Zinc is an important mineral – especially at this time of year – and especially after this incredibly LONG winter! Zinc is a great supplement for cold and flu season and unfortunately, about 80% of the population is deficient. Numerous studies cited by the NIH Office of Dietary Supplements, the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University and others note that zinc can reduce the severity and duration of cold symptoms.
In clinical trials zinc lozenges significantly reduced the duration of cold symptoms: a cough, nasal discharge, and muscle aches. Eighteen therapeutic trials found that, when taken within 24 hours of the onset of cold symptoms, zinc supplementation in the form of lozenges or syrup reduced the severity and duration of these symptoms. It was also found that using zinc preventatively helped prevent colds; prophylactic zinc supplementation for at least five months reduced incidence, school absences and prescription of antibiotics for children with the common cold.
Evidence from the opposite perspective is also readily available. Mild zinc deficiency, which is found to be more common among several categories of people including the elderly and those eating vegetarian or vegan diets, can lead to frequent colds and flu, chronic fatigue, and poor general health. When zinc deficiency is chronic it can affect eyesight, taste, smell, and memory. As with other minerals and vitamins, while zinc is naturally found in some foods, the amounts are often negligible due to the over-processing of so many foods today. Because the body does not store it, daily intake of zinc is required to maintain a steady state.
A number of zinc supplements are commercially available, including zinc acetate, zinc gluconate, zinc picolinate, and zinc sulfate. In my opinion zinc picolinate is a better form because it is a little bit more bioavailable. Zinc picolinate is the kind I use personally and sell in my office.
It’s never too late to optimize your immune function! Stop by today to pick up your basic nutrients, including zinc.
Please Note: Above statements are not written by Health Realizations nor the opinion of Health Realizations