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Zinc Lozenges Associated With Shorter Duration of Common Cold

There’s no cure for the common cold — but there may be ways to make it last for a shorter amount of time. A recent study suggests that taking zinc acetate and zinc gluconate lozenges may help shorten the duration of the common cold by an average 33%.

Researchers from the University of Helsinki examined data from seven randomized trials, three of which used zinc acetate lozenges and four of which used zinc gluconate lozenges. Five of the trials zinc doses of 80-92 mg/day and two trials used zinc doses of 197-207 mg/day.

The researchers found that zinc acetate lozenges were associated with a 40% shorter duration of a cold, while the zinc gluconate lozenges were associated with an average 28% shorter duration. The difference between the effects was explained by random variation.

No difference in effectiveness was found for dosages over 100 mg/day, compared to dosages under 100 mg/day.

The study was published on May 2, 2017, in JRSM Open.

The human body cannot make zinc, so it’s important to get it from food and supplement sources. It can be found in many foods, including oysters, beef, crab, fortified cereals, lobster, beans, yogurt, nuts, milk, chicken, cheese, and oatmeal.

You can also consume zinc in a supplement form, but be careful not to take too much. Intakes of greater than 150 mg per day have been associated with negative side effects, such as a weakened immune system.

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