Mar 222012

Got Sniffles? Take Zinc!

The past two weeks at our house have been challenging! Two different viruses were being passed around at our local schools. One of my daughters came down with one virus, while my son came down with the other. Naturally, I ended up with both of them! Consequently, I decided to take a look at recent research that focused on preventing and getting rid of the viruses that seemed to be flooding through my front door. What luck! I found a piece of research that should finally lay to rest the question of whether or not zinc is helpful for those of us feeling the first signs of a cold. The author reviewed 15 different trials involving more than 1000 people. What did the findings reveal? Healthy people who took Zinc within 24 hours of symptom onset were slightly less likely to develop a cold than the control group. However, the decrease in school absences, or the need for prescription medication, in the trial group was highly significant! If Zinc was supplemented for a minimum of five months, the incidence of a child developing a cold decreased as well. The side effects from taking this supplement were primarily found to be nausea and a bad taste in the mouth. I don’t know about you, but I would gladly experience one or both of those side effects in exchange for decreasing the length and severity of a cold. Although the author was unable to specifically recommend how much zinc to take, the type of formula to use, or how long the zinc should be taken, this research indicates it is well worth discussing what is right for you with your healthcare professional. Take a look at the research yourself: Singh M, Das RR. Zinc for the common cold. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2011, Issue 2. Art. No.: CD001364. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD001364.pub3. Wishing you health and happiness today and everyday!


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