Zinc may help decrease the duration of a cold, but not the severity of symptoms.
The studies show that the mean difference in reduction of duration as 1 day.
Zinc is included in almost all over-the-counter daily vitamins and mineral supplements. Zinc is absorbed through the small bowel with an efficiency of 20-40%. It is the second most important metal in the body after iron and is present in virtually 100% of proteins.
The important function with regard to colds is that zinc inhibits viral replication making the cold virus not able to multiply. Zinc can be found in many forms: syrup, lozenges, or tablets.
Zinc can be given at the onset of a cold and may decrease the symptoms by one day or it may also be iven dailoy for the prevention of the common cold. If taken daily, there was found to be reduced incidence of colds, less absence from school and less antibiotics were prescribed. Side effects from zinc are nausea and a “bad taste” in the mouth. The dose of zinc should be between 75mg and 150 mg a day. Zinc should not be inhaled as it can cause permanent anosmia (inability to smell). Lozenges may be the best bet.