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The Common Cold: How to Fight It?

Fall has arrived, which means it’s the perfect time to be in Central Florida. With the last two nights in the low 70s, the ‘cooler’ weather has been a nice reprieve from the sweltering heat we are used to. With the change in seasons, comes the rise in sore throats, coughs, colds and runny noses.  This week, we will take a look at the “common cold” or rhinovirus, its properties, and some natural ways to combat its pestering symptoms.

common-cold

You’ve had it. You know someone who has it now. The common cold is all around us, with prevalence increasing in the colder months. Since there are over 99 strains of the rhinovirus, studies show that children sometimes experience up to six to twelve colds a year.

To date, there are no known “cures” for the rhinovirus, and treatments are supportive. The infograph below shows the most common remedies in the public, with the evidence rated for both the prevention of the cold and the treatment of symptoms.

While the evidence is mixed for a lot of these supplements, experts in all fields can agree on the importance of hydration and adequate rest. Warm liquids and gargling with salt water can also help soothe a sore throat and provide that symptomatic relief that one is looking for.

We advise supplementation with zinc and vitamin C. We also encourage that your vitamin D levels are optimized at all times, as Vitamin D is an important component of many enzymatic reactions. Coconut oil, a powerful natural antiviral, is rich in medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs), where it can absorb directly into viral cells and disintegrate the protective coating of the virus, effectively killing it.

As the common cold and other viruses are spread through direct contact and aerosol droplets, we recommend constant hand washing, sterilization of surfaces and limiting contact. Patients are most contagious during the first three days of symptoms, which should be kept in mind. These small measures can go a long way in aiding prevention.

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