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Chicken soup, the common cold, and Proglyta

Once again, the predictable arrival of common cold and flu season has produced predictable mention of traditional chicken soup as a natural remedy in various blogs. Indeed, the stuff has even been the subject of serious scientific inquiry in recent years.

For example, a research team at the Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha found that chicken soup actively inhibits inflammation. Specifically, they tested a standard laboratory model of neutrophils (Recall from my last post that neutrophils are the most abundant of the white blood cells that actually effect inflammation) in vitro, and found that a soluble substance in chicken soup ” significantly inhibited neutrophil migration and did so in a concentration-dependent manner.” And it is inflammation that is responsible for most of the symptoms of cold and flu.

Chicken Soup and Proglyta

Research like this comes out every so often, but the active ingredient in chicken soup—whose efficacy in decreasing the severity of symptoms of the cold and flu—has remained elusive.

Why Chicken Soup Helps with Cold Symptoms

To me, this is hardly a mystery anymore. After all, homemade chicken soup is how traditional cuisine has made nutritional use of the whole chicken. And that means the bones and connective tissues—the stuff you don’t get when you eat the supposedly more nutritious skinless, boneless chicken breast. The bones and connective tissues contain most of the collagen protein—the most abundant protein in the body (yours and the chicken’s!). And the collagen is the protein that contains most of the body’s glycine, which makes glycine the most abundant amino acid in the body.

So when we talk about wholesome foods, we’re not just talking about whole grains, but also the whole chicken or the whole fish or the whole body of whatever animal we’re eating. If we don’t, we throw away most of the glycine. Not only that, but the muscle meats are very high in the amino acid methionine, the amino acid we actually need the least of. So even though methionine is essential (We can’t live without eating some of it), we usually eat so much more than we need that after a nice chicken dinner, our livers are busy getting rid of most of the methionine! Trouble is, in order to get rid of the excess methionine, our liver uses up glycine, exacerbating the deficiency. But if we eat wholesome meats, fish and poultry as well as grains, we avoid this problem.

And what a problem! You see, glycine also turns out to be our body’s main regulator of inflammation. No wonder almost all the diseases that make people sick and die these days—from arthritis to heart disease to cancer—are traceable to chronic inflammation: Most of us are glycine deficient!

Of course, these days it’s difficult to keep up with balancing our high protein diet by eating enough of the glycine rich collagen. That’s where Proglyta comes in: Each daily serving of Proglyta provides a whopping 8 grams of glycine, enough to turn any diet into an anti-inflammatory diet.

No wonder Proglyta drinkers report fewer and less severe colds. I just got this email yesterday from one happy Proglyta consumer (PM in Palm Coast, Florida): “Love this stuff. People keep asking how I stay healthy when others are sick for a week with a cold. I get a sniffle and next day it is gone.”

Proglyta–to your health!

  1. As I noted in my post, colds tend to dissipate more quickly for Proglyta drinkers. Some report getting no colds at all once they started it. What I think is generally true is that, by providing adequate glycine, Proglyta prevents colds from progressing to secondary infections that then require antibiotics. So colds are not only less severe, but the mucus tends to stay thin and serous and easily cleared.

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