Beware of Bogus Flu Products

Every Monday, I talk with our staff firmwide about what’s going in Medicine. We call it “Dr. Bob’s Medical Minute”, and this week I talked about a recent warning from the U.S. Food & Drug Administration about fraudulent flu products. I thought this was good information to share with you too.

February is typically the peak of cold and flu season, and the number of fraudulent flu products is on the rise. Many places have begun selling supposed “cures” and “treatments” for the flu, but none of them actually work.

For you and your clients, here’s how to spot if a flu product is fraudulent. You should consider each one of these claims as a ‘red flag’ for that product…

There are only two products that the FDA approves as effective for alleviating the symptoms of the flu and speeding up the recovery process. They are Tamiflu and Relenza.

What about vitamins? Can’t they keep the flu away?

There are over 200 viruses that can cause common cold symptoms. Vitamin C and Vitamin D can help your body fight the flu, but they can’t prevent you from getting it in the first place.

Ever since it was first isolated in the 1930s, Vitamin C has been widely sold as a therapeutic agent for the flu. Numerous trials found that Vitamin C is effective at shortening the duration of the common cold.

Vitamin D acts as an antibiotic and strengthens the immune system. Again, getting enough Vitamin D will not shield you from getting the flu, but it will help shorten the duration of being sick.

My advice for you… “Stay away from the fraudulent stuff, and take your vitamins!”