Emergen-C and Cold FX Debunked
In about an hour, I’m off to give a talk on Natural Cold & Flu Prevention to an office I work with in Vancouver. Ironically, both of the organizers of the event are sick, so I think our timing is impeccable. 😉
One of the topics we’re covering is ‘popular cold & flu remedies, debunked’, or put another way – are these popular items even good for you or are they just hype?
Before we get into it, let me ask you, how often you’re getting sick? Take a second to count how many times you got sick in the last 12 months…or 2 years? Was it more than once this year?
One of the very first clients that I ever worked with had terrible IBS (upset stomachs), and when we dug a little deeper it turns out she was getting sick anywhere from 3-6x a year, and was getting chronic ear infections since she was a baby. She would have to take antibiotics, sometimes up to three rounds, only to get rid of the infections temporarily.
Interestingly, when we did a gut healing program together which involved identifying her food intolerances and then adding a ton of the good bacteria back into her gut, she went an entire year (for the first time in her life) without getting sick and I believe, has not had an ear infection since.
My point? Don’t underestimate what the good bacteria can do (regardless of your digestion) in preventing colds and flus.
If you’re someone that seems to catch everything, book a time to chat with me, and let’s figure out what’s going on with you so that you have a killer immune system.
And now on to the debunking…
Let’s start with Emergen C:
In theory, taking 1,000mg of Vitamin C as you feel a cold coming on is a great idea. Vitamin C is nothing but beneficial to the body, particularly as it helps your body deal with stress, which can be a root cause of getting sick in the first place. While there are inconsistent studies on whether Vitamin C prevents a cold, it can help with the duration of a cold, and I see NO harm in boosting your Vitamin C intake – cold & flus aside.
However, should you do it with Emergen C?
Well, I did a nice old google search for the product label of Emergen C from their website.
Here it is:
Fructose, Citric Acid, Maltodextrin. Contains <2% of: Acacia, Beet Juice Concentrate (color), Cranberry Juice Solids (color and flavor), Dried Fruit & Vegetable Juice Concentrates (Carrot, Hibiscus) (color and flavor), Glycine, L-Aspartic Acid, Malic Acid, Natural Flavors, Pomegranate Powder (color and flavor), Silicon Dioxide, Tannic Acid, Tartaric Acid.
The #1 ingredient is fructose, aka sugar. So, every time you pop a packet of Emergen C, you’re getting 6g of sugar. Now, overall 6g of sugar is nothing CRAZY, but if you’re doing this 3x a day, all of a sudden you’re almost up to a Mars bar amount of sugar!
What can you do instead?
For those in the Vancouver area, I highly recommend checking out one of the three Glory Juice locations, where they carry a brand called Livon Lypo-Spheric Vitamin C. The cool thing about this Vitamin C supplement is you actually rub it on your gums and it is absorbed within minutes, vs having to pass through your digestive tract, where less is absorbed.
*It looks like you can also order it from their website too, for those not in the area.
Cold FX passes the ingredient test, for the most part. The active ingredient is actually a form of Panax Ginseng, which is an adaptogenic herb, also helping your body perform better under stress.
If you find Cold FX helps, it may be because you’re under a lot of stress (physical or mental) and the Cold FX helps your body adapt. Stress is a huge cause of getting sick, because cortisol (one of your stress hormones) actually suppresses your immune system.
What I would be careful of is the fact that it isn’t the be all end all of natural supplements. Why? Well, CBC marketplace actually did some digging into the brand, and another blogger can tell you all about it here. To give you the Coles Notes version, the data is not necessarily accurate that cold FX claims.
There is not clinical evidence on its efficacy, and there have been a number of lawsuits against the brand for its claim of “immediate relief”.
So where do we stand on Cold FX? If you take it and it works for you, I don’t see a problem, but there are a number of other cold and flu prevention habits you can do, particularly managing your stress and boosting your gut flora.
Stay tuned for another post talking about natural cold & flu prevention tips.