Science and Tech


Hand-Washing, Zinc Best Weapons Against Common Cold?

Researchers at the University of Alberta in Canada found that handwashing and taking zinc are the most helpful ways to avoid getting the common cold.
Posted at 3:14 PM, Jan 28, 2014

It's something we all try to avoid: catching a cold. And even though there's no known cure for it, researchers at the University of Alberta in Canada think they've found the best way to stay healthy.

"You know what they found?"


"If you wash your hands, it is an extremely effective way to stay healthy."

"How much did they pay for this thing?" (Via WFLX)

Yes, after reviewing 67 randomized controlled trials, researchers determined hand-washing is the most effective way to prevent a cold, Red Orbit reports.

That and taking zinc supplements. Study leader Dr. Michael Allan says not to take zinc on a regular basis, though, because it can cause nausea. One WLNY anchor has a tip to help with that. (Via Flickr / Simon Berry)

"Maybe this is just me, the whole deal with zinc, zinc clearly works, but it's a little hard on your tummy. So I like to take it with some food, you know, if you're going to do the zinc." (Via WLNY)

The study also mentioned probiotics showed signs of preventing colds, but vitamin C, not so much.

If you've already caught a cold, researchers suggest acetaminophen, ibuprofen and decongestants help with congestion, sore throats and fevers. (Via Flickr / Derrick Coetzee, Flickr / Ovais Shaikh)

But HealthDay News points out antihistamines alone don't do much. Combining those with decongestants and pain relievers is more effective for those older than 5.

The study was published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.