Health Check: can you treat the common cold?

Health Check: can you treat the common cold?

By Michael Tam

With symptoms including a runny nose, sore throat, sneezing, cough, headaches and fever, the common cold can leave you feeling rotten for up to two weeks.

As the name suggests, they’re annoyingly common, with the average adult likely to get two or three colds a year, while children average ten.

Common colds are caused by more than 200 different viruses and tend to be milder than the flu. But while the influenza vaccination can prevent against the most common circulating strains of the flu, there’s no equivalent for the common cold.

So, can you prevent the common cold? Or treat it once you have it? Let’s put four popular therapies to the test: echinacea, garlic, vitamin C and zinc. Continue reading

Comment: Prof Ken Harvey’s resignation from La Trobe University


The following is an amalgamation of a couple of comments written on the Paging Dr forum board.  This was in relation to the high profile and controversial resignation of Prof Ken Harvey from La Trobe University, following the announcement of the $15 million deal between Swisse and the university.

It is one thing to fund research into CAM. For this to be scientific, one must have a scientifically sound a priori reason why you are doing the human research in the first place.

It is quite another thing for a single manufacturer to fund a research institute that will effectively be set up to investigate its products that it already markets to the general public.

Continue reading

Common medical myths! And evidence-based health care…

Advertisement flyerPresentation titled “Common medical myths!  And evidence-based health care” delivered at the Wolper Jewish Hospital, Wellbeing Program.

This was held at Cinema 9, Event Cinemas, Westfields, Bondi Junction, on 6 November 2013 at 1930.

The Powerpoint of the presentation can be downloaded by clicking here.

A transcript can be provided on request.