Should you take zinc to help ward off or treat colds?

flickr.com/photos/mellyjean/ 3251173391

flickr.com/photos/mellyjean/ 3251173391

Maybe.

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.

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About drlesliegreenberg

I have been practicing as a family physician for over 20 years--as both an educator of physicians and clinician. From infancy to the elderly, I perform obstetrics and general medicine. I love my career and am passionate about my field of knowledge and my patients. Follow me on Facebook at Leslie Md Greenberg Medical Disclaimer The content of this website is provided for general informational purposes only and is not intended as, nor should it be considered a substitute for, professional medical advice. Do not use the information on this website for diagnosing or treating any medical or health condition. If you have or suspect you have a medical problem, promptly contact your professional healthcare provider.
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