Dr Michael Tam was interviewed and quoted in an article written by journalist Jane Hansen, published in the Sunday Telegraph.
“THEY are the first things we reach for when the winter sniffles arrive but experts say popular supplements such as vitamin C and echinacea are really just a waste of money.
Dr Michael Tam, a general practitioner and senior lecturer at the University of NSW, said most popular natural cold and flu supplements simply don’t work.
“They appear to be no better than placebo,” he said. “In the general community there is no evidence vitamin C makes any difference in terms of length or severity of a cold.”
Another popular herbal remedy, echinacea, which is a member of the daisy family, has also failed to prove its effectiveness as a preventative.
One supplement that has shown promise is zinc, Dr Tam said. “There is some evidence it can reduce some symptoms but you need high doses and it tastes bad and can make you sick, ” he said.
Garlic has shown some promise but only one study has been done by the company which is selling the garlic supplement, Dr Tam said.”