Health Q&A with
Dr. Phyllis Ritchie
Q: I read in the paper
that zinc shortens a
cold. How much should
I take if I get a cold?
A: A study regarding
zinc supplements and
the common cold was
recently published in
the Cochrane Library.
It looked at 15 prior
zinc studies in 1,360
found that people who took zinc supplements
(syrup, lozenges or tablets) within 24 hours
reduced the length of their cold by a day. The
review also showed that zinc seemed to reduce
the severity of the cold symptoms.
Prior studies of zinc, however, have not
shown any benefits. Also, the study does not
provide any recommendations regarding the
optimum dose, formulation or length of treatment because the studies that were reviewed
were not all uniform.
In my opinion, more studies need to be
conducted to determine if zinc works and at
what dosage. However, if you get a cold, zinc
lozenges or syrup may be beneficial if taken
within 24 hours of the symptoms.
Dr. Phyllis Ritchie
Q: How can you avoid or get rid of bedbugs?
A: Unfortunately, bedbugs have made an
international resurgence over the past decade.
Some experts believe it’s related to the ban on
DDT in 1972, but most entomologists agree
the most important factor is a lack of education in bedbug identification and management. Also, international travel has greatly
increased over the past decade, resulting in
more bedbugs hitching a ride in suitcases and
thus around the world.
The Costco Connection
costco carries cranberry juice and tablets, a
variety of cold remedies and more.
Bedbugs are not necessarily associated
with unsanitary conditions and can be found
anywhere. One of the most common places to
find them is on a hotel mattress. Prior to
sleeping on a hotel mattress, pull back all of
the bedding on the mattress and specifically
look at the head of the bed and in the mattress
seams and box springs. Look for small dark
dots, which are evidence of bedbug feces. You
may want to spray some cedar spray on mat-tresses if you do think there are bedbugs.
They don’t like the cedar smell, and it may
chase them away.
Other common places where you might
encounter bedbugs are garage sales and thrift
Pharmacy Buyer Buyer’s pıck
The Na TioNal iNs Ti Tu Tes of health
reports that 60 million to 70 million people
in the u.s. are affected by digestive disorders each year, resulting in $141.8 billion
in medical costs. up to 25 percent of adults
may suffer pain and discomfort from digestive issues.
Poor diet, travel, a hectic lifestyle,
medication use and common everyday
stress can disrupt the healthy balance of
good-versus-bad bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract. Good bacteria used to be
more readily available in a variety of fermented or cultured food sources, such as
yogurt and cheese, but overprocessing in
many foods limits the availability of probiotics (good bacteria thought to be beneficial) in what we eat.
Probiotic supplements are rapidly gain-
stores. Follow these steps if you thrift-shop:
Carefully inspect all items you purchase
(look for evidence of dark dots everywhere).
Take all small items home in a sealable
Don’t remove the items from the plastic
bag until you are ready to either dry-clean them
or put them in the washer set at hot (120 F) and
then in the dryer on a high setting for at least
Throw the plastic bag away outside in
the garbage can.
Don’t purchase or take home any items
if in doubt.
continued on page 43
ing recognition as a natural, safe and effec-
tive means to restore that balance. Clinical
studies are demonstrating the ability of
beneficial bacteria to strengthen the diges-
tive system and boost immune defense.
here’s what we know about the pro-
They promote intestinal regularity.
They are scientifically formulated to
restore healthy intestinal balance during
and after antibiotic therapy—a frequent
cause of diarrhea.
They help to relieve the constipation
side effect associated with prescription
drugs such as painkillers, antidepressants
and iron supplements.
They have been proven to aid calcium
absorption to encourage greater bone mass.
They are clinically proven to boost
the body’s natural immune system.
Now available at all u.s. Costco locations and online at Costco.com, truNature®
Digestive Probiotic (100-count) delivers 10
billion live active cultures in just one capsule a day. These safe and effective probiotic strains are 100 percent dairy, soy and
gluten free. C