Sunday, December 26, 2010

Does Ginseng help reduce the severity of the common cold?

In the pediatric population, upper respiratory infections are the most common childhood illness.  With the majority of these infections being caused by a virus, there currently are no safe and effective antiviral medications available.

One common remedy that's been used to relieve symptoms of the cold is Ginseng.  American Ginseng which is also known as Panax quinquefolius is purported to be effective in relieving cold symptoms in adult populations, but is it effective for children too?

A fairly recent study published in the journal, Pediatrics, attempted to answer this question [1].  The study itself involved using a specific preparation of Ginseng from CV Technologies called ColdFX.

The study authors reached the following conclusion:
CONCLUSIONS: Standard doses of ginseng were well tolerated and merit additional evaluation with regard to treatment of pediatric upper respiratory tract infection.

To find out more about natural remedies for colds, follow the link.

  1. Vohra S, Johnston BC, Laycock KL, Midodzi WK, Dhunnoo I, Harris E, Baydala L.  Safety and tolerability of North American ginseng extract in the treatment of pediatric upper respiratory tract infection: a phase II randomized, controlled trial of 2 dosing schedules.  Pediatrics. 2008 Aug;122(2):e402-10.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Ceroc Dance Classes?

For those who're trying to get back into shape or simply shed a few extra pounds, participating in a fitness dance class can help with motivation.

Among popular fitness dance classes, many women and some men too are trying out Zumba or Ceroc Dancing. Some even view Ceroc Dance Classes as an opportunity to not only get fit but to socialize:

I was really pleased that the men had recognized Ceroc as a great opportunity to meet women. A man who knows how to dance is extremely desirable to many women and too many are scared to try, fearful of what their peers may think of them. As Ceroc is a dance that is generally led by men it was great to see these guys really keen to improve and become good dancers.

Low Mineral Intake in the Gluten-Free Diet?

Elisabeth Hasselbeck - Gluten-Free
The Gluten-Free diet, a medical necessity for those with Celiac Disease, is gaining popularity among the general population.  In part, this trend has been fueled by the popularity and support of the gluten-free diet among celebrities such as Victoria Beckham (Posh Spice), Zooey Deschanel, and The View's Elisabeth Hasselbeck, for example.

On a cautionary note, a research study from the UK suggests that the gluten-free diet may be deficient in some important minerals and dietary fiber [1].

From the study authors:
Individuals consuming a strict GFD (gluten-free diet) generally had similar intakes of energy and nutrients to those of comparison populations, but a higher proportion of carbohydrate intake was obtained from nonmilk extrinsic sugars and intakes of nonstarch polysaccharides were low. Compared with the UKWCS sample, female patients adhering to a GFD had lower intakes of magnesium, iron, zinc, manganese, selenium and folate. In male patients, intakes of magnesium and selenium were particularly low.


The study authors found that the gluten free diet was high in sugar, low in minerals such as iron, zinc, manganese, selenium, magnesium, and folate, and low in dietary fiber.


  1. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2010 Aug;32(4):573-81. Epub 2010 Jun 4.