Cold remedies — do they work?

Does popping extra doses of Vitamin C or drinking gallons of orange juice help prevent or get rid of a cold?

Not necessarily, according to the Jan/Feb 2007 issue of the Nutrition Action Healthletter.

This article provides summaries of studies that have looked at the effectiveness of Vitamin C, Cold-Eeze, Cold-fx, Oscillococcinum, orange juice and Echinacea.

There’s also some good information in the article on what you should do once you catch a cold. According to cold expert Jack Gwaltney of the University of Virginia, “At the very first hint that a cold is starting, take a first-generation antihistamine and an NSAID every twelve hours and keep taking them even if you feel better.” He adds, “That won’t stop the cold, but it will lessen the symptoms.” Further information on this is available at www.commoncold.org.

Nutrition Action Healthletter is published by The Centre for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), a non-profit health-advocacy group.

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