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Scientists could be close to curing the common cold


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Photo: Twenty20/JulieK

While there are certain nutrients are linked to helping recover from the cold faster, a “cure” has been notoriously hard to find. But it turns out scientists are getting pretty darn close. A new study performed at the Imperial College London is making major news for having tested a drug that’s shown to be effective in blocking the virus from replicating and spreading in the body.

Past drugs aimed at killing colds have focused on attacking the virus, but this new one focuses on a key cell protein in the body instead. When someone gets a cold, this cell protein (NMT) is damaged and starts replicating, resulting in the symptoms you know and hate (congestion, a runny nose, fever, chills, body aches…all the fun stuff). But this new drug could serve as a blocker so the NMT cells don’t replicate.

“The idea is that we could give it to someone when they first become infected, and it would stop the virus being able to replicate and spread.” —Ed Tate, PhD

“The idea is that we could give it to someone when they first become infected, and it would stop the virus being able to replicate and spread,” says chemical biology professor Ed Tate, PhD, one of the lead researchers on the study. “Even if the cold has taken hold, it still might help lessen the symptoms.”

Since this lab study showed such promising results, the next step is to perform even more research. So far, the test subjects have only been mice, but if more studies corroborate the results, researchers can start using human test subjects in a couple years. (For good reason, it takes a long time and a lot of tests for drugs to actually reach the shelves.)

Even though the “cure” is not readily available yet, this drug study could be a big step toward effective treatment. And maybe one day, the common cold is going to need to find itself a new name.

In the meantime, here’s a list of essential oils that can help make your cold symptoms more manageable and four natural remedies to try.  

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