Caught the cold? Zinc supplements to the rescue

With zinc in your body, you may be able to prevent viruses from multiplying.

You know that winter has officially arrived when there are too many red, sniffling noses in the vicinity. When the weather is transitional, the cold viruses are most active, waiting for host bodies. And while there are many ways to combat common cold and flu, nothing works quite like zinc supplements. Find out how you can stay fit this winter.

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The discussion around zinc started way back in 1984, when a study showed that zinc supplements kept people from getting as sick. Since then, there have been many researches and studies conducted around the world to understand the connection between zinc and common cold.

Researches conducted in the recent past reveal that by taking zinc within the first 24 hours of the showing of symptoms — in the form of lozenges or syrup — you may be able to lessen the severity of the cold. They also suggested that zinc be used regularly to prevent colds in general.

How does it work?

Most common colds are caused by the rhinovirus, which thrives and multiplies in the respiratory system, mainly in the nasal passages and the throat. With zinc in your body, you may be able to prevent this virus from multiplying. The zinc may also prevent it from latching on to the mucous membranes. In lozenge and/or syrup form, it is most effective, because it lingers in the throat for long and fights the rhinovirus.

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Before you consume

The first thing would be to check with your doctor before you self-medicate. Your medical history may determine if zinc is good for you. Alternatively, there are many other things that you can do to get some relief: like eat hot soup, use a humidifier, eat healthy, etc.

The side effects

Zinc — especially in lozenge form — may have side effects, including bad taste in the mouth, accompanied by nausea. In extreme cases, people who used zinc nasal sprays even permanently lost their sense of smell.

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