Zinc Could be Beneficial for Reducing Cold and Flu Symptoms

Zinc Could be Benaeficial for Reducing Cold and Flu Symptoms

Treatment of respiratory infections involves the intake of various supplements to mitigate the symptoms, such as a runny nose, sore throat, or a persistent cough. According to a recent study, zinc is one such supplement that can be successfully used both to prevent respiratory infections and treatment after their onset.

Zinc has proven to have many benefits for the immune system and enhance various bodily processes, some of which are cell division and growth, quicker wound healing, insulin action, and maintenance of the senses of smell and taste. Our daily zinc intake can be provided by seafood, red meat, chicken, or dairy products, among others. Zinc is also a frequent compound of multivitamin supplements.

The study in question is essentially a review of previously conducted clinical trials with the specific aim of determining how zinc in any form aided the recovery of adults affected by respiratory infections when taken without any other form of pharmacological therapy.

The research team discovered that zinc in oral and intranasal forms prevented infections in a certain number of patients. The symptoms were gone about two days earlier than in the placebo groups. Zinc was also proven most effective on the third day after the onset of the symptoms. In turn, zinc did not mitigate the average daily severity of the symptoms, and some patients experienced nausea or an upset stomach.

The authors state that zinc might be helpful in the prevention and mitigation of viral infections affecting the respiratory tract in individuals who are already not deficient in this mineral.

Some drawbacks of the review are that not all studies reviewed offered unbiased findings and that some analyses were conducted by a single reviewer, which increases error potential. In addition, none of the studies focused on COVID-19 patients, so further research is needed to determine if the supplement is effective against this virus.

Photo by Candace Mathers on Unsplash

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