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ER - the cure for the common cold?
Old 05-12-2008, 06:50 PM   #1
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ER - the cure for the common cold?

I am just now recovering from my first nasty cold since retiring this past January. Usually, when I get a cold, I end up with complications such as laryngitis and bronchitis that continue for two or three weeks. This time it seemed to be different. The cold ran its course and I'm feeling pretty much back to normal now. I believe this is because I have been able to get lots of extra rest and have not been stressed out from my former routine. In my work days, I got up at 4:30am and usually didn't get home until after 5:30pm. The hectic work day, combined with a 2+ hour stressful commute in DC's famous rush hour traffic must have weaked my system more than I imagined.

No, ER is not the cure for the common cold. But having the time to rest and not being so stressed out sure seemed to make a difference for me. Just another reason why ER is good for the body and soul.
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Old 05-13-2008, 06:26 AM   #2
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I've noticed that too. Last winter was the first time I've had a cold since I retired and left the DC area and all that damn traffic and too many people. Sunday we bought two bicycles, the weather is going to be good today, so we're going out somewhere.
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Old 05-13-2008, 02:29 PM   #3
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No, ER is not the cure for the common cold. But having the time to rest and not being so stressed out sure seemed to make a difference for me. Just another reason why ER is good for the body and soul.
It's amazing how well our immune systems work when they're not suppressed by chronic fatigue, stress, lack of exercise, commuting pollution, and poor nutrition...

We're still raising a kid but I haven't had bronchitis or ear infections, let alone pneumonia, since I left active duty. Hmmm.
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Old 05-13-2008, 04:41 PM   #4
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It's amazing how well our immune systems work when they're not suppressed by chronic fatigue, stress, lack of exercise, commuting pollution, and poor nutrition...

We're still raising a kid but I haven't had bronchitis or ear infections, let alone pneumonia, since I left active duty. Hmmm.
As I've noted before, the dentist is impressed with how much my gums have improved; unhealthy gums seem to negatively affect many other parts of the system. Maybe that's part of the reason I finally got the BP down to 'pretty good'.
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Old 05-14-2008, 05:35 PM   #5
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Can't remember when either me or my wife had a cold since we started taking megadoses of vitamin C. I take 2 grams a day, she takes 1 gram. Guy I work with is on his second cold this year (gets them really bad, lasts for two weeks or more). I usually get a snifle for 1/2 day and that's all. We both take a product called "EMERGEN C". Packets that disolve in water and we take them when we take or pills. Kind of like Alka Seltzer.
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Old 05-14-2008, 06:01 PM   #6
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Colds are so variable. Without any differences in what I do, I've experienced colds ranging from a few days minor discomfort to three weeks of misery. I've had many times when I was sure I was getting a cold, but didn't.

One year, with our preschool-attending daughter I had four colds. The next, I had none. I didn't do anything differently.

That sure makes it hard for me to recognize whether something I do makes a difference.
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Old 05-14-2008, 06:30 PM   #7
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We both take a product called "EMERGEN C". Packets that disolve in water and we take them when we take or pills. Kind of like Alka Seltzer.
A good friend of mine mentioned Emergen C. I think I'll try it the next go round with a cold.
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Old 05-15-2008, 12:07 PM   #8
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Colds are so variable. Without any differences in what I do, I've experienced colds ranging from a few days minor discomfort to three weeks of misery. I've had many times when I was sure I was getting a cold, but didn't.

One year, with our preschool-attending daughter I had four colds. The next, I had none. I didn't do anything differently.

That sure makes it hard for me to recognize whether something I do makes a difference.
I remember reading back in the late 60's about a company in England who had found the cure for the common cold.

After all their research, they found that there are 92 different cold viruses, and if we live long enough, we will get them all. But the secret was, we only get each individual cold, once.

After you have a particular cold, should you come in contact with that same virus again, the body now has the proper immune response to fight it off, and you may only get a sniffle or a feverish feeling for a couple of hours and that's all.

Their "cure" was to isolate all 92 strains of virus, grow them then kill them and make a vaccine from all 92. Once injected, the body's immune system could develop immune bodies and it would be the same as if you had previously caught that cold.

In short, you would never get another cold again.

They were purchased by an American supplier of over-the-counter cold medicine sometime in the early 70's and never heard from again (don't know exactly who the company was that bought them.)

I seem to remember they were also looking at flu viruses and found that there far too many to isolate.
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Old 05-15-2008, 12:26 PM   #9
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A good friend of mine mentioned Emergen C. I think I'll try it the next go round with a cold.
I think you will like it. The come in different flavors, I like orange, Linda likes raspberry. Think they have five or six flavors.

