ... These results suggest that supplementation of the diet with aged garlic extract may enhance immune cell function and that this may be responsible, in part, for reduced severity of colds and flu" - See garlic supplements at Amazon.com.
  • Aged garlic reduces cold and flu severity: RCT data - Nutra USA, 1/26/12 - "Supplements of an aged garlic extract may reduce the number of days a person suffers from cold and ‘flu by 61% ... Ninety days of consuming the garlic supplement also produced a 21% reduction in the number of symptoms of colds or flu" - [Abstract] - See garlic supplements at Amazon.com.
  • 7 easy ways to boost your immune system - MSNBC, 11/12/11 - "Cook with olive and canola oils ... Research shows that people who consume disproportionately more 6s (found in the soybean oil used in most processed snack foods) than 3s are at higher risk for inflammation and immune system problems"
  • Evaluation of the immune benefits of two probiotic strains Bifidobacterium animalis ssp. lactis, BB-12® and Lactobacillus paracasei ssp. paracasei, L. casei 431® in an influenza vaccination model: a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study - Br J Nutr. 2011 Sep 7:1-9 - "The present study investigated the ability of Bifidobacterium animalis ssp. lactis (BB-12®) and Lactobacillus paracasei ssp. paracasei (L. casei 431®) to modulate the immune system using a vaccination model in healthy subjects. A randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group study was conducted in 211 subjects (56 % females, mean age 33.2 (sd 13.1) years). Subjects consumed a minimum of 109 colony-forming units of BB-12® (capsule) or L. casei 431® (dairy drink) or a matching placebo once daily for 6 weeks. After 2 weeks, a seasonal influenza vaccination was given. Plasma and saliva samples were collected at baseline and after 6 weeks for the analysis of antibodies, cytokines and innate immune parameters. Changes from baseline in vaccine-specific plasma IgG, IgG1 and IgG3 were significantly greater in both probiotic groups v. the corresponding placebo group (L. casei 431®, P = 0.01 for IgG; P < 0.001 for remaining comparisons). The number of subjects obtaining a substantial increase in specific IgG (defined as ≥ 2-fold above baseline) was significantly greater in both probiotic groups v. placebo (BB-12®, P < 0.001 for IgG, IgG1 and IgG3; L. casei 431®, P < 0.001 for IgG1 and IgG3). Significantly greater mean fold increases for vaccine-specific secretory IgA in saliva were observed in both probiotic groups v. placebo (BB-12®, P = 0.017; L. casei 431®, P = 0.035). Similar results were observed for total antibody concentrations. No differences were found for plasma cytokines or innate immune parameters. Data herein show that supplementation with BB-12® or L. casei 431® may be an effective means to improve immune function by augmenting systemic and mucosal immune responses to challenge" - See probiotics at Amazon.com.
  • Zinc lozenges may shorten common cold duration, Finnish research suggests - Science Daily, 7/26/11 - "Dr. Harri Hemila of the University of Helsinki, Finland, carried out a meta-analysis of all the placebo-controlled trials that have examined the effect of zinc lozenges on natural common cold infections. Of the 13 trial comparisons identified, five used a total daily zinc dose of less than 75 mg and uniformly those five comparisons found no effect of zinc. Three trials used zinc acetate in daily doses of over 75 mg, with the average indicating a 42% reduction in the duration of colds. Five trials used zinc salts other than acetate in daily doses of over 75 mg, with the average indicating a 20% decrease in the duration of colds"
  • Zinc reduces the burden of the common cold - Science Daily, 2/15/11 - "In total, data from 15 trials, involving 1,360 people, were included. According to the results, zinc syrup, lozenges or tablets taken within a day of the onset of cold symptoms reduce the severity and length of illness. At seven days, more of the patients who took zinc had cleared their symptoms compared to those who took placebos. Children who took zinc syrup or lozenges for five months or longer caught fewer colds and took less time off school. Zinc also reduced antibiotic use in children, which is important because overuse has implications for antibiotic resistance" - See Jarrow Zinc Balance at Amazon.com (taking zinc alone may cause a copper deficiency).
