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Is it time to restock on zinc?
27 Jan' 21

Is it time to restock on zinc?

 

 

Welcome to cold and flu season, as if chronically high COVID-19 rates weren't enough to worry about.

Colds and influenza, two well-known upper respiratory illnesses, will likely become more common shortly. We had unusually low flu rates last year. Many analysts believe we will not be as fortunate this year.  

  

Consider zinc:

According to a new evaluation of the current evidence, over-the-counter zinc tablets may be one method to make cold and flu season a little easier. Of course, this isn't the first study to look into zinc as a COVID-19 antiviral treatment. However, the outcomes of previous studies have been uneven at best, some studies show a slight benefit, while others show no benefit, and the research quality has been low. Zinc can also cause unpleasant side effects, such as stomach trouble, nausea, and, in some cases, a loss of sense of smell.  

  

What did the research reveal?

The researchers looked at over 1,300 prior studies before narrowing it down to 28 well-designed trials with over 5,000 study participants. What they discovered was as follows:

Cold and flu-like disease prevention:  

Zinc pills or nasal spray zinc are linked to fewer upper respiratory infections when compared to placebo. The estimated effect was small for every 20 people who used zinc, about one illness was averted. The evidence supporting these conclusions is considered weak. According to a few studies, the greatest preventive effects were seen in the reduction of severe symptoms including fever and flu-like illness. It's worth mentioning that the research didn't confirm whether or not the subjects were infected with the flu virus.  Zinc did not prevent colds in small investigations of people who were deliberately exposed to the virus.  Colds and flu-like illnesses can be treated using the following remedies. It's worth mentioning that the research didn't confirm whether or not the subjects were infected with the flu virus. Zinc did not prevent colds in small investigations of people who were deliberately exposed to the virus.  

 

Also read Kawasaki disease criteria

 

Colds and flu-like illnesses can be treated using the following remedies:

  • Those who took zinc had their symptoms go gone two days sooner than those who received the placebo. According to the study, if 100 persons with upper respiratory infections were given zinc, an additional 19 would have recovered entirely by day seven. The evidence supporting these conclusions is considered weak.  
  • Some indicators of symptom severity were lower in the zinc group (compared to the placebo group) those receiving zinc reported milder symptoms on day three of the infection. 
  • Furthermore, those who took zinc had an 87 percent lower incidence of severe symptoms. However, the daily average symptom severity was comparable between the zinc and placebo groups. These findings were poor to moderate data quality and certainty.

What else should you think about before buying zinc?

While these data speak to zinc's capacity to prevent or mitigate cold and flu-like disease, there are a few more factors to consider:  

Consequences: Nausea and mouth or nose discomfort were more common in those who took zinc than in those who took the placebo. Fortunately, none of the incidents were serious. However, they may be enough to cause some people to discontinue taking zinc. 

Cost: Zinc supplements are commonly available at a low cost. A month's worth of zinc lozenges might cost as little as $2 (though I've seen some kinds for as much as $75 on the internet).  

Deficiency in zinc: The study's subjects either had normal zinc levels or were thought to be unlikely to be zinc deficient. There is a significant difference between taking zinc to prevent or treat respiratory infections versus taking it because your body lacks zinc. People with poor nutrition or digestive problems that interfere with mineral absorption are more likely to have zinc deficiency, which necessitates supplementation to avoid major repercussions such as reduced immune function. 

Different doses or varieties are available: To establish the optimum manner to absorb zinc, more research is needed.  

COVID-19. COVID-19. These findings aren't applicable to COVID-19 since none of the studies in our review looked at the effect of zinc supplementation on SARS-CoV-2.  

 

Read more Health Benefits Of Cherries

 

You're familiar with the procedure

Maybe this new research will persuade you to take zinc this winter or maybe you're still a skeptic. In any case, don't forget about tried and true cold and flu prevention techniques and treatments, such as these:  

  • Obtain a flu shot.  
  • Handwashing should be done often.  
  • When near sick people, avoid contact, keep a safe distance, and wear a mask.  
  • Get plenty of sleep and eat a healthy diet. 

If you do become ill, follow these steps: 

If at all possible, stay at home.  

If you can't prevent contact with people, wear a mask.  

Drink a lot of water.  

Reduce symptoms using over-the-counter cold and flu medicines.  

If you have flu symptoms, see your doctor right away; early treatment can reduce the length of your illness. Other conditions, particularly COVID-19, should also be ruled out.  

Many of the cold and flu prevention and treatment recommendations overlap with those for COVID-19 prevention and treatment.

In conclusion

Every winter, millions of people suffer from colds and flu-like symptoms. You might believe it's unavoidable that you'll be one of them. However, you may be able to avoid the pain by taking some simple, safe, and common-sense precautions. Perhaps zinc should be included in these measures as evidence develops in its favor. But it wouldn't take much to persuade me to join the zinc bandwagon perhaps one more large, well-designed, randomized controlled trial. 

 

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