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Common Cold Facts and Theories - Articles Surfing
On the one hand, there are the common cold facts, about which most experts agree. Then there are those things which may be considered common cold facts by some, but not by others. These mostly concern the best ways to prevent cold, common theories about why some people are more susceptible to colds than others, and the best way to treat cold symptoms.
Here are some of the accepted common cold facts. Colds are caused by viruses, not by being overheated or chilled. Being out in cold weather does not increase the likelihood that a person will 'catch a cold'. Indoors is the place where most people probably become infected with a virus that leads to a cold. Common methods to prevent the spread of cold viruses, including hand washing and disinfecting public surfaces are worthwhile. Some of the viruses can live for as long as three hours on skin and surfaces, but warm soap and water or disinfectants can kill them.
There is a lot of scientific research about the best ways to prevent the number of colds that a person has per year. The problem is that for every study that indicates that something works, there is another study or two that contradict those findings. For example, while there are a number of clinical studies that support the use of vitamin C supplements to prevent cold, common statements from major health organizations indicate that there is no 'clear' evidence that vitamin C supplements are effective. This may be largely due to the fact that 25% of people who are infected with common cold viruses never develop symptoms.
The reason that some people develop symptoms and others do not is debatable, but recent research indicates that immune system function is a factor. A study of asthma sufferers, who are more susceptible to colds, showed that they produce less anti-viral proteins than normal. Anti-viral proteins, produced by specialized blood cells, can prevent a virus from being able to reproduce and can destroy viruses by attaching to them and causing holes in their cellular walls. Some experts believe that those people who have more colds may have a well-functioning immune system. This research indicates that, in at least some cases, a poorly functioning immune system may contribute to frequent cold symptoms.
When it comes to the best way to treat a cold, common opinions vary. The idea that no treatment will allow a cold to 'run its course' more quickly cannot be supported by scientific research, but trying to choose one of the many popular cold remedies can be confusing. Some research supports the use of zinc nasal gels or sprays to reduce the duration of cold symptoms. Other researchers believe that suggesting this form of treatment is unethical, because it may lead to a permanent loss of the sense of smell. Zinc lozenges, on the other hand, are believed to be safer, but not as effective in reducing the duration of a cold. Common cold treatment may never be very successful. The common cold may always be 'common'.
For more common cold facts and for information about natural products that support healthy immune system function, visit the Immune System Booster Guide at http://www.immune-system-booster-guide.com.
Copyright © 1995 - Photius Coutsoukis (All Rights Reserved).
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