I know “cure” is a strong word…but when it comes to the common cold, anything close to helping would be appreciated, thank you very much. So let’s not call it a cure, but a new study has found that zinc supplements reduce the severity and duration of illness caused by the common cold.
According to a systematic review published in The Cochrane Library, “zinc syrup, lozenges or tablets taken within a day of the onset of cold symptoms reduce the severity and length of illness. At seven days, more of the patients who took zinc had cleared their symptoms compared to those who took placebos. Children who took zinc syrup or lozenges for five months or longer caught fewer colds and took less time off school.” Zinc also reduced antibiotic use in children, which is so important given the overuse implications for antibiotic resistance.
“This review strengthens the evidence for zinc as a treatment for the common cold,” said lead researcher Meenu Singh of the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research in Chandigarh, India. “However, at the moment, it is still difficult to make a general recommendation, because we do not know very much about the optimum dose, formulation or length of treatment.”
I take zinc when I am run down or feel a cold coming on, and ever since I have had very little illness in my life–and that’s with a stream of elementary school germs flooding my home. Do you take zinc, or other supplements, to treat a cold? What have you found to be an effective way of handling illness?
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