This virus causes minor but very contagious respiratory infections that create inflammation in the mucous linings of the nose and throat. The familiar symptoms of the common cold (nasal congestion, sneezing, coughing, runny nose, watery eyes, and a sore throat) usually develop a day or two after exposure to a cold virus. The infection remains contagious for two to three days after the onset of symptoms, and normally lasts about a week to 10 days. Except in people with chronic respiratory disorders, colds rarely lead to serious complications.
- VITAMIN A taken in high doses (50,000 IU twice a day) at the first signs of a cold is a powerful virus fighter. But do not continue taking such high doses for more than five days. Pregnant or considering becoming pregnant, never exceed 5,000 IU of vitamin A per day.
- VITAMIN C may help shorten a cold’s duration and reduce symptoms.
- This immune system booster is a natural antiviral cold fighter. For an extra boost, combine echinacea with goldenseal.
- ZINC LOZENGES may also help speed recovery, perhaps by destroying the cold virus itself. (Read zinc lozenge labels carefully. Only zinc gluconate, ascorbate, and glycinate help fight colds. Don’t buy zinc products containing sorbitol, mannitol, or citric acid. When combined with saliva, these ingredients make zinc ineffective.)
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