It is that time of the year where the common cold and flu are ravaging many cities all around the world. And I, and I am sure many of you, want to avoid both of these illnesses at any cost. And if I happen to come down with either of them, I would want it to clear up as fast as possible so that it does not impact my day-to-day life.
This necessity to prevent getting the cold and flu and to make them go away as soon as possible has made many people turn to weight loss supplements. The problem is that there is no link between taking these supplements and speeding up the end of a bout with the common cold or the flu.
Why You Shouldn't Take Weight Loss Supplements to Treat Common Cold & Flu!
In fact, most medical trials have indicated that weight loss supplements are completely useless in fighting the flu. On top of that, the results when pitted against the cold are not anything to write home about either. Simply put, if you are purchasing and taking weight loss supplements just to fight off the flu and common cold, you are wasting your time and money.
Top medical doctors have been saying for years that the best treatment for these illnesses is to do nothing at all. They go away on their own and there is little that one can do to speed it up. You can take various medicines to temporarily relieve yourself of the symptoms, but that does not make the illness go away any faster.
If you are looking to prevent coming down with the flu, get a vaccination against the flu. Ignore the stigma and false hysteria surrounding flu shots and vaccinations in general. Looking for other ways to prevent getting the flu like taking weight loss supplements will do nothing for you.
I understand why people turn to these methods and I can really empathize with them. I used to be of the kind that would avoid getting a flu shot. I wanted to be responsible for my own health and decided to explore other means. And this must be a popular sentiment in the United States, as it has been found that almost 60 million US citizens went out to buy their own treatments for the cold and flu instead of going to the doctor.
A good portion of those 60 million went out and bought weight loss supplements to try to fight off their cold. In vain, of course, as it has been proven that these supplements have very little effect on the common cold and have no effect whatsoever on the flu.
And the thing about Americans taking the treatment of the flu and cold into their own hands is that they are not helping themselves at all. There are only three antiviral drugs out there that have been shown to treat the flu in its early stages. What is the catch? These drugs can only be obtained with a doctor's prescription. This means that those 60 million Americans are not even purchasing useful remedies for their cold and flu.
And what is particularly concerning is that Americans can easily fall prey to the many scams that exist within the health supplement market. The FDA's regulatory oversight is nonexistent until the products actually hit the market so there is nothing stopping people from buying and consuming potentially harmful products. The FDA can only take action after the fact and that is if enough complaints are mounted against a certain product or company.
And many popular remedies that people take for their colds have unintended side effects attached to them. Some of these include:
- Ginseng – Has been shown to make the cold go away faster. What is the catch? It does nothing to make the consumer immune to the cold. On top of that, it can disrupt the anticoagulant effects of warfarin.
- Nasal spray – Can shorten one's bout with the cold. What is the catch? Overusing nasal spray can cause you to permanently lose your sense of smell.
- Salt water nasal rinse – Has been shown to relieve the symptoms of a cold. The catch? If you rinse your nose with tap water, you run the risk of getting some nasty stuff caught up in your nasal cavity. In fact, this “remedy” has been linked to two casualties back in 2011. These deaths were due to a brain-eating amoeba that was in the water used in the nasal rinse.
As you can see, these remedies may work, but they come bundled with horrible side effects that make just dealing with the cold seem like the better alternative.
So, What Are Some Safe Ways to Avoid Getting the Cold and Flu?
Well, for the flu, that is an easy one. Get a flu shot. As I said earlier, ignore the stigma. Flu shots work – not 100 percent of the time, but they definitely lower your chances of coming down with the flu.
Like I said, I used to be one of those people who opted out of getting the shot. And then I was afflicted with a horrible bout of the flu that completely changed my outlook. I decided to opt in for the shot every year ever since and I have not had any run-in with the flu.
When it comes to the cold, there is not a whole lot you can do to prevent getting it. You can stay away from people who seem to be suffering from the cold and you can take the steps to keep yourself clean.
I personally try to wash my hands all the time and keep my workspace all nice and sanitized. And I have not gotten sick yet, so perhaps that is indication that I am doing something right. But beyond that, there is not a whole lot you can do.
If you do come down with the cold, you can try jogging for a half an hour. This exercise triggers the release of a substance known as norepinephrine. This substance helps to relieve one of the most annoying symptoms of the common cold – a stuffy nose.
Another remedy for the cold is a classic – chicken soup. I have heard people debate about chicken soup for years. Some people think that it is pseudoscience or a case of the placebo effect. Others swear that its remedying effects on those with the cold are backed up with the science. What is my verdict? It is scientific.
And there are a handful of studies to back it up. And these studies are not even all that recent, so I am not sure how the debate about chicken soup is even still ongoing. Anyways, one such study was conducted all the way back in 2000 and found that consuming chicken soup does in fact treat cold symptoms in the upper respiratory tract.
I have to reiterate this though, most remedies do not fight or prevent the viruses that cause the common cold and flu. All they do is help relieve you of the symptoms of these illnesses. While you may start feeling better as a result of taking these remedies, you should know that the viral infection is still present in your body for about two weeks.
Weight Loss Supplements Don't Treat Cold and Flu Conclusion
Take weight loss supplements only if you are trying to lose weight. Do not take the risk of delving into the unregulated health supplement market if you are looking for a cold or flu remedy. You just simply will not have any luck and may end up wasting money in the process.
Keep yourself safe and just get a flu shot and follow the other instructions laid out in this article. It will be in the best interests of your overall health and your wallet. Here is to a happy and healthy 2017!