One thing you should be aware of when taking large amounts of Vitamin C. When you first start, you will probably experience a small amount of bloating, gas and possibly a touch of the runs. Not bad, but it's your body's way of adjusting the higher amounts of the anti-oxidant. It will last for about a month or so, again, not bad enough to raise any concern, but it will be a side effect to expect.

One other thing I read about taking mega-doses of C. If you decide to quit, best to taper off rather than quitting cold turkey. Easier for the body to adjust to.

Vitamin C has a strong positive effect on the body (will clear the arteries of plaque, thicken the walls and arteries and veins, and other positive effects of the circulatory system.) Re: Dr. Linus Pauling, (won the Nobel Peace Prize -twice). He recommends 14 grams a day!

Rather than waiting for your next cold (when it's already too late,) I recommend you begin as soon as you can. Besides supercharging the immune system, it has many other positive effects on the body.

The FDA now recognizes that Vitamin C can prevent cancer. Dr. Pauling's work revealed that it can clear arteries of plaque and that's the underlying cause of heart attacks. It has been shown to thicken the wall of veins and that's the underlying cause of hemorrhoids.

Did you know that the human being (and the Guinna Pig if I remember correctly) are the only animals that do not produce their own vitamin C in their bodies? We can only get it by ingesting it (and it has a half life of one hour, making it necessary to take significant amounts of it - or by taking it throughout the day). Smoking cigerettes completely wipes it out of the body.

Good luck,
Dennis
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Old 05-15-2008, 01:43 PM   #10
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Did you know that the human being (and the Guinna Pig if I remember correctly) are the only animals that do not produce their own vitamin C in their bodies?
Guinea pigs and primates.
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Old 05-15-2008, 03:29 PM   #11
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There are plenty of benefits to vitamin C but, for most people, preventing colds is not one of them.

Regular vitamin C does not prevent colds - WorldHealth.net

Vitamin C: Do High Doses Prevent Colds?

Dr Weil has suggested vitamin C for cardio health and other benefits.. and has mentioned recommending it for post-op recovery in one of his books:

Facts on Vitamin C - Dr. Weil

Of note, it's being recommended for post-op elsewhere:

The top herbs and supplements for wound healing and post-surgical recovery

And, my wife's grandpa was given a large dose in his IV after his bypass.

Vitamin D, on the other hand, may contribute to fighing cancer, viruses, etc. Great article on it in Sci Am: Cell Defenses and the Sunshine Vitamin: Scientific American

And there was a discussion on here:

vitamin D

Not surprisingly, most of us in northern states tend to get more colds in the winter when we're outside less and covered more. That's an anecdotal case to be sure, but the article does provide some great scientific evidence for taking 1,000-4,000 IU per day, especially in the winter (or year-round if you're a computer programmer).

The best defense against the cold is, as always, avoiding stress, getting lots of sleep and eating right.
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Old 05-15-2008, 03:34 PM   #12
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Not surprisingly, most of us in northern states tend to get more colds in the winter when we're outside less and covered more. That's an anecdotal case to be sure, but the article does provide some great scientific evidence for taking 1,000-4,000 IU per day, especially in the winter (or year-round if you're a computer programmer).

The best defense against the cold is, as always, avoiding stress, getting lots of sleep and eating right.
This is very interesting. We do get less natural light in the winter so less vitamin D. I always thought more people caught colds in the winter because they were cooped up with lots of other people indoors and the cold weather weakened their immune systems. There is no doubt that good food, rest and low stress help us fight off illness.
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Old 05-15-2008, 03:57 PM   #13
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This is very interesting. We do get less natural light in the winter so less vitamin D. I always thought more people caught colds in the winter because they were cooped up with lots of other people indoors and the cold weather weakened their immune systems. There is no doubt that good food, rest and low stress help us fight off illness.
Sharing work space with people with colds has got to be a factor.

I recall reading a hypothesis that certain illnesses (germs) are more likely to thrive because our immediate environments (houses) do not get very cold or very hot as they used to before central heat and A/C.

Don't know if it's been tested, and I don't want to live below 50F or above 85F.
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Old 05-15-2008, 04:57 PM   #14
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I don't know, Purron----I think ER just may be the cure for the common cold---and even the factor that prevents it! I've not had any colds in the almost two years since retiring and I would always get at least a couple each year. Since retiring, I thought I was coming down with colds several times, but must have fought it off.

I attribute this to FIRE, although I must admit that we are now wiping off grocery carts at grocery stores with the wipes they provide (some of the Asian markets and Walmart still don't provide them). I'd like to think my immune system is strengthened due to the lack of stress. I guess it's possible that it's because I have less contact with people (a couple of days a week, I just stay home and hibernate).

