The rumor has been flying around online lately that you can prevent a cold here in the Bold North by drinking gin. But is it really true?

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When I first saw THIS article on my social media feed a few days ago, I was pretty excited. Because it says that merely drinking a gin and tonic can be the miracle cure that's responsible for helping to prevent coming down with a cold this time of year, which is all-too-common during another long Minnesota winter.

Which is great news, right? I love a good gin and tonic, though I usually think of them as a drink more associated with summer, not winter. But whatever-- if I need to have a G and T to stay healthy this winter, I'm ready to do my part!

Those claims DO seem logical. The story says the botanicals involved in distilling gin (stuff like juniper, sage, coriander, nutmeg and rosemary) are all laden with antioxidants and vitamin C that can help ward off a cold. So far, it makes sense, right?

The problem is, though, is that according to this WUSA-TV story (the CBS affiliate in Washington, D.C.), it's just... not true. Say what?!? That's right, the killjoys at WUSA  say the original online story, while it sounds good, doesn't cite any actual science behind those claims, and never said just WHICH scientific study confirmed gin's magical qualities in preventing colds.

In fact, WUSA talked to a Washington doctor who debunked the whole thing, saying, "According to Dr. William Schaffner, gin and tonic is not proven to treat the common cold because alcohol is not going to prevent OR kill the germs caused by a viral infection, so it's not actually curing anything."

So, it doesn't help after all. Sigh. It was good while it lasted, wasn't it? Maybe I'll just stick to beer...

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