  • Biothera's beta-glucan ingredient may reduce cold/flu incidence - Nutra USA, 10/8/10 - "Only 10 percent of women receiving supplements of Biothera’s Wellmune WGP branded ingredient reported upper respiratory tract infection symptoms, such as sore throat, stuffy or runny nose, and cough, compared with 29 percent of women in the control group" - See beta-glucan products at iHerb.
  • Probiotics show potential against common cold: Study - Nutra USA 9/21/10 - "daily consumption of Lactobacillus plantarum HEAL 9 (DSM 15312) and Lactobacillus paracasei 8700:2 (DSM 13434) reduced the incidence of one or more episodes of the common cold from 67 percent in the placebo group to 55 percent, according to findings published in the European Journal of Nutrition ... Furthermore, the number of days of symptoms for the cold was significantly reduced in people taking the probiotic supplements, from an average of 8.6 to 6.2, compared with placebo ... the total symptom score was reduced during the study period from a mean of 44.4 for the control group to 33.6 for the probiotic group" - [Abstract] - See probiotics at Amazon.com.
  • Randomised, double-blind and placebo-controlled study using new probiotic lactobacilli for strengthening the body immune defence against viral infections - Eur J Nutr. 2010 Aug 28 - "The incidence of acquiring one or more common cold episode was reduced from 67% in the control group to 55% in the probiotic group (p < 0.05). Also, the number of days with common cold symptoms were significantly (p < 0.05) reduced from 8.6 days in the control group to 6.2 days, in the probiotic group, during the 12-week period. The total symptom score was reduced during the study period from a mean of 44.4 for the control group to 33.6 for the probiotic group. The reduction in pharyngeal symptoms was significant (p < 0.05). In addition, the proliferation of B lymphocytes was significantly counteracted in the probiotic group (p < 0.05) in comparison with the control group" - See probiotics at Amazon.com.
  • Vitamin D May Cut Risk of Flu - WebMD, 6/16/10 - "people who maintain vitamin D blood levels of 38 nanograms per milliliter or more are less likely to get viral infections such as flu than people with less in their blood ... Of 18 people who maintained that level during the study period, only three developed viral infect ... But of the 180 other participants with less vitamin D in their blood, 81(45%), did get sick with viral infections ... And those with higher levels of vitamin D also experienced a marked reduction in the number of days they were ill" - See vitamin D at Amazon.com.
  • Reducing the risk of infection in the elderly by dietary intake of yoghurt fermented with Lactobacillus delbrueckii ssp. bulgaricus OLL1073R-1 - Br J Nutr. 2010 May 21:1-9 - "90 g yoghurt or drink 100 ml milk once per d over an 8- or 12-week period. A meta-analysis of the results of these two independent studies showed the risk of catching the common cold was about 2.6 times lower (OR 0.39; P = 0.019) in the yoghurt group than in the milk group and the increase of natural killer cell activity was significantly higher in the yoghurt group than in the milk group" - See Yogourmet Electric Yogurt Maker at Amazon.com.
  • Vitamin D shows promise against seasonal ‘flu: Study - Nutra USA, 4/1/10 - "daily supplements of vitamin D3 reduced the influence of seasonal ‘flu (influenza A) by over 40 per cent ... The benefits of vitamin D supplementation were even more noticeable in children who had low levels of vitamin D at the start of the study, with a 74 per cent reduction in the incidence of ‘flu observed" - [Abstract] - See vitamin D at Amazon.com.
  • Randomized trial of vitamin D supplementation to prevent seasonal influenza A in schoolchildren - Am J Clin Nutr. 2010 Mar 10 - "Influenza A occurred in 18 of 167 (10.8%) children in the vitamin D(3) group compared with 31 of 167 (18.6%) children in the placebo group [relative risk (RR), 0.58; 95% CI: 0.34, 0.99; P = 0.04]. The reduction in influenza A was more prominent in children who had not been taking other vitamin D supplements (RR: 0.36; 95% CI: 0.17, 0.79; P = 0.006) and who started nursery school after age 3 y (RR: 0.36; 95% CI: 0.17, 0.78; P = 0.005). In children with a previous diagnosis of asthma, asthma attacks as a secondary outcome occurred in 2 children receiving vitamin D(3) compared with 12 children receiving placebo (RR: 0.17; 95% CI: 0.04, 0.73; P = 0.006)" - See vitamin D at Amazon.com.
