What Is Cold-fx And Does It Work?

cold-fxCold-fX is a drug developed in Canada that…

…can be used both for the prevention as well as relief of cold and flu infections… [It’s a] highly purified natural product obtained from roots of North American ginseng. It is comprised of poly-furanosylpyranosyl-saccharides.

I get a lot of colds and they tend to stick with me for months. I’ve had more than one person recommend this product to me, so I checked its price at Costco: 60 bucks for 180 capsules! Holy shit! The manufacturer, CV Technologies, IS making record profits, as expected (greedy bastards). The company uses a LOT of celebrity endorsements, which I don’t care about, but I suspect it helps their sales a lot. Macleans magazine wrote an article about its popularity, calling it “the celebrity cure”.

Has anyone else tried it? Maybe ginseng and Vitamin C supplements would be just as effective.

Update (Feb. 22, 2007): I’ve been taking Cold-fx since I first posted this and I’ve gotten a cold about once a month. It doesn’t work. I’m ALSO taking 1000mg of Vitamin C and multi-vitamins everyday. I just don’t wash my hands often enough, I guess.

40 Replies to “What Is Cold-fx And Does It Work?”

  1. Michelle, like you gets a lot of cold. She pumps herself with echinacea, vitamin A, B, C, D, iron, Omega 3. She has started on the Cold-fx too. I on the other hand don’t use anything. Has it helped? She doesn’t seem to get as sick this year as she did last year but her colds seem to linger a little longer.

  2. Suckers: “This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.”

    I think snake oil is more popular today than it was in the 1880s.

    New studies suggest ginseng is useless too. Washing your hands more often, daily exercise (even just a short walk), and a good diet with a good night’s sleep is better than all this quick-fix shite.

  3. I gotta cure for you, Jody: Turn up the heat in your house (though it’s probably cheaper to buy the capsules).

    I used to take tons of vitamins, and now I take none, and I think I actually get sick LESS now than I used to. My secret? I eat fresh salmon at least once a week, I put fresh rosemary in everything, I’m always eating apples, expensive ones, I don’t eat anything white, and I eat a lot of tomato-based products. I also turn on the heat in my house so I’m never cold. Putting on a sweater just doesn’t cut it.

  4. Does exposure to cold weather make a person catch a cold or the flu?

    Contrary to folk wisdom, exposure to cold does not seem to be responsible for catching a cold or the flu.

    People stay indoors more in the winter, which puts them closer to each other, and the air is much drier, which enhances the survival of some viruses.

    The bottom line is that although exposure to cold doesn’t cause colds and flu, both types of disease certainly are more common in the winter.

  5. So I guess living in a cold house is good for you?

    I didn’t say cold weather. I said cold house.

    It is possible your house is making you sick. It could be cold, it could be drafts, it could something in the air, but I’ve lived in houses that made me sick all the time.

  6. Jody, you should test this stuff and report back to us. I just read the Mclean’s article. They almost had me sold. It works for Don Cherry, but does it work for regular folk like you? You’re sick often enough to put it to the test. I’d like to see if it works.

  7. Michelle takes IRON? I take 2 multi-vitamins a day, but a special kind without any iron because that stuff causes free radicals. Iron supplementation is usually only when a doctor tells you to do it. I’d never imagined it would be good for colds, but I wouldn’t try it.

    If you feel you’re starting to get sick you can OD for a little while on Vitamin C and it reduces the total cold time by about 12 hours. Instead of taking 1000wu (whatever units) of vitamin C a day, take 3000wu.

    3 green teas a day and lots of vitamin C is what I recommend.

  8. Day 3 of taking Cold-fx: My cold IS almsot gone, but it could’ve coincidence; however, coughs tend to linger in me months after the major symptoms disappear, and the cough almost gone.

    I’m not sold on the product, but I will give it another try if I detect a cold coming on again.

  9. It was on sale at Costco, so I bought a big-ass bottle of it. I’ve been taking 2 pills a day for about a week now.

    I haven’t gotten a cold, but that means dick all: it could be coincidence.

  10. CBC Debate on ginseng based cold remedies

    Check this out. CBC coincidentally just opened a debate on this subject on their website.

  11. 60 bucks for 180 caps. read directions, 9 the first day, 6 the next 3 the last day. Total of 18 caps. 180/60= 0.33 per cap time 15 caps = $4.95 per cold, pretty cheap considering the price of all the cold relief products out there. They have been written up in 12 medical journals, including the Canadian Medical Journal (ranked number 4 in the world) and most recently in the The Office of Dietary Supplements Division of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the U.S

    I have been taking it for 3 years now – only when I feel a cold coming on and have not missed a days work since. Being self employed, that saves me big bucks.

