If you are reading this because you have developed cold symptoms, it is critical that you act quickly to halt the rapid replication of viruses occurring in your body at this very moment. Go to the nearest health food store or pharmacy and purchase:
- Zinc Lozenges: Start sucking on two zinc lozenges (13-24 mg of zinc in each lozenge) immediately and again every 2 to 3 hours for first day or two. Then slowly reduce the dose until symptoms dissipate.
- Garlic: Take 9000-18,000 mg of a high-allicin garlic supplement each day until symptoms subside. Take with food to minimize stomach irritation.
- Vitamin D: If you don't already maintain a blood level of 25-hydroxyvitamin D over 50 ng/mL, then take 50,000 IU of vitamin D the first day and continue for three more days and slowly reduce the dose to around 5000 IU of vitamin D each day. If you already take around 5000 IU of vitamin D every day, then you probably don't need to increase your intake.
- Cimetidine: Take 800-1200 mg a day in divided doses. Cimetidine is a heartburn drug that has potent immune enhancing properties. (It is sold in pharmacies over-the-counter.)
- Melatonin: 3 to 50 mg at bedtime.
Do not delay implementing the above regimen. Once the cold virus infects too many cells, it replicates out of control and strategies like zinc lozenges will not be effective. Treatment must be initiated as soon as symptoms manifest!
The common cold is a viral infection of the upper respiratory tract that causes symptoms such as a runny or stuffy nose, sneezing, coughing, and sore throat (Turner 2009; Turner 2011; Mayo Clinc 2011). Systemic symptoms such as mild headache, fatigue, fever, and muscle aches can occasionally occur with the common cold as well. However, if these symptoms are severe and/or accompanied by fever or significant exhaustion, they likely indicate the "flu", which is a distinct type of viral respiratory infection caused by an influenza virus (CDC 2011; Hayden 2011; NIAID 2011a).
It has been estimated that the U.S. population contracts approximately 1 billion colds per year, and the common cold is a leading cause of medical visits and missed days at work or school (Singh 2011; Roxas 2007). Although most cases of the common cold are mild and self-limiting, the illness represents a major economic burden to society in terms of lost productivity and treatment expenditure (Maggini 2012; Lissiman 2012; Turner 2009).
Treatment strategies for the common cold are generally aimed at relieving symptoms, shortening duration, and minimizing the risk of complications (Roxas 2007; Albalawi 2011).
Conventional cold treatments include over-the-counter analgesics and decongestant medications (Roxas 2007; NIH 2012b). However, these strategies are minimally effective (Nahas 2011), and even when used appropriately, may be associated with significant side effects (Shefrin 2009).
A number of specific antiviral drugs have some degree of effectiveness against common cold viruses. One exciting candidate is Biota's vapendavir, which recently met key milestones for benefit in a Phase IIb human rhinovirus trial in asthmatic patients in March, 2012 (EvaluatePharma 2012). The readily available over the counter (OTC) drug cimetidine, approved for the treatment of reflux and "heartburn", has anti-viral properties as well, and may be a useful common cold treatment.
Several innovative and integrative strategies such as vitamin D, garlic, zinc, Astragalus, beta glucan, and probiotics have been shown in scientific studies to help manage symptom duration and intensity associated with the common cold (Maggini 2012).