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Cold Medicine and Treatment: When? What? How?

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#8: How effective are natural cold remedies like zinc, echinacea, and vitamin C? continued...

For in-depth information, see WebMD's article on Echinacea for the Common Cold.

As for vitamin C's effects, recent research has found no evidence that vitamin C prevents colds except in certain populations. It did seem to help prevent colds in people who were doing vigorous exercise in extreme environments . However, there is some evidence that suggests vitamin C may shorten how long you suffer from a cold. One large study found that people who took a vitamin C megadose -- 8 grams on the first day of a cold -- shortened the duration of their cold

For in-depth information, see WebMD's article on Vitamin C for the Common Cold.

To prevent colds the natural way, it's best to make sure you've got a well-nourished immune system. Experts say a diet rich in fruits and vegetables can help you ward off infections like colds and flu. 

For optimal health and immune functioning, you should eat the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of the antioxidant vitamins and minerals. That’s the amount of a vitamin or nutrient that you need to stay healthy and avoid a deficiency.

For in-depth information, see WebMD's article on Starve a Cold, Feed a Fever?

Regular exercise -- aerobics and walking -- can also boost the immune system. People who exercise can still catch a virus, but they may have less severe symptoms. They may recover more quickly compared with less healthy people. But what about exercising when you have a cold? Is it safe?

For in-depth information, see WebMD's article on Exercise When You Have a Cold.

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