  12. Some of the comments here sound like people have missed the news for the last 20 years.

    Colds are not caused by temperature. They are a virus. They are more predominant in cold temperature because people tend to let their immune sysetms down by eating fewer fruits and execising less. This was more true in older times when fresh fruits weren’t available and people still got scruvy. Getting some cold air during the day

    Cold FX studies show minor improvements if a person takes 2 pills a day for more than 30 days. The same results can be seen if people are able to remember to take multivitamins each day.

    Houses can make you sick. Forced air heating with proper filters and hepa or out vented vaccuum cleaners are going to keep you in better health than a radiated heating system with no air exchange.

    Washing your hands often during the day is the single best way to avoid catching or spreading a cold.

    Although there is minor scientific evidence that Cold FX works, the cost and hassle would leave me “taking my chances”.

  13. I wonder if there is something about your house that makes you sick?

    I had a mild flu in the fall, but it was more like fatigue from over-work (if you can believe that). But nothing else. Jenny’s been sick with a flu for the past two weeks, and I’m still doing fine.

    I’m due to get hit soon.

  14. That’s funny because I think cold FX got the go-ahead so that they can now make some definitive claim that it prevents colds and flus. When they got the go-ahead the stock price went up.

    You’re a very sicky person though. As long as I’ve known you you’ve had coughs for like 6 months straight and you’ve gotten sick about once a month. I think its due in part to your sedentary lifestyle. At least I get up and work out for 60-90 mins a day. I actually felt sick the last week when I wasn’t working out. I worked out last night and now I feel great! All those happy endorphines.

  15. Jody is the sickest person I know, with or without kids.

    Must be from something in the house, or from spending so much time in the basement, or not opening enough windows. Or something.

  16. I also have tried Cold-FX several times and did not experience
    any relief. It is definitely the marketing and endorsements that gets
    its recognition.

  17. I read on another forum someone who berated himself for taking Vit. C with Cold fX, so maybe those vitamins are keeping it from working its full potential? *shrug*

  18. Boy am I the dummy, I bought 2 bottles in the past at Costco without looking at the price, then I saw it tonight I was in disbelief. So myself and my spouse have had the same lingering chest cold for about 4 weeks, not very bad, just sort of always there in the background. Taken 3 FX caps per day during that time. Perhaps it stopped it from getting worse, perhaps it also made it linger for all this time. Either way, $57.00 for a bottle, no way. Trophic sells a highly potent form of North AMerican Ginseng, surely it can’t be all that different can it?

  19. Hi there
    This is my second year using Cold fx and I have slowly come to the conclusion that Cold fx simply does NOT WORK.
    In 2006 I had five colds, and now at the end of 2007 I am on cold number 5. Before this cold I was taking three capsules a day, and if I was near any one who had a cold I would start taking them like I was going to get their cold.
    I am a very active, I hike two times a week an eat the right kinds of foods. I have never smoked a single day in my life and I don’t drink.

    I want Cold fx to work so badly that I have been ignoring my wife’s negative comments about Cold fx,not ever working for me…………

  20. Cold-FX supposedly has Panax (American) Ginsing as it’s main “secret” ingredient. This is reported to boost your immune system and thus supposedly your stronger immune system will be able to beat the flu. Problem is that you have to take these “herbal adapters” for quite a few months before they might begin to boost your immune system. That means $$$ and it might not be real effective if at all.

  21. I find the product works..however I don’t take it everyday. I only take it when i get a cold for the three days as directed and i find my colds are pretty much done by the third day and i don’t get a lingering sniffle or cough

  22. Cold FX certainly works – and i will swear by it. I have recommended this product to family and friends, and now they swear by it too. The great thing is, it does not increase your heart rate like other stimulating ginsing products. It also does not cause sleeplessness.
    I use to get 3-4 colds in the winter season, but since taking cold-fx i have not gotten sick in 4 months. Also at the discovery of a sore throat or runny nose, I will beginning taking cold fx as prescribed for the 3 day period, and the cold symptoms will not last longer than a week. Its also great for people on current medications, and those suffering from high blood pressure. This is truly a WONDERFUL PRODUCT!!!

  23. I have to agree with Bev K and Liz here. I am a user of Cold-FX and have made some observations about it’s effectiveness over the years.

    My colds before using ColdFX (or one time I avoided using it) are typical – twang in the throat the night before, then 2-3 days of intensely painful sore throat, then 4-5 days of stuffy/runny nose and congestion.


