TRIALS HAVE FOUND that this vitamin halves the risk of catching a cold in people who are undergoing short periods of extreme stress. Studies also suggest that it might reduce the length of colds. An Australian report published in 2004, which pooled the results of several studies, showed that vitamin C taken continually as a preventative measure reduced cold duration by 8 per cent in adults. It had no effect once the cold had started. There is no clear evidence vitamin C prevents or cuts the duration of flu.
A REVIEW CARRIED out for respected medical research organisation the Cochrane Collaboration in 2009 found that preparations from this flower – also known as the purple cornflower – might help reduce the severity or length of a cold.
A study conducted in Germany in 2009, which included an investigator who was working for a natural remedies company, suggested that Echinacea extracts can interfere with flu haemagglutinin proteins. This might prevent infection of host cells by the virus.
THIS METAL, WHICH can form part of a tablet, lozenge or syrup, appears to inhibit the replication . of rhinovimses, a common cause of colds. A review of zinc trials in 2012 for the Cochrane Collaboration found that reduces the duration and severity of symptoms if it is taken within 24 hours if them starting. The same review says that taking for at least five months reduces the incidence of colds in children. There is no strong evidence that zinc can prevent or reduce the severity of flu.
THE NHS IN the UK says there are three main ways to prevent flu: vaccination, antiviral medicines for particular at-risk groups, and hand washing. An Australian study in 2009 found that washing hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand-rub markedly reduced the concentration of H1N1 influenza virus on 14 people’s hands, something that would help to stop the vims from spreading. Interestingly, washing with good old soap and water seemed to be slightly more effective at getting rid of the flu vims than an alcohol hand-rub.