Zinc Is Probably The Most Effective Cold Treatment Known To Medicine

The moment you're semi-sure you're getting a cold, get some zinc lozenges, and cut the length of coughing and sneezing days by 40 per cent. That's the result of a meta-analysis of 15 different scientific studies.

Zinc lozenges have long been considered a potential salve for colds, but the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews recently pulled out 15 studies with respectable methods and found that, most often, zinc seemed to help those with a cold. So much so, in fact, that coughing could be cut from five days to two, and the total duration of a cold from seven to four days.

The most important tips? Take the zinc as soon as humanly possible after the cold starts, and take enough of it to matter. Many studies in the database analysis had patients take lozenges from ColdCure.com, run by George Eby, a researcher and early advocate of zinc's effectiveness. Taking 13 milligrams every three to four hours during the day, for a total of 50-65 milligrams per day, is what seemed to cut down colds.

Why zinc? Researchers guess at the antiviral properties of zinc, but can't be sure; much more on zinc's pros, cons, and safety advisories can be found at the well-stocked Wikipedia page. And, please, don't use direct nasal applications, as they have some seriously nasty side effects. In general, if you're trying zinc and you think you're reacting badly, stop taking it, as all colds eventually go away, and aren't worth the experiment.

For Cold Virus, Zinc May Edge Out Even Chicken Soup [NYTimes.com]


Comments

    Not entirely sure if it's the same meta analysis you are referring to, but according to http://www.knowabouthealth.com/indian-study-finds-zinc-to-be-therapeutic-for-common-cold/7951/ the authors of said meta analysis where quoted saying:

    “it’s impossible to say what doses are optimal, which formulations are best and how long to use the products.”

    Also, a similar meta analysis (14 studies) conducted in 2007 (according to the same article) "... concluded that many of the studies were too flawed to draw any conclusions."

    I'm not going to get too excited just yet, especially when "Researchers guess" anything ;)

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