Did you see the reports about zinc lozenges and liquid being the best way to shorten a cold? Way behind the times since natural medicine professionals have been saying a combination of zinc and Vitamin C works better than anything for donkeys years. Still, it is good news that it is being confirmed.
“a review of 15 clinical trials published since 1984 has concluded that taking supplements can reduce the length of a cold and help ward one off in the first place.
The conclusions of the Cochrane Collaboration, an Oxford-based not-for-profit institution that reviews existing studies to spot trends missed by looking at them individually, could lead in time to zinc replacing vitamin C as the cold ‘cure’ of choice.
The latest Cochrane Review found that people who took a zinc syrup solution or lozenge every two hours while they had a cold were twice as likely to have shed it within a week as those who took a placebo.”
Interestingly, I note that lack of knowledge about supplementation came into play as usual when scientists not trained in the subject do research in this area. Wouldn’t they have a go at us if we tried to trial their drugs? I think so. The form of zinc used in two of the quoted studies was zinc sulphate whereas other forms of zinc like picolinate, citrate and acetate are much better absorbed and utilised by the body.
The scientists also warned that there could be some toxicity issues, but again this is mainly due to the sulphate form being used, which can cause nausea and tummy upsets if taken on an empty stomach. The real toxicity issue lies in taking too much zinc, but it is probably the least toxic trace mineral actually and you would have to go some – over about 150mg for a prolonged time according to some US experts. At that level, it can affect the copper levels, reduce the good HDL cholesterol levels and depress the immune system rather than doing the opposite. The standard UK advice is over 25mg a day for a prolonged time can cause a type of anaemia in sensitive individuals. I have never seen it but then I do advise using copper with it if having for a long time. 15mg is the most recommended daily amount.
Generally, for health, I would normally advise about 15-25mg zinc of one of the better forms eg Nutrigold’s Zinc Citrizorb and if taking it for longer than a couple of months, to take a balanced copper and zinc like Higher Nature’s Zinc and Copper. Or make sure there is a useful amount of the right forms in your multi.