Myths and Facts About Colds
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NarratorMyth or fact?I caught a cold because my immune system was weak.
Michael Smith, MDNo truth in that one. You don't catch a cold because your immune system is weakened. However, if you keep a strong healthy immune system through healthy activities, such as exercise, regular exercise, and a healthy diet, then you may actually get well quicker once you do have a cold.
NarratorMyth or fact? Vitamin C and zinc prevent colds.
Michael Smith, MDThat's false. There is no evidence that vitamin C, zinc, another popular one is echinacea, does anything to help prevent a cold. However, once you have a cold, they may, vitamin C at a high dose, zinc, or echinacea, may shorten the duration of your cold.
NarratorMyth or fact? Eating dairy will increase the mucus of a cold.
Michael Smith, MDThat's a big myth. Absolutely not true. Nothing you eat is going to cause more mucus. Now, not drinking water could increase your mucus. You become dehydrated, your mucus or your snot gets thicker, more congested, but dairy, nothing to it.
NarratorMyth or fact? Chicken soup helps fight colds.
Michael Smith, MDTrue! Chicken soup isn't going to cure a cold, but it will ease your cold symptoms. Your grandma was right. It helps with congestion. The heat will help soothe the sore throat. It's really great for a cold. So is gargling with saltwater, hot tea, anything warm is going to make your throat feel better and possibly help with congestion as well.
NarratorMyth or fact? Antibiotics cure colds.
Michael Smith, MDNo, they don't. Antibiotics have no effect on a cold because a cold is caused by a virus, not a bacteria. Antibiotics only work against bacteria. So you may think that it shortens the duration of your cold, but likely what is happening if you have a cold, is that you are already starting to recover once you start that antibiotic.