Do old wives' tales on sickness hold any merit?


Some people faithfully supplement their diets with vitamin C in order to kick a cold.

Others make sure to put a hat on in the cold to avoid pneumonia, and many people are sure that eating chicken soup will make you feel better.

The advice often gets passed around, but is there any substance to these old wives' tales?

One Holdrege doctor said some of them are true, but others likely have no effect.

"Viruses we carry with us all the time, many viruses all the time, and they’re dormant or kind of asleep in normal temperatures, but research has shown that a lot of exposure to the cold can cause these viruses to become more active in colder temperatures," said Holdrege doctor Scott Ehresman.

That lowers our immunity, so that cold can make a difference on our daily health if we don't bundle up.

"Research has found that it does have what’s called a mucolytic effect which means it kind of thins the mucous some, so it can be helpful in various kind of viral infections or just kind of infections in general," Ehresman said.

Ehresman said nutrition is important to people's health, as well as sleep and exercise. What about vitamin C? The key to feeling in tip top shape?

"I think vitamin C is obviously good for you." Ehresman said. "Research has shown that mega doses of vitamin C really don’t provide any more benefit than just kind of the usual, average daily requirements. As a chemistry teachers told me in organic chemistry that it makes your urine a pretty color, but that’s about it if you overdo the vitamin C."

Ehresman said there are some people who are against exercising in the cold.

He said there's nothing to worry about, as long as you dress right and do your best to stay warm.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off