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Can chicken soup cure a cold?

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By Maya E. Nahra
 

Yes, it is possible that chicken soup may relieve some cold symptoms. In fact, a few years ago, pulmonary disease physician Dr. Stephen Rennard and a team of researchers from the University of Nebraska Medical Center put chicken soup to the test.

To conduct the study, Rennard brought his wife's chicken soup (as well as some commercial soups from the grocery store) into his lab for testing. Much to the doctor's surprise, he found that all the soups tested provided an overall mild anti-inflammatory response, soothing sore throats and upper respiratory congestion caused by inflammation.

The now-famous findings from Rennard's study were published in the October 2000 issue of Chest, the peer-reviewed journal of the American College of Chest Physicians.

While it's not clear what makes the soup so beneficial, Rennard believes chicken soup may help with hydration and deliver necessary nutrients to the body, as well as provide a psychological and physical comfort that may have a placebo effect on the ill.

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