CL Answers (23)

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Recalls & Warnings (56)

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Clinical Updates (14)

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1/02/2011

Does Echinacea Help Treat a Cold?

Very little, it seems. A new large, well-controlled study of a commercially sold echinacea supplement failed to show a substantial benefit when given shortly after the first sign of a cold. Evidence tends to be better (although not robust) for echinacea used to prevent a cold before it begins, as opposed to once symptoms start. Find out more (including the product that was tested) in the Echinacea Supplements Review.  More >>
8/28/2020

Honey for Coughs and Colds?

Does honey help reduce cold symptoms and improve coughs? Find out what a recent analysis concluded in our updated answer to the question: Do any supplements help prevent or treat a cold?
10/21/2012

Can Echinacea Prevent Colds?

Although the evidence behind echinacea has been mixed, a new study -- the largest to date -- found that taking a particular type of echinacea supplement throughout cold season reduced cold "events" (catching colds and days spent with colds) by 26%. See the update to the Echinacea Supplements Review for details about this particular supplement, including the special way it is taken. More >>
2/27/2011

Zinc for Colds -- Be Careful

The use of zinc for colds has been in the news lately due to a study indicating benefit. Some of the coverage, however, might suggest the wrong conclusion. Be aware that taking zinc pills won’t help with a cold; only forms that allow zinc to act directly in the throat or nose can help – and only when taken appropriately. See the Zinc Product Review for details on formulations and dosing that can help with colds. More >>
8/06/2014

When Vitamin C May Curb a Cold

A recent small study among men with low to adequate levels of vitamin C showed that supplementing with vitamin C reduced the incidence of colds compared to placebo. The men taking vitamin C also reported having more energy -- although this finding was not statistically significant. Learn more about what vitamin C can and cannot do, the dose used in this study, and results of our tests of vitamin C supplements, in the update to the Vitamin C Supplements Review >>
3/17/2015

Zinc Lozenges for Colds

A recent review of placebo-controlled studies of zinc lozenges given at the start of a cold shows that they not only shorten the duration of symptoms in the throat, but in the nose and muscles as well. It is critical, however, that the right type of zinc, dose, and dosing schedule be used. Get the details, as well as our reviews of zinc lozenges and supplements, in the Zinc Supplements and Lozenges Review >>
10/21/2015

Probiotic Shortens Respiratory Infections

Studies have shown probiotics to reduce the duration and severity colds when taken throughout a cold season. A new study in children shows short-term use of a probiotic -- started at the time a household member gets sick -- also significantly reduces the duration and severity of acute respiratory infections. For details, including our tests of probiotic supplements, see the Probiotic Supplements Review >>
2/16/2017

Vitamin D Reduces Risk of Colds & Flu

A study released today shows that taking vitamin D in a certain way reduces the risk of cold and flu infections by up to 70%. The benefits are greatest for people very deficient in vitamin D. For details, see the "What It Does" section of the Vitamin D Supplements Review (which includes our tests of products) >>
10/24/2019

Caution With Elderberry

Although rare, a case of acute pancreatitis was reported after the use of a popular elderberry extract supplement. Get the details in our updated answer to the question: Do any supplements help prevent or treat a cold?
10/26/2019

Pycnogenol for Raynaud's?

A new study investigated whether Pycnogenol can help treat Raynaud’s phenomenon, a condition in which hands become painful and discolored when exposed to cold temperatures. Find out if it helped in the update to the question: What is Pycnogenol and does it work?
10/01/2019

Probiotic for Cold Symptoms and Gas

A study found that a particular probiotic strain reduced symptoms of upper respiratory infections, as well as gas, in children. For details see the Colds and acute respiratory infections section as well as the Bloating, gas, and abdominal pain section of the Probiotic Supplements Review. Also see our Top Picks for probiotics and kombucha.
1/28/2020

How to Use Zinc Lozenges for Colds

Zinc lozenges have been shown to reduce cold symptoms, but effectiveness appears to depend on the lozenge formulation and how it is used. Learn more in the What It Does section of the Zinc Supplements and Lozenges Review. Also see our Top Picks for zinc lozenges and pills.
8/21/2020

Can a Multivitamin Reduce Colds and Flu?

Can regularly taking a multivitamin reduce the chance of getting a cold or flu, or lessen the symptoms and duration of illness among older people? Find out what a recent study showed in the What They Do section of the Multivitamin and Multimineral Supplements Review. Also see our Top Picks among multivitamins for women, men, seniors, children and pets.
11/08/2015

Too Much Vitamin D Can Increase Colds

A recent study in people with asthma found that giving high-dose vitamin D increased the risk of developing a cold among those who achieved higher levels of vitamin D or were African-American. Nearly half of those in the study were not vitamin D deficient to start. In contrast, studies have found that giving moderate doses of vitamin D to people who are vitamin D deficient decreases the risk of colds. The point, in our opinion: Maintain an adequate, but not excessive, level of vitamin D. For details (including dosage, levels, and our tests of products) see the Vitamin D Supplements Review >>

News Releases (22)

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