Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
6 Nov

Do Cold Busters Like Emergen-C and Airborne Actually Work?

Yes, they do. However, understand that these natural cold and flu remedies are not really “curing” anything. If you see a product claiming anything along those lines, that is a red flag. But what many of these products do – and homeopathic remedies do not fall into this category as they’re completely worthless – is simply boost your immune system with vitamins and sometimes additional minerals or phytonutrients. In fact, many of them are not unlike a potent multivitamin. The studies on “curing” colds with natural remedies are inconclusive, but studies have shown time and again that vitamins like C, the B-complex, and many other supplemental nutrients absolutely have immuno-strengthening properties. That’s why I recommend always taking steps to boost your immune system on a daily basis, whether you’re sick or not. Don’t wait until you feel the first itch of a sniffly nose to begin boosting your immune system. Prevent what you can before you even get it.

In general, the core factors for a strong, healthy immune system are:

– Regular, if not daily, exercise

Multivitamin supplementation

Fish oil supplementation

– A clean diet based around fresh produce and whole foods

– Avoidance of sugar

– Stress management

– Daily sunshine

Further reading:

What I eat in a day

The 7 Habits of Healthy (Thin) People

My weekly fitness routine

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Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. There would be a lots less people with a winter cold if everyone would follow this guideline. Just last night I went to my hairstylist for a trim and she always compliments me that as long as my hair is it’s so healthy. She can tell I eat right and take great vitamins because she says the health of my hair is in great condition. Same thing with one’s health, if you take good care of yourself, you’re body will be in great condition to NOT catch a winter cold!!!

    Donna wrote on November 6th, 2007
  2. Good point Donna. When you are healthy it shows in your skin, eyes, hair and nails.

    Sara wrote on November 6th, 2007
  3. Good – thanks for showing us a little of the “fine print” – I knew there was more than they were telling me.

    Steve wrote on November 6th, 2007
  4. Although it has been said again and again, many people seem to underestimate the effect of their food consumption toward their appearance or even their body system. Great post, I agree that we have the ability to boost our own immune system.

    One Big Health Nut wrote on November 7th, 2007
  5. Also from what I’ve heard those products like airborne are not meant to be taken everyday, they are better suited for once in a while like if your going on an airplane or a crowded event, etc. I would imagine that your body can become immune to them over time if taken to much. I think they can be useful in certain situations, but proper care of yourself in the first place is the best defense.

    Jerry wrote on November 7th, 2007
  6. Jerry: Immune to what? They are vitamins.

    Moe wrote on November 7th, 2007
  7. Sir when back in Blighty either last Winter or Winter afore i saw a docu on scientific myths.
    They had some fella from the Linus Pauling Instittute talking about Paulings claims about Vit C.
    As far as the presumbaly db studies they’d done they concluded if i recall as a preventative it was all gibberish and when you had the cold vast doses helped the cold go more quickly by..wait for it…10 whole per cent !

    So it shows you that a double Nobel laureate(only personage to have that honour cos neither wuz shared) is just as stupid at seeing things where there nuthin as the rest of us bods.
    Incidentally had he used a ‘could this have been acquired in a diet on the plains of Afrique ‘ rationale he might not have come up with it !

    All good things Sir.


    Simon (Fellows)

    simon fellows wrote on November 7th, 2007
  8. Moe, all I know is people that I have spoken to that took them long term found that they weren’t effective anymore after long term use, that’s all I’m saying.

    Jerry wrote on November 7th, 2007
  9. And what about zinc supplements, such as Zicam. I have tried this, and they *do* appear to work. Any data or studies on how effective they are?

    Eric wrote on November 8th, 2007
    • Both Zinc and elderberry extracts were considered homeopathic at one point. Once scientific research was conducted on both of these remedies, it was concluded that they both reduce the duration of colds/flu symptoms by half the amount of time if taken when first symptoms appear. Not just one study, but multiple unbiased studies find the same results. I used to think homeopathic was all garbage also until this. I still don’t believe most homeopathic remedies are valuable, but with more research (which most likely won’t happen) we may discover more of these remedies that are actually effective.

      Joe wrote on February 27th, 2014
  10. You forgot one key ingredient to preventing illness, sleep. I’m a college student and sometimes it’s impossible to get more than 5 or 6 hours of sleep. This definitely has an impact on my immune system and overall health.

    Dane wrote on September 20th, 2012
  11. emergency tastes funny, is that because its healthy?

    cornholio wrote on November 3rd, 2012
  12. I have used Airborne for about 10 years, and I swear by it. I have no idea if it reduces the severity of a cold, but I know that if I have even the slightest inkling that I’m getting a cold – or even if I just feel sluggish and coffee isn’t helping – I mix up a cup of Airborne and it always seems that within an hour or two I feel great. I assume it’s because the vitamins / minerals / whatever get in my system quickly due to being in suspension in a liquid. Who cares, I love the stuff.

    Eric wrote on November 1st, 2014

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