Category: Immune System

Immune System

When antibiotics were developed in the middle of the 20th century, they were hailed as “miracle drugs”. Life-threatening infections were suddenly able to be brought quickly under control. In the period of time that ensued, antibiotics were overused. They were used for the common cold and for viral infection. While it is desirable to get Read More …

“Good” Bacteria and the Flu

In an animal study performed by scientists in Japan, the normal bowel bacteria, Lactobacillus casei seemed to have a protective effect against the flu. In the study, published in the journal Clinical and Diagnostic Laboratory Immunology(May 2001; 8:593-597), mice were inoculated with flu virus. One group of mice was given Lactobacillus casei in a nasal Read More …

Zinc for the Common Cold?

According to research appearing in the journal, Annals of Internal Medicine (August 15, 2000;133:245-252, 302.), taking zinc may help with the common cold. The research involved 50 people with colds. Subjects either took a zinc lozenge containing 12.8 mg of zinc acetate, or a placebo, every two to three hours for as long as their Read More …

Vitamin A and the Immune System

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 1991; 53:90-4 “Effect of B-Carotene on Lymphocyte Subpopulations in The Elderly Humans: Evidence For a Dose-Response Relationship”     In elderly subjects (mean age 56), supplementing for two months with beta carotene led to immune improvement (an increase in the percentage of lymphoid cells with surface markers for T-helper cells, cells Read More …

Use of Antibiotics Lead to More Doctor Visits

There is a growing concern about the overuse of antibiotics for the treatment of upper respiratory infections. These infections are usually viral in nature and antibiotics are useless for treating them. According to research appearing in the April, 2000 issue of the journal Pediatrics, children given antibiotics for respiratory infections have an overall increase in Read More …

Upper Respiratory Infections and Echinacea

In a study appearing in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine (2005; 11(6): 1021-6) found that Echinacea may be effective in preventing upper respiratory infections (URIs). Subjects of the study were 402 children who had taken part in an earlier study that was randomized, double-blind and placebo-controlled; it tested the efficacy of Echinacea in Read More …

The Cost of the Common Cold

According to research published in Archives of Internal Medicine (2003 Feb 24;163(4):487-94), viral upper respiratory infections that are not influenza (in other words, colds) cost the US economy $39.5 billion each year. A nationwide telephone survey of US households (N = 4051) was conducted betweenNovember 3, 2000, and February 12, 2001about frequency and treatment approach Read More …

Study finds that vitamin E helps senior citizens fight colds

Researchers reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association(August, 2004) that vitamin E supplements can help ward off colds and upper-respiratory infections in the elderly. In the study of 617 nursing home patients aged 65 or older, those who swallowed a vitamin E supplement daily had significantly fewer common colds and a 20% overall Read More …

Stress Makes Colds and Flu Worse

According to research appearing in Psychosomatic Medicine (March 1999;61:175-180), stress may make the symptoms of a cold or the flu worse. The study involved 55 subjects who were injected with Influenza A virus. Prior to being injected, the subjects filled out a questionnaire about their stress levels. They were then quarantined and observed. Researchers measured Read More …

Stress can affect immune function

Pain and stress associated with getting a root canal can lead to short term immune changes and may lead to cold symptoms later on, according to researchers from the University of Florida and the University of Iowa and reported in the Journal of Psychosomatic Medicine (May, 2001). According to the article, those who reported having Read More …