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Sterimar Cold Defense nasal spray, 50 ml, £ 6.50

Prevention is better than that healed, the saying goes. But do products that claim to prevent you from developing one special health problem always deliver on their own promises?

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CAROLINE JONES asked experts to assess which work – and which is perhaps a waste of money. All of them are available in High Street pharmacies or online.

Sterimar Cold Defense nasal spray, 50 ml, £ 6.50

Sterimar Cold Defense nasal spray, 50 ml, £ 6.50

FOR COAL

Sterimar Cold Defense nasal spray, 50 ml, £ 6.50

CLAIM: Made from purified seawater, this can help "reduce cold symptoms and reduce the risk of ear, nose and throat disorders" by flushing away germs in the nose.

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Spray once in each nostril, drain away any excess solution, and then blow your nose.

EXPERTISE: Dr. Nisa Aslam, a general practitioner in Tower Hamlets, London, says: "It is unlikely that this will be effective because the common cold is a viral infection of the upper respiratory tract (nose, throat and sinuses).

"By keeping the nasal cavities free of mucus, however, this can help reduce nasal congestion, inflammation, sneezing and runny nose.

& # 39; Salt water has also been shown to be effective in reducing inflammation of the nose wall. But the most effective way to prevent a cold is to wash your hands regularly. & # 39; 4/10

ColdZyme mouth spray, 20 ml, £ 17.50

ColdZyme mouth spray, 20 ml, £ 17.50

ColdZyme mouth spray, 20 ml, £ 17.50

ColdZyme mouth spray, 20 ml, £ 17.50

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CLAIM: This forms a protective barrier on the throat membrane that prevents & # 39; colds and shortens & # 39 ;. Simply spray in the mouth every two hours while being exposed to the cold virus.

EXPERTISE: "The main ingredients in this product are glycerol and the enzyme trypsin, which claim to break down the cold virus's ability to attach to surfaces in the throat," says Dr. Aslam.

"A small study found that this could shorten the duration of cold symptoms by three days and also reduce the spread of cold. However, the product is quite expensive.

"Maintaining a healthy lifestyle with diet, exercise, sleep and regular hand washing is the best way to reduce your risk." 6/10

CranMed Forte prevention, 28 capsules, £ 14.95

CranMed Forte prevention, 28 capsules, £ 14.95

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CranMed Forte prevention, 28 capsules, £ 14.95

FOR CYSTITIS

CranMed Forte prevention, 28 capsules, £ 14.95

CLAIM: CranMed Forte prevents urinary tract infections (UTI & # 39; s) – such as cystitis – caused by E. coli bacteria. Take one capsule a day with water.

EXPERTISE: Rich Viney, urologist advisor at BMI The Priory Hospital in Birmingham, says: "Cranberries have long been touted as an answer to prevent cystitis, but studies to prove it are disappointing.

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& # 39; The theory is that antioxidants in the cranberries bind to E. coli in the intestine, preventing them from sticking to the inside of the bladder where they can hold on and cause infection.

"But a 2017 review found that although cranberries were linked to a slight reduction in UTI & # 39; s, the results were not statistically significant. Anyone experiencing recurring UTIs should consult their physician. & # 39; 6/10

Senocalm IBS Relief and Prevention, 20 capsules, £ 5.99

Senocalm IBS Relief and Prevention, 20 capsules, £ 5.99

Senocalm IBS Relief and Prevention, 20 capsules, £ 5.99

FOR IBS

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Senocalm IBS Relief and Prevention, 20 capsules, £ 5.99

CLAIM: An oral capsule to prevent bloating and gas-related symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Can be taken three times a day, 30 minutes before eating.

EXPERTISE: Dr. Nisa Aslam says: "This is a great product if your doctor has diagnosed IBS, causing stomach cramps, bloating, diarrhea and constipation.

"The ingredient simethicone prevents the accumulation of gas in the intestine by working on the surface layer of gas bubbles and helping the wind pass through the intestine faster, which facilitates a bloated feeling.

"There is evidence that simethicone is effective – and the product is recommended for IBS by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence." 9/10

Lipivir, 2 g, £ 8.99

Lipivir, 2 g, £ 8.99

Lipivir, 2 g, £ 8.99

FOR COLD GATES

Lipivir, 2 g, £ 8.99

CLAIM: This lip gel is used daily and promises to reduce the frequency of cold sores.

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It contains PEG & # 39; s (polyethylene glycols), which are claimed to form a barrier on the lips that interrupts & # 39; viral signaling & # 39 ;.

EXPERTISE: "There is no robust evidence that PEG & # 39; s cold sores occur, although this gel can keep the lips hydrated," says Anton Alexandroff, a dermatologist at BMI The Manor Hospital in Bedford.

"We know that cold sore infections flare up more often when the skin dries out. But Vaseline is probably more effective because it is thicker, so it offers a considerable barrier. & # 39; 4/10

KT blister prevention tape, 30 strips, £ 9.95

KT blister prevention tape, 30 strips, £ 9.95

KT blister prevention tape, 30 strips, £ 9.95

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FOR BLISTERS

KT blister prevention tape, 30 strips, £ 9.95

CLAIM: Designed to prevent abrasion, this barrier tape reduces the appearance of blisters.

