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What Is Airborne®?

Airborne® can be purchased in powdered form.
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  • Written By: Dorothy Bland
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 01 September 2014
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Airborne® is a popular dietary supplement blend. The product contains a combination of more than a dozen different ingredients, including synthetic vitamins, electrolytes, and antioxidants that purportedly work together to support immune system health. Users are told that by taking the formula when the signs of a cold begin to appear or when entering a crowded germ-invested environment, such as a school, airplane, or theater, the formula may be able to help prevent a cold from occurring or help the cold clear up faster.

Victoria Knight-McDowell, a second-grade school teacher, created Airborne® in the early 1990s. She reportedly started experimenting with the formula in an effort to avoid getting sick herself. Vitamins and herbal extracts included in the formula were chosen for their supposed abilities to help defend against the common cold.

At 1,000 milligrams per tablet, vitamin C is the most represented ingredient in the product. According to the official Airborne® website, this megadose of vitamin C is provided to help boost the body’s defenses. Echinacea, or the purple cornflower, is added because the herb has long been a traditional favorite for fighting the common cold. Ginger has also been added to help prevent nausea. Other ingredients in the formula include vitamin A, zinc, and selenium.

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Currently, Airborne® is sold in tablets or in a portable powdered form. Tablets are generally sold in 10-count tubes, while the powder is usually packaged in boxes containing eight individual serving pouches. When taking the supplement, a single tablet or serving of powder is dropped into 4 to 6 ounces (around 118 to 177 milliliters) of a hot or cold liquid. Due to the effervescent nature of the product, the user is directed not to shake the mixture together but to wait until it finishes dissolving before drinking the formula down. The product can be taken with water or most other liquids as the user desires.

Both Airborne® tablets and the on-the-go formula are designed to be used for those 12 years of age or older. Children can be given half of a tablet or take one of the two versions specifically designed for kids between four and 12 years old. The Airborne® Jr. formula is similar to the original formula, but ingredients are included at half dosage sizes; for instance, the amount of vitamin C has been reduced to 500 milligrams. Airborne® Power Pixies, on the other hand, is a powdered formula that can be poured right on the tongue.

When using the product to defend against colds, Airborne® can be taken up to three times in a 24-hour period as long as users wait at least three hours before repeating a dose. It can also be taken once a day as a multivitamin. In the United States, the supplement is available nationwide at many drugstores, grocery stores, and mass merchant retailers. The product is sold in various flavors, including pink grapefruit and lemon-lime. Each tablet contains a small amount of the artificial sugar sucralose for sweetness.

Generally, Airborne® is considered to be safe to take for most individuals. The product is lactose-, caffeine-, and gluten-free, while no formula contains more than five calories per serving. Consulting with a physician, however, is generally a good idea for anyone with a current medical condition and for pregnant and lactating women. To avoid drug interactions, a medical consultation is also generally recommended for those taking any prescription medications and for individuals who already take a multivitamin.

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