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Gargling and respiratory infections.

Water gargling may be effective for preventing upper respiratory tract infections, reported Kazunari Satomura, M.D., of Kyoto (Japan) University, and colleagues.

In a randomized, controlled trial involving 387 healthy volunteers aged 18-65 years, a URTI occurred in 41% of control subjects, 30% of subjects randomized to gargle with water, and 37% of subjects randomized to gargle with diluted povidone-iodine during a 60-day period.

The difference in URTI incidence between the control and water-gargling groups was significant, the investigators reported (Am. J. Prev. Med. 2005;29:302-7).

Furthermore, when water garglers developed a URTI, bronchial symptoms were attenuated; the mean peak score in bronchial symptoms was 1.40 in the control group, 0.97 in the water-gargling group, and 1.41 in the povidone-iodine garglers.

Garglers were asked to use 20 mL of water or diluted povidone-iodine for about 15 seconds three times consecutively, and to repeat at least three times daily. Subjects were followed for at least 60 days.

Water gargling is a virtually cost-free modality that could "appreciably benefit people both physically and economically around the world," the authors concluded.
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Author:Worcester, Sharon
Publication:Internal Medicine News
Date:Dec 15, 2005
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