Has the cold bug crawled into your home yet? The most frequent
cause of the common cold is rhinovirus infection, although
as 200 other viruses may also be responsible. U.S. adults
and children suffer from an average of two to six colds per
year; despite the plethora of so-called "cold remedies" lining
store shelves, no single proven treatment has been identified.
Zinc has received recent attention for its potential value
in combating cold symptoms. To investigate this potential,
50 volunteers recruited within 24 hours of developing symptoms
of the common cold were administered one zinc lozenge (12.8
mg zinc acetate) or placebo every two to three hours as long
as they were experiencing symptoms. Overall, severity and
duration of cold symptoms were reduced in the zinc group compared
to the placebo group:
- Overall symptoms: 4.5 days (zinc) vs. 8.1 days (placebo);
- Cough: 3.1 days (zinc) vs. 6.3 days (placebo);
- Nasal congestion: 3.3 days (zinc) vs. 4.7 days (placebo);
- Nasal discharge: 4.1 days (zinc) vs. 5.8 days (placebo);
- Sore throat: 2.0 days (zinc) vs. 3.0 days (placebo).
Where can you find zinc? These days, zinc lozenges are available
at most drugstores and supermarkets alongside the more traditional
cold medicine formulas. For more information on the power
of zinc, contact your doctor of chiropractic.
Prasad AS, Fitzgerald JT, Beck FWJ, et al. Duration of symptoms
and plasma cytokine levels in patients with the common cold
treated with zinc acetate. Annals of Internal Medicine
2000: Vol. 133, pp245-52.