  • Are hand sanitizers better than handwashing against the common cold? - Science Daily, 3/24/10 - "Results showed that the ethanol hand sanitizer removed approximately 80% of detectable rhinovirus from hands and was much more effective than no treatment, water alone, or soap and water. Soap and water removed rhinovirus from 31% of hands"
  • Hand sanitizer: How it protects you - CNN, 11/27/09 - "up to 80 percent of all infections get spread by hands ... Hand sanitizers are effective against both bacteria and viruses ... The sanitizer works on contact, meaning it's only effective on the parts of your hands that it touches. That means if you miss a spot between your fingers, there could still be viruses or bacteria in that place" - Click here for Purell dispensers.
  • Previous seasonal flu infections may provide some level of H1N1 immunity - Science Daily, 11/16/09 - "What we have found is that the swine flu has similarities to the seasonal flu, which appear to provide some level of pre-existing immunity. This suggests that it could make the disease less severe in the general population than originally feared ... "We found that the immune system's T cells can recognize a significant percent of the markers in swine flu." T cells are infection-fighting white blood cells in the body's immune system. "Nobody knows what level of immunity is sufficient for protection. We do know that a T cell response is not enough to prevent being infected by the virus. But, if infected, our data suggests that T cells in those who have previously been exposed to influenza may make the infection less severe," ... In a normal flu season, influenza infects as much as 20 percent of the U.S. population, causes more than 200,000 hospitalizations and kills about 36,000 people"
  • Scientists Discover Influenza's Achilles Heel: Antioxidants - Science Daily, 10/29/09 - "antioxidants -- the same substances found in plant-based foods -- might hold the key in preventing the flu virus from wreaking havoc on our lungs"
  • Probiotics may reduce cold and 'flu symptoms for children - Nutra USA, 7/30/09 - "A daily supplement of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium strains may reduce the incidence of cold and 'flu-like symptoms in children by 50 per cent ... A combination of the two strains was linked to reductions in fever incidence by 73 per cent, a reduction in the occurrence of runny noses by 59 per cent, and drop in the incidence of coughing by 62 per cent" - [Abstract] - See probiotics at Amazon.com.
  • Probiotic Effects on Cold and Influenza-Like Symptom Incidence and Duration in Children - PEDIATRICS Vol. 124 No. 2 August 2009, pp. e172-e179 - "Relative to the placebo group, single and combination probiotics reduced fever incidence by 53.0% (P = .0085) and 72.7% (P = .0009), coughing incidence by 41.4% (P = .027) and 62.1% (P = .005), and rhinorrhea incidence by 28.2% (P = .68) and 58.8% (P = .03), respectively. Fever, coughing, and rhinorrhea duration was decreased significantly, relative to placebo, by 32%" - See probiotics at Amazon.com.
  • Certain Zinc-based Cold Remedies Linked To Loss Of Sense Of Smell, FDA Says - Science Daily, 6/18/09 - "The FDA has received more than 130 reports of loss of sense of smell associated with the use of these three Zicam products" - Seems like Zicam has been around over ten years and at least 20 million people must have used it by now.  130/20,000,000 = 0.0000065 or one chance in 154,000.  Seems like it could have been due to chance.  People worried about those odds might not want to drive to work.  36,000 people in the U.S. die from the flu each year (360,000 in ten years).  Maybe the reduction in flu severity provided by the Zicam would have been enough to save 130 of them.  Sometimes I think the FDA gets carried away.  We've probably had more problems with peanut allergies so maybe peanuts should be outlawed.
  • Low Vitamin D Levels Linked to Colds - WebMD, 2/23/09 - "those with the lowest vitamin D levels (less than 10 nanograms per milliliter of blood) were 36% more likely to report having a recent upper respiratory tract infection than those with higher levels (30 ng/mL or higher) ... people with asthma with the lowest vitamin D levels were five times more likely to have had a recent respiratory infection. Among those with COPD, recent respiratory infections were twice as common among those with lowest vitamin D levels" - See vitamin D at Amazon.com.
