Zinc as a helper against colds

Zinc as a helper against colds / Health News

A meta-study concludes that zinc relieves cold symptoms and reduces sickness days.


An international science team from the Chandigarh Medical Research Institute has found out during a study that taking zinc can significantly reduce the symptoms of cough and runny nose when taken from day one.

Zinc minimizes cold days
Zinc can apparently minimize the discomfort and duration of colds. This has resulted in a meta-analysis of the Indian Cochrane collaboration. It was important that the zinc is taken from the first day of the influenza infection. The researchers also report that taking zinc supplements on a regular basis can minimize the frequency of colds in children. However, it is difficult in the duration and dose of the gift, here were the science team can not give precise information. Further research would have to follow.

Colds cause high absenteeism in the workplace
Every year, adults are affected at least twice by a cold. Children are usually even more affected by a cold. According to health experts, about 40 percent of lost time accounts for influenza infections. In addition, the common cold causes thousands of absentee days in the schools. Therefore, many people rely mainly on well-tried home remedies for colds or on vitamin C supplements that are enriched with zinc back. Physicians were previously in disagreement over whether zinc can ever develop a protective effect against cold and cough. The new study results now suggest a zinc intake, but the intake is not entirely safe, as a too high zinc dosage may lead to unwanted side effects such as nausea and vomiting.

Numerous zinc studies with different results
Previous scientific studies have so far yielded quite different results. While a 1984 study concluded that zinc supplements can significantly reduce the duration of cold symptoms, other research has failed to confirm and even refute the findings. Therefore, the research team undertook a meta-analysis of the previous study data. The individual data of the studies were again evaluated according to a systematic model. The database now includes more clinical results from around 1360 subjects.

Researchers came to the conclusion that zinc syrup, zinc candy or other zinc supplements can cut down cold days when taken from the first day of symptoms. In addition, a significant reduction in symptoms was observed. The cold subsided and the sore throat was less pronounced. For the zinc participants, the symptoms of fever, sore throat and runny nose disappeared after seven days. In the control groups who took placebo agents without active ingredient, the complaints also persisted beyond. Children who took at least five months for the prophylaxis of zinc syrup or lollipops, a reduction in the occurrence of colds could be detected. Overall, the children were less absent at school and the overall medical use of antibiotics was significantly reduced.

The author of the study, Meenu Singh from the Indian Health Institute „Medical Education and Research“ thus confirms that zinc is actually effective against colds. „The evaluation reinforces the evidence that zinc works to treat common colds“. But a final recommendation does not want to give the researcher. „At the moment it is difficult to make a general recommendation because we still know too little about the optimal dose, formulation or length of treatment.“

Further studies necessary
In order to obtain accurate evidence for the efficacy of zinc, further research is needed. Necessary are studies in special patient groups. Because: „Our study has only studied zinc administration in healthy people“, so singh. „But it would be interesting to see if supplementing with zinc could also help asthmatics, whose symptoms tend to get worse when they get a cold.“

Zinc is included in our daily diet
Normally people do not need to eat zinc with special capsules. Zinc is abundant in natural form in our daily diet. For example, zinc is found in meat, fish, cheese, whole grains, nuts and mushrooms. Zinc is responsible for different metabolic processes in the human body. Whether patients should increasingly resort to zinc remedies remains unclear. Because still is not clear, in which dose the intake should take place. Whether actually should be resorted to dietary supplements, is questionable. Zinc is supplied to the body in a balanced and wholesome diet in sufficient quantity. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that adults should not eat more than 15 milligrams a day. Those who take 100 milligrams a day risk nausea, diarrhea and vomiting because the body is resisting too high a (toxic) dose. Naturopathy knows many home remedies for colds and common cold. The inclusion of zinc in a limited and natural form can not hurt in any case to relieve cold symptoms. (Sb)

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Picture credits: Benjamin Klack