Winning The Cold War

  • 5 Jan 2010
  • Reading time 13 mins
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Are you a favourite host for the cold virus? If so, now is the time to strengthen your defences and make yourself virus-proof.

Do you stock up on boxes of tissues and make Tunes a part of your daily diet when winter comes along? If so, now is the time to strengthen your defences and make yourself virus-proof. There are basically two methods of defence: the first is to prevent infection in the first place, the second is to minimise the effect of infection once it occurs.

Viruses are not technically ‘alive’ as they cannot reproduce. They can only multiply if they get inside your cells and get them to make more virus particles. In order to keep viruses out you need to have sufficient vitamin A in your body and enough calcium and magnesium to make those cell membranes strong enough.

At the onset of winter, the external temperature gets colder and the body becomes less able to use its supply of vitamin A. This starts a vicious circle with vitamin A becoming more and more in demand. This is probably one of the reasons why zinc is helpful when you’ve got a cold because it allows vitamin A, stored in the liver, to be used.

The secret of any battle is to be well prepared. Start now by making sure that you have adequate nutrients to keep your immune system at the ready. Your multivitamin supplement should contain at least 7,500 iu of vitamin A and at least 1,000mg of vitamin C as well as a good B complex (one which contains pantothenate (B5), B6, B12 and folic acid). Your multimineral should contain ten times more zinc than copper and at least half as much magnesium as calcium. If you’re a person who often suffers from infections you may need to experiment with a maintenance dose of up to 20,000 ius of beta-carotene (7mg), which is a non-toxic form of vitamin A, and an additional 2 to 3 grams of vitamin C.

Is your early warning system on alert?
As with any attack the element of surprise gives a distinct advantage. How do you know if a virus has arrived? The first cause for suspicion is if you’ve been in the company of someone with a cold. Symptoms usually start two or three days after exposure. You also have your own ‘early warning system’ that tells you you have unwelcome guests: a sensation ......

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