  • Good Night’s Sleep Puts Colds to Bed - WebMD, 1/12/09
  • Substance Found In Fruits And Vegetables Reduces Likelihood Of The Flu - Science Daily, 0/3/08 - "Mice that exercised and took quercetin had nearly the same rate of illness as those that did not exercise. In other words, quercetin canceled out the negative effect of stressful exercise ... Although this study was done with mice, a recent human study found that people who took quercetin suffered fewer illnesses following three days of exhaustive exercise compared to those who did not" - See quercetin at Amazon.com.
  • Does Honey Relieve Cough in Children? - Medscape, 5/8/08 - "On a 6-point scale, subjects who received honey reported an average improvement of 1.89 points in cough frequency, compared with 1.39 points for DM subjects and 0.92 points for "no treatment" subjects. Parental assessment of the child's sleep improved by 2.49 points for honey patients, by 1.79 points for DM patients, and by 1.57 points for no treatment patients"
  • Zinc Reduces Common Cold Symptoms - Medscape, 4/17/08 - "The participants took one zinc acetate lozenge containing 13.3 mg of zinc or placebo every 2-3 hours while awake ... The average duration of cold symptoms (including cough, nasal discharge, and muscle ache) was significantly shorter in the zinc group (4.0 days) than in the placebo group (7.1 days) ... By day 4, 56% of the zinc group had complete resolution of their colds, whereas none of the placebo group was free of cold symptoms on day 4"
  • Probiotic Cuts Respiratory Illness Rates In Endurance Athletes, Study Suggests - Science Daily, 2/18/08 - "The probiotic Lactobacillus substantially cuts the rate and length of respiratory illness in professional long distance runners ... athletes taking the probiotic had less than half the number of days of symptoms of their colleagues taking the placebo ... Respiratory symptoms while taking Lactobacillus lasted 30 days compared with 72 days while taking the placebo" - [Nutra USA] - See my favorite Garden of Life Primal Defense HSO Probiotic Formula at Amazon.com.
  • Honey May Soothe Kids' Coughs - WebMD, 12/3/07 - "Honey ranked highest, followed by dextromethorphan, and the placebo was in last place in terms of cough relief ... honey's slim lead over dextromethorphan may have been due to chance"
  • Study: Echinacea Cuts Colds by Half - WebMD, 6/26/07
  • Lancet: Echinacea does fight colds - USA Today, 6/25/07 - "the popular herbal supplement echinacea cuts the chance of catching a cold by 58% and can reduce the duration of colds by about a day and a half" - See echinacea goldenseal at Amazon.com.
  • Moderate Exercise May Lower Cold Risk - WebMD, 10/26/06
  • The prophylactic and therapeutic effectiveness of zinc sulphate on common cold in children - Acta Paediatr. 2006 Oct;95(10):1175-81 - "Compared to the placebo group, the zinc group had shorter mean duration of cold symptoms and decreased total severity scores for cold symptoms"
  • Working out may help prevent colds, flu - MSNBC, 1/17/06 - "moderate amounts of aerobic exercise such as jogging, brisk walking and cycling during the cold and flu season boost the body’s defenses against viruses and bacteria"
  • Immune-Enhancing Role of Vitamin C and Zinc and Effect on Clinical Conditions - Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism 2006;50:85-94 - "These trials document that adequate intakes of vitamin C and zinc ameliorate symptoms and shorten the duration of respiratory tract infections including the common cold"
  • 'Good' Bacteria: Good for Colds? - WebMD, 11/7/05
  • Workers On Daily Probiotics Less Likely To Take Time Off Sick - Science Daily, 11/7/05 - "workers who took a daily dose of the probiotic bacteria Lactobacillus reuteri were 2.5 times less likely to take sick leave than workers who took a placebo"
  • Anti-cold, Anti-flu Product Cuts Recurrent Colds By More Than Half, Study Shows - Science Daily, 10/25/05
  • Ginseng for Gesundheit? Latest Study on Colds - WebMD, 10/24/05 - "one in 10 people in the ginseng group reported having two or more colds that winter, compared with about 23% of those taking the placebo ... Colds lasted about 11 days for the ginseng group and 16.5 days for the placebo group"
