zinc tablets, garlic capsules … there are many remedies by households to cope with the common cold, but there is some scientific evidence that really work?
There are few experiences as universal suffering from cold. And although there are about 200 different viruses that cause it, there seems to be almost equal to household remedies to combat.
But any of these work?
After all the home remedies is the idea to help strengthen the immune system.
When a virus enters our body, faces two defense systems: the innate immune system tries to get rid circumstances invasive cells and the & # 39 system adaptation, targeting specific pathogens which the body previously had contact and against. creating immunity by producing cells able to combat them if they return.
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That is why we tend to nbatu from chickenpox once in a lifetime, while the common cold – to change appearance when passing from person to person, causing confusion of our memory cells – is something that we can move a few & # 39; a & # 39; times
It is well established that both lifestyle and diet affect the health of our immune system.
But because our immune system is limited when we deficits & # 39; vitamins or minerals, to supplement our diet with & # 39; foods that are considered effective against flu will make little difference if you already have a relatively healthy diet, according to Charles BANGHAM, head & # 39; the Infectious Diseases Division of Imperial College & # 39; London.
"Only if you have a deficiency of & # 39; vital nutrients, such as vitamins, zinc or iron, be very useful to receive a supplement for that particular item, but if you have a balanced diet, add more of these things The immune system is more efficient, "he says.
The solution of supplements
However, some studies investigating on remedies for the common cold found that they can make a difference.
The vast majority of & # 39; this research focuses on supplements, rather than food: in fact, there has been no reliable study on whether popular remedy such as chicken soup really make a difference.
However, a supplement that can & # 39; help is a popular home remedy: garlic.
In a small study, 146 adults in & # 39; received placebo or health supplement & # 39; garlic daily for 12 weeks during the winter.
The group placebo contracted 65 winds which resulted in & # 39; 366 days & # 39; sick leave, while those who took the supplement garlic only suffered 24 winds, which totaled & # 39; 111 days & # 39; sick leave.
Another supplement that many people resort to when they feel the cold symptoms is vitamin C. Some research suggests that you & # 39 well, be useful, though not as much as one can & # 39; think.
Review & # 39; 29 study supplement of vitamin C did not find that they served to reduce b & # 39; significantly the risk of suffering from a cold or alleviate their symptoms.
However, she found that there was a long-term reduction of colds & # 39; 14% in the case of & # 39; 8% in children and adults. The researchers concluded that, since they are & # 39; low risk supplements, it was good to proving them to see if they could help.
The orange juice can & # 39; less useful: m & # 39; there is no strong evidence that helps to avoid the cold, relieve your symptoms or reduce its duration.
This is because not sufficiently high doses of & # 39; vitamin C to have the same impact as supplements & # 39; day, according to Harri Hemilä, researcher on issues & # 39; public health at the University & # 39; Helsinki author & # 39; analysis of studies done on vitamin C.
small bottle & # 39; orange juice made with & # 39; fresh juice has about 72 mg & # 39; vitamin C, according to the US Department of Agriculture. This is more than the recommended minimum dose of & # 39; day but much less than rich supplements.
Then there zinc. Review & # 39; the effectiveness of taking & # 39; of daily zinc tablets to cope with the common cold found that decreased by & # 39 the time spent third; & # 39; patients who had nasal congestion or dried, in addition to reducing the eyes and cough by 22%. half.
The study concluded that if tieħuh started within 24 hours after the first symptoms appeared, dose & # 39; & # 39 daily; 80 milligrams of & # 39; & # 39 zinc can; help in treating the common cold.
However, Hemilä believes that it is more accurate to study the full recovery of & # 39; cold, rather than measuring the length of symptoms. His study & # 39; 199 patients with common cold found that those who received doses of & # 39; daily zinc recovered three times faster.
The many scientists often say that it is better to obtain vitamins and minerals through & # 39; food, rather than supplements, but often indicate that in the event & # 39; Vitamin C & # 39; is often easier to achieve higher doses b & # 39; supplements.
However, in the case of zinc, work better on the head & # 39; below. To be effective against the cold, zinc should be consumed in & # 39; pills and not in & # 39; common pills or foods rich in & # 39; this mineral, noting Hemilä.
"The zinc tablets are dissolved slowly in the throat region and zinc effect is local. We do not know x & # 39; is the biochemical mechanism & # 39; this effect, but studies indicate that when zinc tablets were effective as pills. big ones were resolved within 30 minutes in the mouth, "he says.
Many times, complication is that researchers failing to investigate if people have deficiencies in & # 39; something like vitamin C or zinc before starting treatment.
Therefore, any benefit against the cold can & # 39; due to the fact that by taking the some participants supplement are correct deficiency instead of being the supplement to make a difference in & # 39; people who have been in & # 39; health.
Another difficulty is the power of & # 39; placebo. Of course, many studies, like that & # 39; garlic supplements, have a group & # 39; receiving placebo control, so it is known that the effect is achieved not only due to the placebo effect.
But if swear something which m & # 39; there is no scientific or limited evidence, such as chicken soup or orange juice, really ifejjaqna, can & # 39; be due to the placebo effect .
Studies have shown that placebo are an effective way to alleviate many symptoms, from pain to irritable bowel syndrome, though the reasons for this are not yet well understood. And when it comes to vitamin C or the chicken soup, can & # 39; is that the placebo effect helps overcome the cold.
One study found that people who believe in the supposed medicinal properties of herbs to generate cold & # 39; Echinacea had the illness less severe and shorter periods while they were taking doses of & # 39; day & # 39; that the plant than those who did not believe it.
However, previous studies where participants did not know they were receiving doses of & # 39; that the plant did not experience improvement in cold symptoms.
also works in the opposite direction. For a long time it was believed that milk worsened the mucus production when we have a cold, but it was shown to be false. However, one study found that people who believe that milk is the cause mucus reported more respiratory problems after they have undertaken.
While the placebo usually given by doctors in clinical trials, the placebo effect of home remedies comes from our life & # 39; daily, notes Felicity Bishop, associate professor of Health Psychology in university of & # 39; Southampton.
"Studies show that the placebo power comes from the relationship & # 39; trust between patients and health professionals, someone who gives special attention and can & # 39; offer with treatments & # 39; 'confidence, says. "And this is similar to what parents do when we are young, is the type of & # 39; a relationship that is important, rather than who that person is."
As in the case of & # 39; trusted friends and family, the placebo effect can & # 39; reinforced by the way the food is marketed, according to Bishop.
The good news is knowing that some remedies are placebos do not necessarily prevent them from reducing our symptoms.
"Even when a doctor tells a patient that something is placebo but its use has helped some people, it can & # 39; to make the person feel better", he says.
Another effect can & # 39; is comfort caused by such foods. Dietist Sarah Schenker says the comfort that chicken soup, for example, you & # 39; help someone cold hearted somewhat better.
More than just we consume vitamin C, the possibilities to eliminate the cold winter largely depends on each person, as we believe in placebo, but also by our genes.
"The genetics makes some people particularly susceptible to certain diseases. It is much more important to realize that we are different: when some people get cold are not even such a change, while others suffer severe symptoms. For genes, which a much greater impact. "
For many people with & # 39; & # 39 b immune system; robust, we can do more than just rely on the strength of & # 39; placebo to overcome winter viruses … However, if you take young supplements zinc or garlic can & # 39; also helps.
You & # 39; read the original version of & # 39; this note in English.