Pills of vitamin C on a background of orange

Will Vitamin C or Zinc ‘Immune Boosters’ Help My Cold?

Many products are marketed to prevent and treat colds and other viral upper respiratory infections.  These range from plain vitamin C to fancier powders you mix with water for an effervescent drink. Unfortunately, evidence that these products show actual benefits is sparse. Vitamin C is an important nutrient. Yet studies evaluating its effectiveness during acute illness show, at best, an 8 percent speedier recovery — meaning you’ll feel better 13 hours sooner during a typical seven-day illness. At worst, the studies demonstrate no benefit at all. Some cold prevention products contain zinc. While an old study on its use in treating colds was promising, the results were questioned because a zinc product manufacturer funded the research. No studies on zinc have since shown any benefit. What’s more, toxicity from taking high amounts of zinc (beyond what you’d normally get in a multivitamin) is a definite risk. It’s hard to know whether taking these cold products might produce a placebo effect or if any perceived benefit is due to hydration and electrolyte replacement. So while taking vitamins when you’re sick probably won’t hurt you, the best medicine still seems to be time, fluids and rest. 0

A young student suffering from the exhaustion of finals

Can Stress Actually Make You Sick?

Nobody can lead an entirely worry-free life. And that’s OK. But can feelings of stress spiral into sickness? Here’s the upside of stress: While, anxiety is an uncomfortable feeling, it’s often what prompts us to act. For example, if layoffs are happening at work and you’re worried that you’re next, anxiety may prompt you to update your resume and start looking for another job. “Experiencing a manageable amount of anxiety and worry helps prepare us to face the challenges of daily living,” says psychologist Adam Borland, PsyD. 0

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Woman: Chest pain at Park

Why Do My Breasts Itch Inside?

Breast itching is not uncommon. Although it is not typically a sign of breast cancer, any breast symptom should be evaluated by a healthcare provider to be sure. Itching may develop following breast surgery or cancer treatment. But assuming you have not had previous breast problems, it may be a sign of dry skin or minor inflammation. Using a good moisturizer such as Lubriderm® can help. If the itching is truly “inside,” it might be helpful to stop caffeine. You can also try an herbal supplement called evening primrose oil, 1000 milligrams twice a day for three to four months, to try to “calm down” breast tissue. The one thing I would worry about is if the nipple itself looks abnormal — reddened, flaky or ulcerated.  A rare form of breast cancer, called Paget’s disease, can present in this way and may cause itching. 0


How to Lose Waist Fat

The waist can be one of the most difficult areas of the body to lose fat. Once fat is stored in the waist area, it takes discipline to take it off. Whether it got there because of pregnancy, a beer belly, couch potato, or from sitting in a cubicle, it is possible to take control and make your waist look fit again. This article will help you to get started to lose waist fat. Keywords to Lose Waist Fat how to lose waist fat lose waist fat lose waist 0


How to Build Lean Body Mass

Chiseled abs, shapely legs, toned arms – these can be yours when you increase your lean body mass and decrease your body fat percentage. Rev up your metabolism, improve your stamina and create the lean body you want by following these steps. Measure your body fat percentage (using a body-fat analyzer or body-fat scale) before making dietary or exercise changes; this way you’ll be able to track your progress. 0


How Long Does it Take to Get a 6 Pack?

“Six packs,” the colloquial term for a set of well defined abdominal muscles, seem to be coveted by many, but had by few. Many people diet and exercise like crazy, yet wonder why they don’t develop a toned core. Experts have outlined specific guidelines for diet and exercise that help the body increase lean muscle mass while avoiding storing extra fat. The length of time necessary to achieve a six pack is different depending on the individual. A person’s body fat percentage is the primary indicator of how much work needs to be done to make that magical six pack appear. Body Fat Percentage 0


How Many Calories Do You Burn a Day Without Exercise?

Everyday activities — even fidgeting at your desk or belly laughs during a funny movie — combine to burn calories to one degree or another. And obviously, an active day with your kids or spending the afternoon on yard work will definitely expend more energy than lounging on the sofa watching TV. If you are not motivated to exercise in 30-minute spurts performing heart-healthy workouts such as jogging or playing tennis, just know that even at rest, your body is burning calories. Your daily basal metabolic rate, which is measured in calories, is the energy required to keep your body functioning. 0

A pair of female feet standing on a bathroom scale

Do You Want to Lose Weight? Learn to Relax

One way to fight excess weight may surprise you. Besides clocking in time with a tread mill, it turns out we also need to do the opposite: learn to relax. Experts say managing stress effectively doesn’t only help with weight loss, but it makes us healthier overall. According to Mladen Golubic, MD, PhD, Medical Director of Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Lifestyle Medicine, excess weight and high levels of stress contribute to lifestyle-related chronic disease — and the two are related. 0