When you have a cold, there’s only one pill right for the job and that’s zinc.
Known for its immune-boosting properties, zinc is an important mineral in protein synthesis and helps muscles heal and repair. It is also known to help digestion, control diabetes, reduce stress, boost the metabolism and alleviate PMS symptoms.
It should come as no surprise then that this wonder mineral also helps to fight colds. With 40% of the population taking time off work and school due to the common cold, this is definitely good news.
A review recently published in The Cochrane Library shows how zinc can delay the severity and length of a common cold. Zinc was first discovered to help alleviate the common cold in a study published in 1984 based on research on zinc lozenges. Since then, numerous studies have been conducted to prove this theory, none have successfully confirmed this finding until now.
If you want to stay healthy and in tip-top condition, then you need to supplement your diet with zinc.
With data from the Cochrane Systematic Review in 1999, researchers looked at 15 trials involving 1,360 participants and found that zinc remedies taken with 24 hours of contracting a cold reduced the severity and length of illness. The review also showed that cold symptoms disappeared after seven days of taking a zinc supplement. Those who continued to supplement their diets with zinc throughout the year, experienced fewer colds, less time of work and school, fewer visits to the doctor’s office and less need for antibiotics.
“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.”
Researchers plan to narrow their focus to defined populations like asthmatic sufferers and low-income countries where zinc deficiency is greatest.
“Our review only looked at zinc supplementation in healthy people,” said Singh. “But it would be interesting to find out whether zinc supplementation could help asthmatics, whose asthma symptoms tend to get worse when they catch a cold.”
Wiley-Blackwell. “Zinc reduces the burden of the common cold.” ScienceDaily 16 February 2011. 22 February 2011 <http://www.sciencedaily.com /releases/2011/02/110215191627.htm>.