Fighting the common cold

Photo by Evah Smit

Photo by Evah Smit

Although there is no cure for the common cold, patients should be proactive even before symptoms first appear to prevent infection, recover more quickly, reduce the severity of symptoms, and prevent the spread of the contagion. Frequent hand-washing and use of facial tissues with antiviral agents will help prevent the spread of the infection. In addition, take the following steps (especially during cold season):

  • Eat properly.
  • Get plenty of rest.
  • Drink at least 8 to 10 glasses of fluids a day to avoid dehydration, keep mucous membranes moist, and loosen mucus.
  • Abstain from alcohol because it reduces the body’s ability to fight infection.
  • Avoid smoking and smoky places.
  • Use mild pain relievers with anti-inflammatory properties, such as ibuprofen, to reduce aches and pains.
  • Use saline-based, over-the-counter nose drops to relieve a stuffy nose.
  • Use a cool-mist humidifier to keep nasal passages moist. Change the water daily to avoid buildup of molds.

A number of nutrients should also be considered, beginning when symptoms first appear, or when exposure to cold viruses is elevated (for example, when a member of the household is sick). These nutrients include:

  • Vitamin C—1 to 10 grams (g) daily, in divided doses, up to bowel tolerance
  • Zinc gluconate—one lozenge (5 to 15 mg) every 2 hours (while awake)
  • A. membranaceus—300 mg a day or 4 to 7 g in powder form
  • N-acetyl cysteine—600 mg two times daily with vitamin C
  • Melatonin—10 mg/day 30 to 60 minutes before bed
  • Garlic extract—600 to 1200 mg/day
  • A. paniculata—400 mg three times daily; for prevention, 200 mg/day 5 days a week
  • Lactoferrin—300 to 900 mg/day

For more information on how Vitamin D levels affect the common cold, visit The Life Extension Foundation website.

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