  • Effect of a dietary supplement containing probiotic bacteria plus vitamins and minerals on common cold infections and cellular immune parameters - Int J Clin Pharmacol Ther. 2005 Jul;43(7):318-26 - "These data indicate that the intake of a dietary supplement containing probiotic bacteria plus vitamins and minerals during a period of at least three months in winter/spring may reduce the incidence and the severity of symptoms in common cold infections in otherwise healthy adults. This may be due to stimulated cellular immunity"
  • Vitamin C May Not Fight the Common Cold - WebMD, 6/28/05
  • Resveratrol could prevent ‘flu epidemics - Nutra USA, 5/24/05
  • Boost In Immune Response Fights Common Cold - Science Daily, 4/24/05 - "Nursing facility residents who consumed 200 International Units (IUs) of vitamin E daily for one year were less likely to get the sniffles than those who took a placebo ... those who took the moderate supplements were 20 percent less likely to contract upper respiratory infections, such as colds"
  • Efficacy of Zinc Against the Common Cold Virus - Medscape, 11/23/04 - "Clinical trial data support the value of zinc in reducing the duration and severity of symptoms of the common cold when administered within 24 hours of the onset of common cold symptoms"
  • Vitamin E May Prevent Common Cold - WebMD, 8/17/04 - "Participants in the vitamin E group who completed the study had significantly fewer common colds and a 20% lower risk of acquiring a cold than those in the placebo group"
  • Bugged by a Bad Cold? - Dr. Weil, 5/24/04
  • The Herbal Way To Keep Flu at Bay - WebMD, 12/12/03 - ""Astragalus is an immune-enhancing herb to ward off flu," Weil says ... I also use a mushroom product called Host Defense, an extract of seven mushrooms ... I think it is useful to be on a good multivitamin, multimineral supplement" - See iHerb Host Defense products.
  • Positive Attitude Fights the Common Cold - WebMD, 7/22/03
  • New Weapon Against Colds? - Dr. Weil, 7/8/03
  • Vitamin C May Fight Colds After All - WebMD, 3/12/03 - "12 healthy subjects who took one gram of vitamin C a day for two weeks showed a boosted immune system response during that time ... in two of them, the response to vitamin C took place within five hours ... this might mean that taking a vitamin C tablet at the first sign of a cold could achieve an effect quickly enough to ward off that cold"
  • Zinc Spray Shortens Colds - Physician's Weekly, 1/27/03 - "Zicam, an over-the-counter nasal spray, cuts the length of a cold by anywhere between 1.5 to 3 days, according to a new study from The Cleveland Clinic Foundation" - See See drugstore.com Zicam productsicon.
  • Zinc Spray Shortens Colds - WebMD, 1/7/03 - "patients using Zicam, an over-the-counter nasal spray, cut the length of their colds an average of 1.5 days compared with those treated with a placebo. However, some patients slashed their cold duration in half -- from six days to only three" - See Zicam at drugstore.com icon.
  • Soothing Sore Throat? - Dr. Weil, 12/6/02
  • Zinc Gluconate Reduces Cold Duration And Frequency In Children - Doctor's Guide, 11/14/02 - "Subjects taking the zinc gluconate glycine lozenges [Cold-Eeze] showed shorter cold duration than non-users: 7.5 and 9.0 days respectively. Further, 4.1 percent of those taking the lozenge needed concomitant antibiotics compared to 36.2 percent of non-users. Prophylaxis with the lozenge reduced the median annual number of colds from 1.3 in non-users to 0.0 among the lozenge users" - I've got that via my drugstore.com affiliate.  See Cold-Eezeicon.  Now might be a good time to stock up on Zicamicon so that you can use it at the first symptoms of a cold.
  • Exercise, Supplements Boost Flu Shots - WebMD, 10/3/02
  • Exercise May Reduce Risk Of Colds - Intelihealth, 8/26/02
  • Alternative Remedies for Fighting a Cold - WebMD, 2/27/02 - "chicken soup not only helps break up nasal congestion, but many recipes include garlic, which has antibiotic properties ... Drink plenty of water ... help to clear the sinuses ... most cough syrup was extracted from the bark of the wild cherry tree ... garlic, ginger, and goldenseal. These herbs and spices have antiviral, antiseptic, or antibiotic properties ..."
  • Natural cures for the common cold? - CNN, 2/13/01 - "a zinc nasal spray called Zicam, showed very promising results in a study of 213 patients published in ENT, the Ear, Nose and Throat journal. Symptoms were reduced by as much as 75 percent." - see Zicam

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