Mom may have been right. The Oxford Journal of Family Practice in England will report this week that a leading cause of the common cold is simple exposure to cold weather.
This may have been common knowledge to mothers for years, but now, for the first time, science seems to have proved them right.
Scientists have scoffed at the notion for years, arguing it's the cold virus that actually causes colds, not exposure to increment weather.
But a study by Dr. Ron Eccles and his colleagues at the Common Cold Centre at the Cardiff School of Biosciences in Wales suggests exposure to cold weather is indeed a major contributing factor. According to their study, being outside in winter without a hat, or getting your feet wet, makes people more susceptible to catching the cold.
"Chilling causes a constriction in the blood vessels in the nose, and this reduces our resistance to infections within the nose," Dr. Eccles said.
Dr. Eccles and his colleagues studies about 180 healthy participants who were split into two groups. Both were asked to remove their socks, and one of the groups was told to put their feet in a bowl of cold water.
Over the next four or five days patients in the chilled group caught approximately 10 to 12 per cent more colds than the controlled group.
The study suggests that the best precautions for avoiding a cold are still the ones mom recommended: wearing a warm hat and keeping your feet dry.
Can this actually be true? Somehow I sense some fuzzy science here.