Indian study finds Zinc to be therapeutic for common cold


Cold also known as common cold is characterized by sneezing, scratchy throat, runny nose.  Vitamin C is recommended to increase your resistance against common cold.  We wrote about natural remedies against common cold that, generally, helps me.  A new report published in the Cochran Library revealed that zinc can reduce duration of illness from cold, if taken are its onset.  There is not full consensus on the latest findings and some experts are skeptical of benefits of zinc against common cold. 

About the study
The research was carried out in India, which dug into fifteen studies, thirteen of them were on treatment and two were focused on zinc to prevent cold.  Researchers pooled the data involving total of 1,360 participants with age from 1 to 64. It was observed that all the participants had overall good health. 

Results of the study
The study revealed that

  • Zinc taken within 24 hours of the start of symptoms exhibited cure from cold a day earlier as compared to placebos.
  • Zinc exhibited lower severity of cold symptoms. 

Conflicting data
There is conflicting data on use of zinc to cure common cold, two studies were quoted in particular:

  • One study published in 2007, a meta analysis of 14 studies, published in 2007, concluded that many of the studies were too flawed to draw any conclusions.
  • Another study was meta-analysis published in 2000 in the Cochrane Review, called the body of research inconclusive. 

So is zinc beneficial for common cold?
The studies are confusing and since the designs of...

studies have lot of variation, Meenu Singh and Rashmi R. Das of the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research in Chandigarh, India said that “it’s impossible to say what doses are optimal, which formulations are best and how long to use the products, said the authors of the new analysis.”

Dr. Kay Dickersin, a professor of epidemiology at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and director of the U.S. Cochrane Center commented that “I think there is a need for more research so we can get a sense of how well zinc works or if it even does work.” 

The data is confusing, where you should or should not consume zinc to cure your common cold.  FDA warned consumers of Zicam, nasal spray for cold containing zinc, that it can cause loss of sense of smell.  If you can find natural source of zinc, you might want to try and see if it benefits your cold.  Consult your doctor before taking Zinc supplements. 

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