Winter is coming, and even before that, fall is not just the prelude for what is to come. I have friends already sneezing their heads off and feeling miserable.
That’s because our arch enemies — the common cold and the flu — are beginning to creep around. That means you should be checking your pantry to take stock of anti-virals (like vitamin C and vitamin D) and immune-boosters (like Echinacea) that can ward off these nasty buggers.
But there’s one other product you should especially have on-hand — just in case you start to experience those dreaded signs a cold is coming on…
Zinc acetate lozenges.
Hooray for the cold-busting powers of zinc acetate lozenges
A analysis from researchers in Finland shows that zinc acetate lozenges pack a powerful punch against colds, restoring your health much quicker than normal.
Researchers from the University of Helsinki in Finland found that people who took zinc acetate lozenges recovered from colds three times faster than people who didn’t take them. They came to this conclusion by analyzing three randomized controlled trials on the effect of zinc acetate lozenges on the common cold.
Based on the results of these trials, they determined that 70 percent of cold sufferers who took zinc lozenges recovered by the fifth day of their cold, yet only 27 percent of cold sufferers who took a placebo were feeling better by then…
That remaining 27 percent of people still had to suffer through several more days of sneezing, sniffling, coughing and congestion. No thanks!
Now, you may have heard that zinc helps colds before. But this analysis shows that zinc is astonishingly effective at making your cold shorter and less miserable. Just in case you ever wondered if that package of zinc lozenges is worth your hard-earned money… the answer is yes!
Even better, people who took zinc acetate lozenges in all three studies experienced little to no unpleasant side effects. This makes zinc an even more enticing cold remedy.
How much zinc is too much?
A lot of people already swear zinc is the most effective cold cure. But if you’ve tried zinc acetate lozenges for a cold before and haven’t noticed much of a difference, it could be that you took too little. In fact, researchers noticed that the zinc dosages used in the study were significantly higher than the recommended daily zinc intake, which is 11 mg/day for men and 8 mg/day for women.
In the study, people were taking between 80 to 92 mg/day. Now, zinc acetate lozenges can have adverse side effects when taken in high doses for too long, like leaving a bad taste in your mouth and nausea. But there are also cases where people take high doses of zinc without any adverse effects…
Several studies that tested zinc’s effectiveness on ailments other than colds found that people could take 100 to 150 mg of zinc per day for months without experiencing any problems.
You probably won’t want to take that much zinc for that long, since it will increase your chances of eventually developing side effects like nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, abdominal cramps, diarrhea and headaches.
But these studies do show that taking 80 to 92 mg of zinc per day for few days while you have a cold shouldn’t pose any danger to your health. In fact, it’s probably just what you need to get your health back on track.
- Human Parainfluenza Viruses (HPIVs) — Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved May 11, 2017.
- Wai-Ming Lee, et al. “Human Rhinovirus Species and Season of Infection Determine Illness Severity.” — American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. Nov 2012; 186(9): 886–891.
- Zinc acetate lozenges may increase the recovery rate from the common cold by threefold — MedicalXpress. Retrieved May 11, 2017.
- Hemilä, et al. “Zinc Acetate Lozenges May Improve the Recovery Rate of Common Cold Patients: An Individual Patient Data Meta-Analysis.” — Open Forum Infectious Diseases, 2017.