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Gargling May Prevent Colds

Armen Hareyan's picture

Gargling and Treatment of Cold

Daily gargling with water appears to ward off colds among healthy people, Japanese researchers report in the November issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. But an American expert is throwing cold water on the study.

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"The most important finding in our study is that the common cold could be prevented over 30 percent of the time by daily gargling with water," said lead author Kazunari Satomura, M.D., Ph.D., a professor of medicine and epidemiology at Kyoto University. "This simple hygienic habit could contribute to public health and it would have obvious economic benefits," he added.

The investigators enrolled 387 healthy volunteers, age 18 to 65. They were randomly assigned to gargling water, gargling with the antiseptic povidone-iodine or receiving usual care.

The participants then led their normal lives for the next 60 days, or until they caught an upper respiratory tract infection