Apply to areas that are sensitive to rubs, such as heels and toes. The 3.5-inch strips stay on for a maximum of two days.

EXPERTISE: "Friction foot blisters are common, but can be surprisingly painful," says Dr. Aslam.

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"A 2017 review concluded that" paper tape can be an effective form of barrier prevention ", so this product is worth trying along with other measures such as well-fitting shoes and suitable socks." 6/10

Driclor solution, 20 ml, £ 6.19

Driclor solution, 20 ml, £ 6.19

Driclor solution, 20 ml, £ 6.19

FOR SWEATING

Driclor solution, 20 ml, £ 6.19

CLAIM: This contains aluminum chloride, which is said to block the forearm sweat glands to reduce the flow of sweat, which is re-absorbed by the body.

The makers claim that excessive sweating should stop after a few weeks of use.

EXPERTISE: Dr. Alexandroff says: "Driclor is a strong, medical antiperspirant. It contains 20 percent aluminum chloride, which is high compared to most High Street antiperspirants, which contain 5 percent.

& # 39; Aluminum chloride has been proven to work by blocking the sweat glands. Some people find that it can irritate their skin at high strength, but no studies have shown that it is dangerous. & # 39; 8/10

Gengigel Mouthwash, 150 ml, £ 10

Gengigel Mouthwash, 150 ml, £ 10

Gengigel Mouthwash, 150 ml, £ 10

FOR ULCERS

Gengigel Mouthwash, 150 ml, £ 10

CLAIM: Contains hyaluronan – a natural substance that stimulates the production of new tissue – this alcohol-free mouthwash promises to "prevent mouth ulcers and inflamed gums."

EXPERTISE: Dr. Bill Schaeffer, a dental surgeon at the Implant Center in Hove, East Sussex, says: "Mouth ulcers are common, but preventing recurrence is a real challenge.

& # 39; Possible causes are hormonal changes and vitamin deficiencies.

& # 39; Research suggests that hyaluronic acid (hyaluronan) – found in this mouthwash – helps restore gum tissue and accelerate healing. & # 39; 8/10

Audiclean ear cleansing wax, 115 ml, £ 10.50

Audiclean ear cleansing wax, 115 ml, £ 10.50

Audiclean ear cleansing wax, 115 ml, £ 10.50

FOR EAR WAX

Audiclean ear cleansing wax, 115 ml, £ 10.50

CLAIM: With sterilized seawater, this can prevent the build-up of wax by spreading it and washing it from the ear. Use three times a week.

EXPERTISE: "This is just an overpriced bottle of seawater – and I cannot find robust data to show that seawater works in a unique way to reduce earwax build-up," says Dr. Aslam.

"Earwax is produced to keep the ears clean and usually goes away harmless, but sometimes it builds up and blocks the ears. Sodium bicarbonate ear drops (such as Otex, £ 5.99) can be used to soften hard wax, although some find that they dry before the ear canal.

"I advise patients to use two drops of olive oil once a day to keep the laundry soft." 3/10

Stugeron 15, 15 tablets, £ 3.35

Stugeron 15, 15 tablets, £ 3.35

Stugeron 15, 15 tablets, £ 3.35

FOR TRAVEL DISEASE

Stugeron 15, 15 tablets, £ 3.35

CLAIM: These pills contain 15 mg of cinnarizine, which can prevent motion sickness. Take two tablets two hours before you travel.

EXPERTISE: "There are indications that Stugeron helps prevent motion sickness," says Dr. Aslam.

"Cinnarizine is an antihistamine that interferes with the signaling between the inner ear and the brain, which causes motion sickness.

"Be aware that it can cause drowsiness and people with conditions such as epilepsy should consult a doctor before they take it, because it can cause epileptic seizures." 7/10

SECRETS OF AN A-LIST BODY: How to get the enviable physique of the stars

Jessica Chastain, 42, wore a glamorous off-the-shoulder dress that revealed her tight cleavage at the premiere of It

Jessica Chastain, 42, wore a glamorous off-the-shoulder dress that revealed her tight cleavage at the premiere of It

Jessica Chastain, 42, wore a glamorous off-the-shoulder dress that revealed her tight cleavage at the premiere of It

THIS WEEK: Decolletage by Jessica Chastain

Jessica Chastain recently wore a glamorous off-the-shoulder dress during a film premiere that revealed her tight cleavage (right).

The 42-year-old actress is a great advocate of yoga and attends Bryan Kest's Power Yoga training sessions online on location.

"I used to work in his studio in Santa Monica, but now I do it when I'm traveling," she said. She also stays in shape by dancing and taking long walks.

WHAT TO TRY: The standing press exercise is great for working on the muscles that support the decolletage.

Stand with the feet shoulder width apart and the knees slightly bent. Bend your elbows to 90 degrees and bring your arms to the side.

Hold this corner and press your arms together until they touch each other in front of your face. Return to the starting position. Repeat this as often as you can for 60 seconds, then rest for 20 seconds and repeat five sets.

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