by Annlee Ellingson
Colds and flu happen year-round, but they’re especially frequent in the colder winter months when the temperature drops. According to Dr. Lon Jones, author of No More Allergies, Asthma or Sinus Infections, this discrepancy has less to do with temperature than with humidity.
In addition to filtering and cleaning the air we breathe, the nose warms and humidifies it. We get most of the fluid needed for this warming and humidifying by drinking plenty of water, but the environment plays a role as well: the airway surface fluid that helps our cilia and mucus do their job is replenished in moist air and reduced in dry air. It’s not just that the air turns chilly that causes cold and flu season; it’s also that it gets dry.
One of the most important things we can do to support our health during cold and flu season, or any time of year, is to drink more water. We can further assist our nasal defense system by moistening it with a saline solution.
According to research published in the November 2004 issue of Acta Otolaryngol, using a daily saline nasal spray can prevent cold symptoms in adults. In the study*, 60 young adults used daily nasal spray with saline for 10 weeks and then recorded their symptoms for another 10 weeks. The subjects who used the spray 60 percent of the time reported an average 6.4 days of nasal secretion and/or blocked nose, a significant decrease from 11 days during the observation period. Moreover, they averaged 0.7 episodes of upper respiratory tract infection compared with 1.0 episodes during the observation period.
The efficacy of saline nasal washes can be further increased by adding a unique sugar derived from wood called xylitol, Dr. Jones says. All respiratory problems begin in the back of the nose. Bacteria and viruses gather there and then move from that base camp throughout the body to cause middle-ear, sinus, and upper and lower respiratory infections. Because xylitol looks like sugar and tastes like sugar and, most importantly, acts like sugar, with receptors that attach to bacteria connectors.
Xylitol has an open, flexible form, so it can fill up all of bacteria’s connectors. If all of a bacteria’s connectors are occupied by xylitol receptors, then the bacteria can’t attach to cells in our noses, and nasal saline irrigation will wash them out of our noses and out of our bodies. This is important in cold and flu prevention because the viruses that cause these conditions are transmitted to and throughout the body by attaching themselves to bacteria.
Water, salt and sugar—these are the weapons Dr. Jones recommends to combat colds and flu this season. “People came to me because I helped developed a nasal spray that strengthens and augments our normal nasal defenses, which helps patients stay healthy and does not involve the use of any drugs,” he says. “It is a very simple and safe nasal spray, and has been proven effective in studies throughout the world.”
For saline nasal washes and sprays with xylitol at their most effective dosages, trust Xlear formulas. They honor what your mom told you: “Keep your nose clean!”
7 Tips for a Healthy Cold and Flu Season
Stay cold-and flu-free with these simple precautions:
- Drink plenty of water.
- Wash your hands often to avoid transmitting viruses from person to person.
- Keep your hands away from your face to prevent viruses, if they do get on your hands, from getting into your body.
- Wash your nose every time you wash your hands. If viruses do get into your nose, your nasal defenses can prevent them from getting to the cells lining your airway. Carry xylitol wash with you everywhere you go and use it to optimize your nasal defense system.
- Wear a small particle mask. Viruses are too small to be filtered out by masks, but they often travel attached to particles that a mask will filter out.
- If you get sick, stay home. Isolation works. Don’t enable viruses to adapt by spreading them around.
- For a fever, make yourself comfortable and drink plenty of fluids. For nasal congestion, use a nasal spray with xylitol every 15 minutes until your nose is clear.
To learn more about Xlear Nasal Spray and xylitol products or to find a store near you, call 877-599-5327 or visit www.xlear.com, www.xylitol.org and www.nasal-xylitol.com.
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