There may be no cure for the common cold, but did you know the average person spends 5 years suffering from colds? So, here are the definitive facts about colds, courtesy of Jennifer Ackerman, author of Ah-CHOO! The Uncommon Life of Your Common Cold. 
  • First, colds can be caused by airborne droplets from coughs and sneezes, but you’re more likely to get a cold when you touch something germy and stick your hands in your face, which you do about 600 times a day.

  • Also, colds are more common in fall and winter, but experts say cold weather doesn’t cause colds. It just keeps us indoors, where the viruses leap much more easily from person to person. And cold germs are viruses, not bacteria, so antibiotics and antibacterial soaps are useless. 

  • Ackerman also says that all cold remedies are worthless. Studies show that zinc lozenges and products like Airborne don’t prevent colds, shorten their duration, or reduce their symptoms. In fact, Ackerman says the only good thing about cold remedies is the vitamin C they contain,  which helps dry out cold secretions.

  • So, what about chicken soup? Studies show it can slightly reduce cold symptoms because of its anti-inflammatory properties. But it may be more effective if someone makes it for you. Why? Because empathy from others can actually cut short a cold by a full day, which makes it better than any drug on the market, and has no side effects.