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This article was published 2/11/2017 (847 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Cold and flu sufferers, take heart.
A Winnipeg company has developed an all-natural throat spray that has been clinically proven to be safe and effective in helping fight cold-and-flu-related bacteria.
Innotech Nutrition’s Colflex throat spray, which is made from a blend of essential spice oils — oregano, thyme, spearmint and lemon — has been available for about four years in health food stores, select pharmacies and natural health-care clinics across Canada.
CEO Wayne Friesen said Wednesday sales have been steadily increasing despite minimal marketing, and the feedback from customers has been very positive.
But doctors often said they’d want assurances that particular combination of essential oils is safe to use on a daily basis before recommending it to patients.
So Innotech asked the University of Manitoba’s Richardson Centre for Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals to test the spray for both its safety and its effectiveness in inhibiting the growth of the bacteria often associated with colds and flu.
"There are more than 25,000 natural health products sold in Canada, with many different claims of benefits, but they are seldom put to the test," Friesen explained. "Customers have told us that Colflex is very effective, but we wanted definitive proof that it not only works but is very safe. Testing at the Richardson Centre confirmed that."
The director of the Richardson Centre agreed.
"In the lab, we found this product halted the incubation of staph, strep, e-coli and salmonella bacteria in less than 30 minutes," Dr. Peter Jones said. "Moreover, our double-blind, randomized clinical trial showed Colflex had no effect on the glucose levels (blood sugar), lipids (cholesterol), or liver enzymes of people who took the supplement over a period of four weeks."
Jones noted most colds and flu do incubate in the back of the throat, so "by coating your throat with antiseptic oils, you may prevent these harmful bacteria from growing."
But he also noted they are often a combination of a viral and a bacterial infection, so treating the bacterial infection is just part of the solution.
However, "so far, I’m convinced that this oregano preparation, or spray... does appear to have a benefit (in treating the bacterial infection)," he said.
Friesen said the spray retails for about $19.99 for a bottle with 165 sprays. The label suggests using it two to three times per day to help stop the growth of bacteria in the throat.
Friesen said Innotech wanted to develop a natural product that could help fight a cold or flu because the overuse of antibiotics has become a well-known problem. He noted the essential spice oils Innotech uses have been used for centuries to help treat a variety of ailments.
He said Innotech isn’t saying its product, on its own, can prevent or cure a cold or flu. But the U of M tests have shown it can safely halt the incubation of bacteria in the throat. There is also vitamin D in the spray, which can help support the body’s immune system, he said.
"So it can be part of whatever else you’re doing to help your body cure itself, including getting rest and drinking lots of fluids — all of the common stuff. Make it part of your total program."
Innotech has been in business since 2001, and supplies about 20 natural health products to health food stores across Canada. Its other products include vitamin D and B12 oral sprays, a whey protein and a liquid ionic kelp.