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Airborne: Does It Boost Your Immune System?

Controversy surrounding the dietary supplement, Airborne, and my belief in this product.

So often in my psychotherapy practice, I am reminded that the teacher has become the student.  My clients are full of creative ideas to solve their problems and I often beg their permission to share what I have learned from them to help other clients.  Empirical evidence is important, but I have come to believe in the power of Qualitative evidence and anecdotes.  This leads me to share my experience with the dietary supplement, Airborne.

Airborne was developed by an elementary school teacher named Victoria Knight-McDowell, back in the early 1990’s.  She developed this product by using a blend of vitamins to boost the immune system:  Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and Zinc among others and herbs including Echinacea and Ginger for nausea.  It worked, so she marketed it, stating Airborne could stave off germs in crowded places (such as airplanes, hence “Airborne”).  She also touted that it could prevent cold or flu.

Unfortunately, Ms. Knight-McDowell’s company was sued by the Federal Trade Commission a couple of years ago for false advertising.  She also lost several class-action lawsuits and had to pay out big time (millions).  The FTC stated that there were no studies that met scientific criteria that this product could do the things described on packaging and ads.  It had not undergone any US Food and Drug Administration Testing.

Now, for the rest of the story.  How many dietary supplements do you know that have undergone rigorous scientific testing and yet still are taken by millions of people every day?  My doctor actually started having me to take Airborne, and skeptically I tried it.  Now, my house is always stocked with Airborne.  I have found that it gives me an immediate energy boost, and even if I already have a cold, I get over it much more quickly.  The skeptics say that a person could overdose on some of the vitamins, but it is a supplement people, you’re not supposed to take so much of it you could choke a horse!!  My whole family swears by it, and every time one of us gets sick, the others head straight for the Airborne.

All you do is drop an Airborne tablet into the bottom of a glass and then pour your beverage on top of it.  It will begin to fix like an Alka Seltzer, then stir.  The tablets are citrus in flavor, so I find they are delicious in citrus-flavored soft drinks such as Ski or Orange Crush.  The tablets are only five calories, so if you drink it down with a Diet, not much to worry about calorically.  

Cheers to the creativity and brilliance of the common man (and woman)!  Try it out and let me know what you think, below!  

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  1. Interesting. I have the immune system of a horse but am always fascinated by the ability of the human body to heal itself if given the right ingredients and tools (diet and exercise) to do so.

  2. Thanks for very nice info.

  3. i think i might try it – thanks

  4. My dad made me take this once. It worked like a charm. The FDA knew they couldn’t make that much money off of it and tried to take it off market. The FDA is full of greedy people. This is great stuff that works though. :) Sounds like you have a good doctor too. Coming from someone who hates doctors with a passion that is pretty good.

  5. Back in NY I was *always* the last person to get sick and the first person to over it, -usually in half the time. Since having moved to Canada (and likely being exposed to germs in this city with a population of nearly 6-million people) I seem to catch cold/flu just as easily as everybody else. -My ‘acquired immunity’ is restricted to where I spent most of my life.

    Too bad that the product made spurious claims such as this though, for if marketed correctly it could have avoided the conflict with the FDA. On the flip side, probably the only claim that a supplement or alternative product CAN make is to say that it makes one ‘feel better’ which is vague enough to escape litigation. -’Better’ than what? is the only affront.

  6. Thanks for sharing..

  7. Sounds a lot like berocca in Oz… You’ve just got to be careful with your claims before you get FDA approval I guess.

  8. Sounds like a great product, again, you’re the pro!

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