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Zinc can help in fighting common cold

New research suggest that taking a zinc supplement at the onset of a cold helps to reduce the severity and length of the illness.

Image: Caitra via Creative Commons

TAKING ZINC TABLETS, syrups or lozenges may help to reduce the severity of common colds, as well as preventing reinfection by warding off the viruses that cause the illness, experts believe.

Evidence gathered by the Cochrane Systematic Review suggests that if a person takes zinc within one day of experiencing the symptoms of a cold the recovery period will be shorter. The conclusion was drawn from data produced from 15 trials involving 1,360 people, reports the Telegraph.

However, experts warn that zinc cannot be taken over a long period of time because of toxicity concerns, which can reult in abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhoea.

The BBC reports that adults catch between two and four colds each year, on average. It is normal for children to catch up to ten.

There is no cure for the common cold and the viruses that cause it are easily spread. However, experts believe that zinc could help to reduce the severity of colds by coating the viruses that cause the illness, making it more difficult for the body to absorb them, Reuters reports.

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