Supplements first aid kit: Part 2. The common cold (and friends).

We all get these, unfortunately, and there isn’t a huge amount that you can do about it, right? Well, that’s what I thought. Until my microbiology lecturer provided me with the following tip:

Del-immune V.

This stuff is amazing. It’s a dead and chopped up probiotic.

When you catch a virus, it takes your immune system a little while to work out that there is a problem, and then it needs a bit more time to react. What Del-immune V does is to kick start your immune system so that it reacts more quickly to a virus.

There are two ways to take this supplement:
Acutely: when you get that first tickle of a cold, start taking 2-4 Del-immune V capsules every 4 hours, and you may not ever develop the cold. If you miss that first window, then it isn’t as effective, so keep some on your person.
Ongoing: take 1-2 capsules daily if you are in contact with viruses all the time and tend to catch them all.

Vitamin C.

Increasing vitamin C intake when you have a cold hasn’t been proven to decrease its duration or severity, BUT good vitamin C status when you catch a cold does help. So keep your fruit and vegetable intake high, and supplement if you catch colds often.

Zinc.

Having enough zinc in your body allows your immune system to work well, making you less susceptible to common viruses.

Taking zinc in the first 24 hours of a cold starting also reduces the duration and severity of the cold.

I’m also rather a fan of Harker’s Herbal products for colds and chest symptoms. But I’m not a herbalist, so I can only suggest that you speak to a naturopath about whether these are safe and suitable for you.

All these supplements are generally regarded as safe for most people when taken in appropriate doses. Always check product labels and/or ask a health professional for advice specific to your circumstances.

This post does not constitute personal medical advice.

cold-plushie Common cold plushie from Giant Microbes.

Supplement First Aid Kit 1 – Belly Ache and Travelling

I’ve just come back from an overseas trip, and I thought that a series on my ‘first aid kit’ supplements might be useful.

These ‘first aid kit’ items are those that I have to manage mild and common conditions like stomach upsets, headaches, cramp, period pain, colds etc.

For me this first one is a ‘must have’ item that is always in my house, and definitely in my hand luggage in case of stomach upset.

First up is Saccharomyces boulardii (SB).

This handy bug is a yeast, and has all kinds of uses for looking after your digestive system when it is at risk or under attack from illness-causing bacteria, viruses and parasites.

I won’t go into all the details of how (they are many and clever), but there is more information in the link if you want to get technical.

In case of infection:

SB can be used to reduce the symptoms and severity of stomach upset (vomiting and diarrhoea) from various causes (antibiotic-associated, food poisoning, ‘gastro’, giardia, Clostridium difficile etc).

Protection against infection:

SB can be used preventatively when travelling to prevent traveller’s diarrhoea. It can also be used by healthy people if they come into contact with someone with an infection to reduce their chance of infection.

To enhance recovery and protect against reinfection:

SB helps probiotics from supplements or fermented foods to repopulate the gut faster and strongly after antibiotics or infection. SB also improves the health of the cells of the intestines after an infection.

SB may have other uses, but these are the ‘first aid’ ones.

SB is generally regarded as safe for children and adults. Always check product labels for specific allergy and ingredient information

If vomiting and diarrhoea are dramatic or persistent then there is risk of dehydration, so a medical opinion should be sought if in doubt.

This post does not constitute medical advice.

c-diff-plushieClostridium difficile plushie from Giant Microbes.