LONDON – Take zinc to shake off a nasty cold, a review study says.
The latest Cochrane Review found that people who took a zinc syrup solution or lozenge every two hours while they had cold were twice as likely to have shed it within a week as those who took a placebo.
Children who took a zinc tablet once a day for at least five months were also a third less likely to get colds as those who took a placebo, the Telegraph reports.
The scientists concluded: “Evidence shows that zinc is beneficial for the common cold in healthy children and adults living in high-income countries.
“Zinc also reduced the incidence of the common cold, school absence and antibiotic use in healthy children.”
The last Cochrane Review on zinc, in 1999, found “no strong evidence” that it had any positive effect on colds, but studies since then have forced a reappraisal.
However, the scientists cautioned that they did not yet know what dose was best. Side effects of zinc formulations included nausea, bad taste and diarrhea. Doses ranged from 30 to 160 mg per day.