You should feed a cold and starve a fever – yes or no?

No. And it’s not the other way either. There’s little scientific evidence for one of the most well-known medical maxims (also known as Mum’s advice). The only study suggesting that the claim had any validity was published in the journal Clinical and Diagnostic Laboratory Immunology in 2002 by a team of Dutch scientists. They found that eating a meal increases a type of immune response that fights off the viruses responsible for colds, while fasting seemed to stimulate one that could help fight off the infections associated with most fevers. But the study involved only a small number of subjects and has not been replicated. Most doctors – and years of research on cold and flu sufferers – say there’s only one tried-and-true treatment: Plenty of rest and fluids.
 

Related Article

Latest Ask The Experts Stories

What exactly is this silent deadly disease, and how to survive it.
Why your feet seem to have a mind of their own as you're talking on your mobile phone.
Win extra points in the bedroom with these massage tips.
Approximately 27 percent of guys will experience some kind of groin hernia in their lifetime.
How to stop the pain while still working on your arms.

Newsletter

Subscribe now to receive the latest news and promotions from Men's Health and our partners!
By signing up, you indicate that you have read and agreed to the and

Social Wire

Subscription

February Issue

Subscribe to Men's Health for 1 year and enjoy 20% off when you do so now!

Promotion

UP NEXT