What has been a true blessing to me is that I have not gotten a (hacking/constant) cough that lasts three months or longer! I would always get this, once or twice a year, after a cold or even just on its own. It was diagnosed as cough-variant asthma/hyperreactive airways. Again, I possibly can't attribute this completely to FIRE; we moved to a new home right after ER, so it's possible it's a function of that. But something sure is agreeing with me and it's wonderful not to deal with a cough for months on end.
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Old 05-17-2008, 12:21 PM   #15
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Another vote for ER nearly curing colds etc. The last two years, minimal stress, not being exposed to people insisting on coming to w*rk with all sorts of ailments. Had one bout of flu instead of five or six colds, constant hacking.
Yes, retirement did eliminate lots of the opportunities for catching bugs.

Biggest hazard now is daily visits to the local "greasy spoon" for coffee and BS, and catching stuff. But its mostly locals so not so bad of exposure.

Wait.... maybe it is the daily BS that is the cure.
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Old 05-20-2008, 12:08 PM   #16
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There are plenty of benefits to vitamin C but, for most people, preventing colds is not one of them.
I've done a lot of reading on the subject over the last few years, as we get older it gets more and more important to use every possible method to keep ourselves healthy (I speak from the over 60 crowd).

When I first ran across Dr. Pauling's work, I was skeptical, but decided to get it a try (can't hurt, can it?) To this day I still do not regret the decision.

There have been a lot of studies performed over the years, most were limited to the use of a very small amount of Vitamin C (USDA values), some with larger doses but only a few days prior to the introduction of a cold virus. I can say with real confidence that I have not had a single cold with the usual high fever, runny nose, etc. in the last few years.

I was exposed to an office worker this spring while he suffered with two colds (of about two weeks each) and only had a very mild reaction. Vitamin C? Maybe, maybe not, but it doesn't hurt.

In all fairness, there are also studies that do find that colds are less intense and shorter after taking Vitamin C.
Does Vitamin C Prevent Colds?

PLoS Medicine - Vitamin C for Preventing and Treating the Common Cold

etc. etc. etc.

I'm not doctor, but I do feel that taking any vitamin requires time for the body to react and adopt. That's why a short term study where those in the test who had only been given Vitamin C for just a few days prior did not have impressive results. Those tested who had been taking Vitamin C over a long period of time did show better results (Dr. Pauling research for example).

Actually it was my doctor that suggested I look into taking more Vitamin C based on some research he had done for himself. He's now retired four years, in his mid 80's and still runs 5 miles a day, winter and summer. (I couldn't go 1/4 mile feet if I want to.) God bless the old country doctors that really believed in the Hippocratic oath rather than the ol' mighty dollar.

And there's also evidence that Vitamin C can prevent cancer.
Antioxidants and Cancer Prevention: Fact Sheet - National Cancer Institute

Zinc is another good supplement to take when you feel a cold coming on. Like Vitamin C it will not prevent a cold, just strengthen the immune system and shorten its effects.

I also like a product called Airborne. My wife and I take it whenever we feel like we're getting a bug. Gives about three hours of relief.

I liked your remarks on Vitamin D. I remember Reader's Digest had an article on it last year (year before? - isn't memory the second thing to go). It recommended we increase to dosage to 800 mg (and in some cases 1200 mg). I decided because of that article to increase my dosage to 800 mg and never had any negative side effects.

Perhaps we could all take a tip from a couple of unrelated professions.

The first, the fella who cleans out my septic tank, claims he hasn't had a cold or flu since he started working for the company (ten years at that time). He felt that being constantly exposed to some of the most deadly bacteria every day has strengthened his immune system to the point where no germs could survive [sic]. Makes an interesting point however.

The second is workers in nursing homes. They are constantly exposed to all kinds bugs. My aunt was in the the local home my wife visited daily and got to know the staff very closely. They told her to use disinfecting hand cleanser whenever she she came in. They also told her to take a daily vitamin pill and to wear a face make when the outbreaks became severe. She did catch a bug once, but the whole place was going through an epidemic and I doubt anyone could have avoided catching it.

For myself, I'm still going to stick with higher amounts of Vitamins B, C, D, E and beta carotene. It works for me.

Take care,
Dennis
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Old 05-20-2008, 12:46 PM   #17
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When I was in college the athletic trainer gave us 'All B with Vitamin C' and told us to take one a day, and if we felt a cold coming on take one in the morning and one at night. Never had a cold in college. Now when I feel one coming on I start taking All B and Vitamin C supplements. It seems to shorten the cold's duration.
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Old 05-20-2008, 03:54 PM   #18
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Enigma/Dennis, you seem to be satisfied with Airborne, but you may want to know about a class action suit against teh company that manufactures it (they made false claims):

False Advertising Class Action Lawsuit: How To Get Your Airborne Refund
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