What is the difference between a common cold and the flu?

The flu is a systemic viral infection that affects your gut, your muscles, your airways very prominently. And therefore, you will have flu-like pneumonia. Dr Jacques Snyman spoke on carbohydrate-derived fulvic acid recently and I took the opportunity to ask him why would a company need to add any other vitamins or minerals to this incredible substance, is it not sufficient to have on
its own. And we also asked him what the difference is between a cold and a flu. So this is a product range, Biogen, formulated with carbohydrate derived fulvic acid for the cold and flu season. But they’ve added vitamin A, vitamin C and zinc to it. Was that necessary? Well, it’s often the question: Should I put other products in it? Will there be benefit of the other product? And I think the thinking behind this is that there is some evidence specifically in vitamin A deficient patients that get an additional benefit by adding vitamin A can aid to those particular products. So you add vitamin A to make sure that you have a sort of holistic approach to that particular viral infection. Vitamin C – it’s always been hailed for its properties within cold and flu environment and it’s never a bad thing to get extra vitamin C. And zinc is what you would typically see in a tissue healing environments, so that’s why it’s added to that particular products. So you would obviously go for something with a little bit extra added in if you had a choice between two products on the shelf? Correct. Yes. So that you get that little bit extra benefit. That extra benefit and to make sure that if you’re deficient that you actually supplemented in any event. Can we just touch on the whole immune system here? When we talked earlier, we both made note of the difference between immune stimulation and immune modulation. I think it’s a little bit of a misconception that I can stimulate my immune system in order that I can get it better than it’s supposed to be. It’s almost as if you have a good diet to say that I can take vitamins and I can be a better person. If you don’t have a vitamin deficiency, I can make it optimal but I can’t make it better than optimal. So the aim is to have an optimal immune system with your normal diet and vitamins and so forth. So when you look at this product and that’s why I emphasise that it’s anti-inflammatory so it reduces an inappropriate immune response to certain infections or certain endogenous processes such as eczema. We’ve also tested it for instance on allergic rhinitis it’s one of the things we use to see whether it works properly and whether it gives an effect like a corticosteroid. We knew from the animal studies that it gave a very corticosteroid-like effect without the steroid-like side effects and therefore it’s exciting for us to have an anti-inflammatory have a potency almost like a corticosteroid without the side effects of a corticosteroid. It would be ideal one day to develop a nose spray that won’t burn. It would be ideal. The problem is a little bit the smell that’s sort of putting it behind schedule. Yes. Going for something like this, you would rule out one antibiotic regime in case it’s that strain or a second course of antibiotics because it wasn’t bacterial and then it was viral. This product will really cover you as you say, it acts as a corticosteroid; it acts as an antiviral; antibacterial; brings down inflammation. So this is almost your go-to cold and flu product? When one says it’s an anti-infective, we haven’t yet tested it as an antibiotic. To treat a real bacterial infection we haven’t done. Except, in animal wound experiments we’ve looked at that and we’ve been able to very-well treat them. So what we’ve done is we’ve looked at a co-administration with antibiotics for when you give it as a sole agent where you think it’s more of a viral or uncertain deficiency. Your throat spray in that environment works well because it’s anti-inflammatory. It’s often the inflammation, more than 90 % of the time it’s a viral infection, which you aren’t going to take an antibiotic for. Sure. At any event. So you would go here first? I would go here for my first stop. If I don’t get better within a day or two, which is usually the timespan that you need to get better in. Depending on your immune system though and your lifestyle. It could be down and there are other conditions. Correct. So you could be down three/four days and then you’ll see depending on how you feel. Correct. I mean if there’s improvement. The cut-off point is that it mustn’t deteriorate further. Correct. So yes if it’s improvement and you’re with your product then it’s fine. I’d like to ask you about the difference between a cold and flu. Cold: is an upper respiratory infection that usually sits only in the nose and the throat and the upper airways. May later on get a bit into a secondary sinusitis and some patients will tell you, ‘Oh, it’s gone to the chest.’ It’s often a little bit of bronchitis, it can start as a cold. The flu is a systemic viral infection that affects your gut, your muscles, your airways very prominently. And therefore, you’ll get flu-like pneumonia. You can get a flu-like gastroenteritis, diarrhoea enteritis and that’s why you feel so horrible. Those muscle pains, it’s inflammatory muscle conditions. That’s why it’s important for instance, that you don’t exercise when you have flu because your heart muscle feels like your back muscles and therefore you shouldn’t overstrain it. Do you starve a flu? No, you feed a flu. And what is the temperature difference then between a cold and a flu? When a cold is usually, you can run a temperature. Can you? It’s usually slightly elevated. When you have influenza it’s usually a lot more elevated and when you have a secondary infection like a pneumonia you can run a pretty-high fever. But men don’t get colds, men only get flu. They’ve always got the worse thing. They’ve got allergic rhinitis and then flu. Yes, they just go straight to, ‘I’ve got the flu! I’m sick.’ Correct. It was so lovely having you. Thank you for spending time with us. Appreciate it. Appreciate it.

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