A proposed mechanism of action.


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Chicken soup was found in a recent study to inhibit neutrophil chemotaxis (migration) in vitro, suggesting a mechanism by which it may work as a remedy for colds.


In viral infections, the inflammatory response involves the migration of neutrophils to the epithelial surface of the airways, which may contribute to the production of symptoms and signs such as cough and sputum.


In the study, a homemade chicken soup was found to inhibit the migration of neutrophils removed from the blood of healthy volunteers. The inhibitory effect was contingent upon concentration. Ten of 13 commercially available soups tested also inhibited neutrophil chemotaxis, while tap water did not.


The study provides limited evidence that chicken soup has an identifiable antiinflammatory effect. Whether chicken soup has the same effect in vivo is unknown.


Rennard BO, et al. Chest 2000;118(4):1150-7.