Do Zinc Supplements Help Stop The Common Cold?

There’s a reason why the common cold is called, well, the common cold. And it’s simply because it’s common for us to experience it at least two or three times on a yearly basis, sometimes even more.

It’s the top reason for missing work and school days, and it can make your mother’s cooking tasteless and awful (you get to stay in bed a lot though). And while it poses no real threat (especially if you’re particularly healthy), it can still be an inconvenience. Unfortunately, there’s no real cure.

With that in mind, however, studies made in the last several years ago state that supplements with zinc can help shorten the duration of its symptoms, making you feel better all the more sooner. Does this actually work?

Zinc And The Common Cold

Having only been acknowledged as an essential mineral for our health until the 1970s, zinc helps our immune system fight off invading bacteria, and it’s also used to help make proteins and DNA. Interestingly enough, it can apparently make shorten the symptoms of common cold and it was proven by Dr. Ananda Prasad and James T. Fitzgerald, who collaborated on a double-blind, placebo controlled trial.

Previously, Prasad had demonstrated that zinc can help men grow taller, when he gave young men in Egypt zinc supplements after observing that they’re underdeveloped.

"When I first heard this — I actually told his research assistant: I think he's losing it. Lo and behold, when I did the analysis it indeed did shorten common cold symptoms by about two or three days. I was stunned by that result," Fitzgerald recalled.

And now, new research has shown that two zinc compounds – zinc acetate and zinc gluconate – are both effective in curing common cold symptoms. The problem, however, per health experts, is that most zinc formulations sold at drugstores have multiple ingredients that can undercut zinc’s effectiveness in stopping common cold symptoms.

As such, experts recommend that you check the package’s list of ingredients. In any case, getting good sleep and drinking lots of fluid is still the best and safest way to beat the common cold.

Common cold The scientific community has been struggling to prevent common cold because of the ability of viruses to rapidly become resistant to drugs and stay undetected by the immune system. Pixabay