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NewsBites March 2012 Issue

Gold Kiwi: Nothing to Sneeze At?

It’s way too early to start stocking up on gold kiwifruit, but a new study of the sniffle-fighting properties of the fruit might brighten cold and flu season. New Zealand researchers—funded by a producer of gold kiwifruit—found that people eating four gold kiwifruit daily reported less-severe cold symptoms compared to eating two bananas a day. The study tested each regimen for four weeks with 37 healthy seniors. While consuming gold kiwifruit, the volunteers’ sore-throat symptoms lasted 2 days, compared to 5.4 days, and head congestion lasted less than a day, compared to 4.7 days. Although subjects’ vitamin C levels did rise while consuming the kiwifruit, scientists said they couldn’t pinpoint the mechanism for the apparent cold-fighting benefit. Previous large-scale studies of vitamin C’s effectiveness against the common cold have mostly been disappointing. The hybridized yellow-hued kiwi is less tart than its green cousin, and ready to eat without further ripening.

TO LEARN MORE: British Journal of Nutrition, online first; abstract at dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0007114511006659.

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