A Cure for the Common Cold Is in the Works: What to Do in the Meantime
- A new study has found that shutting off a specific protein stops certain types of viral infections, including the common cold.
- The findings are still in their early stages, but researchers hope to develop a drug that replicates these effects.
- In the meantime, you can reduce your chances of catching the cold this winter by boosting your immune system and trying immune-friendly supplements. Keep reading to find out how.
Sniffling. Congestion. Piles of snotty tissues. The common cold is a total buzzkill, and even though there are steps you can take to prevent it, nobody is immune — yet. According to a new study published in the journal Nature Microbiology, disabling a specific protein inside our cells might be able to protect us from the common cold and other viral diseases.
What the study found
Enteroviruses are a group of viruses associated with conditions like asthma, encephalitis and polio. The common cold is usually caused by a type of enterovirus called rhinovirus. Here’s the frustrating part: Rhinoviruses are really good at developing drug resistance, and there are roughly 160 different types of rhinovirus (that we know of). If you’ve ever had two or three colds in a row, that’s why.
Like a rude house guest, viruses spread by infecting a host cell and gobbling up the proteins inside. Researchers at Stanford University and University of California-San Francisco discovered a way to disable a specific protein that prevents enteroviruses from setting up shop inside of cells.
Here’s how they did it: The researchers used gene editing to turn off specific genes inside of human cells. They exposed the modified cells to enteroviruses. None of the enteroviruses were able to replicate in cells that lacked the protein SETD3. Bioengineered mice that lacked this protein were actually impervious to infection from two enteroviruses that can cause encephalitis, an inflammation of the brain.
These findings are still in their early stages, but researchers hope to develop a drug that can replicate these effects without interfering with SETD3’s regular function. In the meantime, keep reading to learn what you can do to prevent the common cold — and get over it quickly.
How to beat the common cold
You can’t completely prevent the common cold. But you can take steps to reduce your chances of catching the sniffles.
Boost your body’s natural defenses
Your immune system is your body’s defense against infections and disease. You can take steps to make sure your immune system is strong and capable of fighting off the bad guys (looking at you, rhinovirus).
- Sleep: A lack of sleep can weaken your immune system and make you more susceptible to colds.  Find out how to sleep better.
- Move: Exercise is good for you, and it can help your body fight infection. Maintain a consistent workout routine, and don’t forget to move throughout the day.
- Practice good hygiene: Wash your hands and keep those paws away from your face: Germs can easily enter your body through your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Drink water: Good ol’ H20 is one of the best ways to support your immune system. Water helps your body get rid of toxins and waste. Check out the best ways to stay hydrated.
- Take care of your gut: Your gut bacteria play a big role in your immune system by helping defend your body from infections. Find out how to boost your gut health.
Try immune-friendly supplements
Getting enough high-quality sleep, moving your body, eating a nutrient-rich diet and staying hydrated are all pieces of a healthy lifestyle that support a rockstar immune system. The following supplements can help take your germ-busting power to the next level.
- Glutathione: This is your body’s master antioxidant, but it can be depleted by the stress of everyday living. Bulletproof Glutathione Force boosts your natural glutathione stores for maximum immune support.
- Ashwagandha: This adaptogenic herb is packed with mind-body benefits, including immune support. Learn how it works (and how to use it) here.
- Polyphenols: These are micronutrients found in plant-based foods, and they’re loaded with antioxidants to support healthy immune function. Bulletproof Polyphenomenal contains 1,770mg of plant-based polyphenols sourced from 10 different berries and botanicals so you can feel, well, phenomenal.
- Vitamins A, D and K: This trio works together to support your bones, heart and immune system. Get them in optimal doses in Bulletproof ADK.
And if all else fails
Have you been hit with a cold? Get over it quickly with this feel-better-fast checklist. It’s packed with natural cold remedies that actually work — so you can get back to feeling awesome in no time.
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