    #1 – In my experience, ColdFX has no preventative attributes – it has never stopped me from getting a cold. I don’t think it is that effective.

    #2 – If I immediately start the cold regimen when I feel the twang starting, the sore throat is always reduced drastically in longevity and intensity. The last cold I had, there was no sore throat whatsoever, just a twang – I got on this one very early.

    #3 – The stuffy nose continues similar to as before, albeit slightly shorter and less runny. Rather have this than the sore throat.

    #4 – Unlike before, on about day 4-5 I often get a very dry windpipe that is sometimes a precursor to a cough – which was a rare cold symptom prior. I wonder if this has something to do with how the product affects the sore throat.

    I have also found that the product seems to only work for 30-35% of the people I know who have tried it. Some may be expecting too much, but others seem to gain no effect from it. I know that it works for my mother. It also is used by my brother, who tends to think that every medication not prescribed by a doctor is a placebo – and yet it works for him.

    So I suggest buying a smaller pack, and only using the regimen directed when you start to feel a cold, and compare it to previous experiences.

  24. I think one should stand in front of an open window in the middle of winter and throw money out into the cold night air….having no medical training at all I think this will be just as effective as buying and ingesting taking cold fx….

    or just chug back a maritime favorite…a litre of buckleys mixture…jesus.. as a kid I would will myself better to prevent some adult feeding me that pine tar, coal tar mixture…

  25. I have used Cold-FX a few times and feel it did nothing to prevent a cold. It is way too expensive and you have to take like nine pills a day.
    When I feel a cold coming on I take pine cone extract and gargle with table salt in warm water, that is what works for me.

  26. Thought I’d share my experiences too since I am, at present, fighting a cold and using Cold FX Extra Strength.

    I too have never noticed any beneficial preventative effects from this treatment, however, I don’t take it as a preventative.
    In my view, all Cold FX does is lessen the severity of my symptoms and the duration of the cold. I know they advertise it as a preventative measure, it is well known that a simple supplement like ginseng cannot render oneself immune to viruses – so I expect to get sick eventually anyway.

    My fiancee was sick for 12 days with the same cold I have now.
    She missed 3 days of work during the worst of it. She did take cold FX, but didn’t take the recommended doses on the bottle. I, on the other hand, basically upped my dosage (3 300mg pills 3x a day instead of 2x, then 2 pills 3x a day, then 1 pill every 4 hours till I have no more cold). I also supplement with about 10,000 mg of vitamin C as well.

    Right now it’s Sunday at 1AM where I’m at. I can only speculate as to the precise time I was infected, but I noticed my first symptoms on Thursday at 7:30PM. I can tell I’m on the mend, as I have that gross taste/smell in my nose you get when you’re finally beating a cold (What the heck *is* that anyway? Dead germ taste? I get it *every* time I get sick).
    I’ll be back up to 100% by monday, so that’s 3 and a bit days of suffering. Not bad.

    Feel free to draw your own conclusions. I’m not saying that I’m living proof that the stuff works, and this is no double blind study to be sure. I may simply have a more effective immune system than her, or the vitamin C might also be playing a role in my recovery, but I can recall having suffered a lot longer and with harsher symptoms from colds/flu before this stuff was available to me.

  27. GNC has their own version of cold-fx that’s called cold combat. It’s about a quarter the price and is supposed to be exactly the same thing

  28. Cold Fx has worked wonders for me! Every since I was a kid I am so cold prone. I would seem to catch a cold once a month. I don’t take them every day, but if I have been around someone that has a cold I will take them. Also, if I feel the start of a cold coming on I take them right away. I can’t remember the last time I had a full fledged cold. I have been using cold fx for 2 years now.

    My father who is cold prone like me is now in his 80’s. He had a cold that would not go away. I finally convinced him to try it and it was gone in 2 days. He now has a good supply for the winter.

    It may not work for everyone, but I know for sure it works for me. I purchase it online where it is much less expensive then buying it in a local pharmacy.

  29. “I gotta cure for you, Jody: Turn up the heat in your house (though it’s probably cheaper to buy the capsules).

    I used to take tons of vitamins, and now I take none, and I think I actually get sick LESS now than I used to. My secret? I eat fresh salmon at least once a week, I put fresh rosemary in everything, I’m always eating apples, expensive ones, I don’t eat anything white, and I eat a lot of tomato-based products. I also turn on the heat in my house so I’m never cold. Putting on a sweater just doesn’t cut it.”

