Surviving cold season
Lucian Delcea, PhD
A: The common cold is a viral, contagious disease affecting the upper respiratory tract. Its symptoms can be any of the following: runny or stuffy nose, sore throat, congestion, coughing, low fever, body aches, and malaise.
Exposure to infected people in crowded environments such as shops, airplanes, schools, and movie theatres significantly increases the risks of contracting viruses. A weak immune system or suffering from degenerative afflictions further increases the risk of falling ill.
There is no vaccine for the common cold. It is usually left to run its course with help from over-the-counter drugs to relieve some of the symptoms. The most commonly used supplements to help clear the cold faster are generally antioxidants and support for the immune system, including vitamin C and zinc. Some naturopaths also recommend adding astragalus, echinacea, or elderberry.
However, there are ways to avoid getting a cold or otherwise minimize its effects. The best way to achieve this is to strengthen the entire immune system. My preferred approach is to increase the cellular level of glutathione, the master antioxidant molecule.
Glutathione plays a key role in strengthening both innate and adaptive immunity and has profound effects on lymphocyte functions. All this adds up to an increase in our body’s capacity to fight both bacteria and viruses.
Many pathological and inflammatory conditions are also associated with decreased glutathione levels. Oral glutathione is poorly absorbed in the system, requiring higher doses of up to 500 mg.
I prefer formulations containing glutathione precursors and, most importantly, containing ingredients that produce endogenous glutathione in the gut via fermentation with the help of Lactobacillus fermentum.