Zinc as a helper against colds

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A meta study comes to the conclusion that zinc relieves cold symptoms and reduces sick days.

An international scientific team from the medical research institute in Chandigarh, India, found during a study that zinc intake can significantly relieve the symptoms of cough and runny nose if the preparations are taken from day one.

Zinc minimizes cold days Zinc apparently can minimize the symptoms and duration of colds. This has resulted in a meta-analysis of the Indian Cochrane collaboration. It was important that the zinc agents were taken from the first day of the flu infection. The researchers also report that taking zinc supplements regularly can reduce the frequency of colds in children. However, it becomes difficult with the duration and dose of the dose, here the scientific team could not give precise information. Further research would have to follow.

Colds cause high absenteeism in the workplace Every year, adults are affected by a cold at least twice. Children are usually even more likely to get a cold. According to health experts, around 40 percent of absenteeism is due to influenza infections. In addition, the cold symptoms cause thousands of days off in schools. Many people therefore use traditional home remedies for colds or vitamin C supplements that are enriched with zinc. So far, doctors have disagreed as to whether zinc can have a protective effect against runny nose and cough at all. The new study results now suggest zinc intake, but the intake is not entirely harmless, since an excessive zinc dose can lead to undesirable side effects such as nausea and vomiting.

Numerous zinc studies with different results Previous scientific studies have so far had quite different results. While a study from 1984 came to the conclusion that zinc supplements can significantly reduce the duration of the cold, other studies were unable to confirm the results of the time and even rejected them. Therefore, the research team undertook a meta-analysis of the study data to date. The individual data from the studies were evaluated again using a systematic model. The database now comprised more of the clinical results of around 1360 subjects.

The researchers came to the conclusion that zinc syrup, zinc candy or other zinc supplements can reduce the number of cold days when the remedies are taken from the first day of symptoms. In addition, a significant reduction in complaints was observed. The runny nose subsided and the sore throat was less pronounced. The symptoms of fever, sore throat and runny nose disappeared in the zinc participants after seven days. In the control groups who took placebo agents without active ingredient, the complaints persisted beyond that. Children who took zinc syrup or lozenges for prophylaxis for at least five months were shown to reduce the incidence of colds. Overall, the children were less absent from school and the overall allocation of antibiotics to medicinal products was significantly reduced.

The author of the study, Meenu Singh from the Indian health institute "Medical Education and Research" confirms that zinc is actually effective against colds. "The evaluation strengthens the evidence that zinc works for the treatment of common colds." But the researcher does not want to make a final recommendation. "At the moment it is difficult to make a general recommendation because we still do not know enough about the optimal dose, formulation or length of treatment."

Further studies necessary In order to obtain precise evidence for the effectiveness of zinc, further research work is therefore necessary. Studies in special patient groups are necessary. Because: "Our study only examined zinc levels in healthy people," said Singh. "But it would be interesting to find out whether zinc supplements could also help asthmatics whose symptoms usually get significantly worse when they get a cold."

Zinc is part of our daily diet Normally, people do not have to take zinc through special capsules. Zinc is abundant in our daily diet in its natural form. For example, zinc is found in meat, fish, cheese, whole grains, nuts and mushrooms. Zinc is responsible for different metabolic processes in the human organism. It remains unclear whether patients should now increasingly use zinc agents. Because it is still not clear what dose should be taken. It is questionable whether food supplements should actually be used. A sufficient amount of zinc is supplied to the body with a balanced and wholesome diet. The World Health Organization WHO recommends adults a daily ration of no more than 15 milligrams a day. If you take 100 milligrams a day, you risk nausea, diarrhea and vomiting because the body resists an excessive (toxic) dose. Naturopathy knows numerous home remedies for colds and colds. The intake of zinc in limited and natural form can definitely not hurt to relieve cold symptoms. (sb)

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