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Zinc and the Common Cold

by admin

In 1984, a study found that zinc supplements could help people get better from colds. This led to the widespread use of zinc as a cold treatment. Recent research on the effects of zinc on colds has produced mixed results.

What is the latest research? Recent analysis of several studies showed that zinc lozenges and syrup can make colds last less than a day, especially when taken within a day after symptoms begin.

The same analysis also included studies in which there were not enough participants to prove the results. The zinc was used in different dosages and forms (lozenges, syrups) as well as for different treatment durations. The conditions in the studies were so varied that it was difficult to determine the most effective dose or treatment.


What causes colds and how can zinc help?
Most colds are caused rhinoviruses, which attack your nasal passages or throat. Zinc is thought to work to treat the common flu by preventing the rhinovirus from reproducing and/or preventing the virus from settling into mucus membranes of your nose and throat.

Is there any danger in using zinc?
Zinc can cause side effects such as nausea and a bad mouth taste. Most commonly, these side effects occur when zinc lozenges are used. Zinc nasal sprays can cause permanent loss in smell.

Zinc toxicity and overdose are also possible. Copper deficiency and anemia are signs of zinc toxicity.

What other concerns should we have about zinc?
Talk to your doctor about zinc before starting a regimen. Research on the topic is not conclusive. Your doctor can help you decide if zinc is the right supplement for you. They will also tell you which type and dosage to use to prevent and treat colds.

It may be more effective to take zinc syrup or lozenges instead of tablets to relieve cold symptoms. The lozenges or syrups coat your throat, contacting the rhinovirus directly.

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