Home remedies for cold and flu, vitamin C, garlic and echinacea can do more harm than good, says a top-notch pharmacist, but it has been proven that ONE supplement works.
- A leading pharmacist has urged people to be careful and take natural remedies.
- Vitamin C, garlic and echinacea are popular during the cold and flu season
- But Dr. Geraldine Moses said there is little evidence that the remedies work
- Supplements may even interfere & # 39; with the function of prescription drugs
By Mark Brook For Daily Mail Australia
Published: 21:37 EDT, June 2, 2019 | Updated: 21:55 EDT, June 2, 2019
A leading pharmacist says there is little evidence that natural remedies & # 39; for the treatment of cold and flu really work, and can even do more harm than good.
Over-the-counter remedies such as echinacea, garlic and vitamin C supplements are popular during the winter.
But Dr. Geraldine Moses, of the School of Pharmacy at the University of Queensland, said they are often ineffective and can even "interfere" with prescription drugs.
But there is a remedy that has some merit: that is the zinc supplement that stimulates the immune system.
A leading pharmacist has urged people to take care of themselves this winter, since many of the so-called natural remedies for the common cold and the flu could be doing more harm than good.
Dr. Moses said that while people often stock up on cold and flu remedies, such as echinacea (represented in its floral form), garlic, and vitamin C, there is little evidence that they work.
According to the Mayo Clinic, several studies show that pills or zinc syrup can reduce the duration of a cold in a day, especially when taken within 24 hours of the first signs and symptoms.
It is believed that zinc works by preventing cold and flu viruses from multiplying. It can also prevent insects from lodging in the mucous membranes of the throat and nose.
Associate professor Geraldine Moses said that if people insist on taking supplements for the flu, it is crucial that they talk to an expert first.
But before people buy over-the-counter elixirs, Dr. Moses told the Sydney Morning Herald that it's critical that people talk to their doctors or pharmacists.
The experienced pharmacist said he has seen several people experience negative side effects when mixing prescription medications and supplements.
"At every step of how drugs get into your body, complementary medicines can interfere (with)," said Associate Professor Moses.
Popular ingredients such as echinacea and turmeric can have negative side effects if mixed with prescription medications, said Professor Moses.
Echinacea can worsen autoimmune conditions. After taking the herb, several people with asthma, rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis experienced outbreaks of symptoms.
The pharmacist also mentioned the so-called curative effects of turmeric, which, in high doses, can have a blood-thinning effect.
While it's likely that the occasional turmeric latte does not have a major impact on his blood, he said that taking a higher dose of the supplement can cause harm.
& # 39; Tablets and capsules (people) buy, they are no longer natural, they have been manufactured in a factory. And that's where we care, "Professor Moses said.
Vitamin C is probably one of the most consumed supplements for the flu, but according to Harvard research, the nutrient seems to have a modest prevention power.
"The data shows that vitamin C is only marginally beneficial when it comes to the common cold," says Dr. Bruce Bistrian, chief of clinical nutrition at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, affiliated with Harvard.
The Harvard research found that a daily dose of 2,000 mg of vitamin C (pictured) or more can cause nausea, diarrhea, abdominal pain and can interfere with blood sugar tests
The spokesman of an Australian pharmacy guild said that pharmacists have a duty to take care of the clinical evidence that supports claims made about the products they sell.
The research also revealed that a daily dose of 2,000 mg or more can cause nausea, diarrhea, abdominal pain and can interfere with blood sugar tests.
Among the other commonly promoted natural remedies known to alter the way conventional medicines work are black pepper, schisandra fruit, goldenseal root, green tea and guarana.
The former director of medicine at Prince of Wales Hospital in Sydney, Professor John Dwyer advised people not to take natural remedies for colds and flu.
"Studies have been conducted on everything, and there is no consistent evidence that any of that makes a difference. There is no consistent evidence that something works. And there's always a risk, "said Professor Dwyer.
The spokesman for an Australian pharmacy guild said that pharmacists have a duty to be aware of the clinical evidence that supports claims about the products they sell.
Daily Mail Australia has contacted Professor Moses and the Pharmacy Guild of Australia for comments.
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