Common Cold Remedies That Work
With the arrival of the cold/flu season, it’s important to keep the sniffles from putting us out of commission. I’ve devoted this week to discussing the limited evidence available for natural cold prevention measures.
It’s true that the trials are few and far between. That doesn’t make them irrelevant.
I’ve found many online posts discounting the available evidence entirely. They accuse the studies of being too few, or too old. Then they go on to recommend chicken soup.
I’ll address chicken soup’s shortcomings in a later post, but why do people discard research so easily?
Concerning the “old study” argument: Since when did age negate a study? Until replicate studies have proved them wrong, these “older studies” still stand.
Imagine one of the researchers gathering data from elderly participants who ate kiwi and bananas. After many months of work, they’ve compiled what they need – and the results are so shocking that they’d probably review the data multiple times for mistakes.
Once the study is publication-ready, they’re convinced that eating four kiwis a day prevent colds in the elderly. Still, they might wonder if those results are a fluke.
So they repeat the experiment with preschoolers, getting identical results that reinforce their belief in the little fruits’ incredible immunity-boosting power.
Until a study comes out with different results, the best balance of evidence is their two completed kiwi studies.
Yes, the actual kiwi studies were industry funded. The conflict of interest, however, shouldn’t require tossing them. Look at them with skeptical, but careful, scrutiny. If they still appear legitimate, accept their results!
If and when new studies are done, add them to the existing evidence and see if they alter the conclusions.
So, my personal cold-prevention conclusions after this past week’s study?
Consume nutritional yeast.
Get eight or more hours of quality nightly sleep.
Gargle salt water a couple of times a day.
Laugh a lot.
I’ll definitely be keeping my eye out for similar future studies. Until then, I know what preventative measures my family will be taking this flu season.
We’ll just follow the evidence!