Kazunari Satomura and his research team from Kyoto University have found that daily gargling with povidione-iodine reduced the chances of getting common cold. The results of the study have been published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
The study was conducted in 387 healthy volunteers between the age group of 18 to 65.
The study recruits were divided into three groups, the first group gargled water with povidone-iodine, the second group gargled with water and the third group had no gargling or usual care. The participants then led their normal lives for the next 60 days, or until they caught an upper respiratory tract infection whichever came first. They were asked to keep up with normal hand-washing and to avoid cold remedies during that time.
A total of 130 subjects contracted a cold, sore throat, sinus infection or a form of bronchitis. There was no significant difference in the rate of first infection between the control group and the povidone-gargling group. But there was a 36 percent decrease among water garglers compared to controls. The researchers were happy with their research outcome which shows that common cold could be prevented by over 30% by daily gargling with water and by doing this simple procedure it would contribute a lot to the public health by preventing cold attacks.
Peter Muenning, Assistant Professor, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University said, "The study is borderline statistically significant effect for water gargling, there was no true placebo group that is, there was no control group in which people could gargle with "fake" water, as it would have had a psychological effect and those who believe falsely they are being treated tend to get better on their own. "In this case, there was no such group as people in Japan, and Asia in general, tends to believe that (gargling) is an effective preventive modality, it is possible that the positive effect noted was due to the placebo effect." He added, "If this is the case," he added, "we would expect eating and drinking to do the same thing. Their claim that there is a 36 percent reduction in the chances of getting a cold with gargling must be taken with a gargle of salt."