    BAHAHAHAH. What is the difference between heating up your house and putting on a sweater (other than the environmental factors)? Expensive apples over cheap ones?! Nothing white?!?! What the FUCK are you talking about man…

  30. I’m a guinea pig. Thinking positive thoughts to primarily increase my endorphines, drinking green tea, taking Vitamin C, sleeping/restng lots with good hydration, and actually catching this cold on the 1st day with Cold FX, I hope to present a possible proof or disproof of Cold FX. My dad (a GP) says it’s really just expensive piss. Cold FX according to his studies (of medical journals) is mostly placebo with possible long term benefits. He say nothing can cure the cold, and Cold FX has NOT been able to stand on it’s own when put into the really important studies. All you can do is alleviate symptoms. I know this to be true: colds are virus’ and they are NOT cureable, unlike bacterial infections which can be treated with antibiotics. All I know is that if I can keep myself from a long term cough like last year I will be so happy. The key for me is to not stress about it. The stress will reduce endorphins, which are mother nature’s biggest defence system. My body is programmed to know how to fight this baddy, and no supplement can stop or change the proccess. All I can do is encourage it.
    Days 1-4: My body mounts it’s defences. Should be feeling awful by day 4, as symptoms of my immune system fighting the virus should be in full swing.
    Days 5-10: My body fights. I feel like crap. I try to alleviate my cough at any cost. Nasal sprays and syrup with DM should do it.
    I hope to emerge the other side maybe a day early with COLD FX. What I really hope is that my body is strong enough to repell these little symptoms that are present today (the twang) with a good dose of endorphines and positive thought. If cold FX does what it originally claimed, maybe I won’t get sick because it really does help, we’ll still never know if I willed it in that scenario.
    Will report back in a few days with my progress.

  31. give it up people….

    Buckley’s Mixture…pine tar and coal dust will cure what ails ya!l

  32. give it up people….

    Buckley’s Mixture…pine tar and coal dust will cure what ails ya!l

    Ditto (but with better syntax).

  33. This stuff works people. But the thing is how you take it. If you expect some kind of a miracle pill that will get rid of the cold the next day then you’re shit out of luck. The trick is to take it as prescribed ASAP once you felt at least a little sign of cold or something of that sort. Or if someone sneezed directly at you or something. Many times I have prevented getting sick using cold-fx and I usually add some vitamin C to make sure.

    But if you take it when you’re already 2-3 days into the cold then it may help you get better sooner but again don’t expect any miracles.

  34. Hey there,
    I know this is an old post. I didn’t take the time to read all the posts so forgive me if this is redundant. Checkout the vitamin D council’s website: http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/
    I really think vitamin D makes a big difference. Also, avoid sugar and junk food. Sugar supresses your immune system. Eat lots of veggies and fruit and minimal meat. Do a search on alkaline diet. There is a lot of quality research around alkalinity and it’s affect on the body’s defenses. Hope this helps. I personally think cold fx is way over priced and not researched well.

  35. The main advantage of Cold FX appears to be the immune system boost. It appears to be the most effective when taken immediately upon the appearance of “pre-cold” symptoms. That is my experience. According to clinical studies, it is ineffective if taken daily. Cold FX should be taken in conjunction with other immune system boosters, especially vitamin D. (Vitamin D deficiency in winter months appears to be one of the major challenges to the immune system.) I also take vitamin C and a sinus decongestant, if I start to get build-up, which reduces the risk of infection. Also, exercise helps. Wash hands frequently, especially if exposed to infected people, and stay away from public transit.
    Ever since I: (a) stopped taking public transit; (b) starting taking at least 1,000 IU of vitamin D daily; (c) started travelling to the Caribbean 2 or 3 times a winter on business; and (d) started taking Cold FX at the first sign of cold symptoms; the frequency and duration of colds that I have suffered has been reduced.

  36. started travelling to the Caribbean 2 or 3 times a winter on business

    My immune system is fine without Cold FX and other supplements, but I’d have no objections to the Caribbean cure.

  37. None of that stuff will work. 80% of your immune function operates in your gut. A diet rich in fibre, fresh fruits and veges will keep your gut clean and healthy. Better out than in. Add 8 hours min of sleep per night as deep sleep allows your body to increase hormone production and repair damaged cells and there you have it. Couple that with good personal hygine and you’ll save buckets of cash. Prevention is better than cure, it’s more about lifestyle than poor immune function. I encourage you all to look back and assess your lifestyles then look forward and make some changes. You’ll be amazed!
    All the best!