The common cold is a result of numerous viruses which directly affect our breathing passage. The virus causing cold is transmitted from one person to another very easily. This is one of the most common illnesses around the world with more than 500+ million cases every year. It is fairly easy to recover from a common cold. But in some cases, the condition of an individual can become serious. Cold can affect both adults and children which can bring a standstill to their regular schedule.
Headache, muscle aches, sore throat, cough, etc. are the most common symptoms of a cold. There are different remedies which can prevent the onset of common cold and zinc is one of them. Extensive research has shown that zinc can eliminate the viruses which cause colds. A clinical trial conducted by Sherif B. Mossad at Cleveland Clinic proved that zinc is really effective in such cases. This experiment also proved that the patients, who got zinc dosage, experienced a faster recovery. Therefore, zinc for cold seems to be a good natural remedy that will help to combat your cold.
Did You Know?
- The name Zinc was derived from the German word “Zinke” which means pointed. It got such a name because of its pointed and sharp edges.
- Indian metallurgists discovered zinc for the first time ever in 1000 BCE. Zinc was identified as a unique substance in India since 1374.
- After Iron, zinc is the most commonly found element in the human body. It has several important functions to perform which keeps the body healthy.
How does zinc work in cold?
Even though there is not much evidence to support the fact that zinc effectively cures cold(2), but zinc surely prevents it. This element can inhibit rhinovirus replication and fights against other viruses in the respiratory tract.
The exact mechanism of zinc for cold is still uncertain. Zinc has shown signs of reducing the severity of cold symptoms. A recent study proved that zinc reduces the duration of the cold symptoms. However, it will take more time to clinically prove zinc’s abilities to cure or prevent the inception of a common cold.
[Also Read: Zinc for Flu Treatment]
Foods Enriched with Zinc
Zinc is responsible for the functioning of more than 300 enzymes. It has several important functions to perform. Zinc improves the immune system and also helps to repair different body tissues. Here are the foods which have zinc contains in them.
Meat is the best source of zinc, particularly red meat. Beef, lamb, pork come with a high amount of zinc. A 100 gram of ground beef can provide your body with 4.8mg of zinc. This number alone fulfils the 43% of the recommended intake of the human body. Meat also provides the necessary energy and other nutrition.
Shellfish are low on calories but at the same time high on zinc. Oysters, in particular, contain a very high amount of zinc. 6 medium size oysters can provide your body with 32 mg of zinc which is 290% of the recommended daily intake. Alaskan crabs or shrimps contain less amount of zinc but are nevertheless a good source of it.
Legumes are a good source of zinc and of 100 gms of it consist of 12% of our daily intake. Legumes also come with different other minerals which can help in other ways.
Eggs contain zinc as well but in less quantity. A single egg can contribute 5% of our daily recommended intake. But, besides this factor, eggs also come with other benefits as well which make them so useful in day to day life.
[Also Read: Egg White Benefits for Perfect Health]
Correct Dosage of Zinc to Treat Cold
If you are planning to use Zinc for cold then you should also be aware of the correct dosage. The right amount of this mineral will provide you with positive results. But overdosing can lead to different kinds of negative effects. 4.5 – 24 mg of elemental zinc is recommended for every two hours if a person is suffering from cold. You can consult a doctor to know the exact amount of recommended zinc for your body.
[Also Read: Home Remedies For Cold]
Precautions Before Using Zinc
Here are some important precautions that you need to take in mind when using zinc for cold.
- Pregnant women should always consult their doctor before taking zinc. This is because it can have a negative effect on the metabolic system.
- Old people who are above the age of 70 should take a regulated amount of zinc. Their metabolic strength is low and should be given special attention.
- You should never consume zinc and copper, iron, or phosphorus supplements at the same time. There should be at least a gap of 2 hours.
Zinc for cold is considered as a preventive measure that can help you combat the common cold. But as of now, there is no strong evidence to consider it as a popular option to cure a person completely of cold.
[Also Read: Herbs That Fight Cold]
1. Can Zinc Cure a Common Cold?
Ans. It still remains to be proved if zinc can cure a common cold or not. But clinical trials have shown that zinc can reduce the duration of the symptoms and inhibit the virus.
2. What Is the Best Source for Zinc?
Ans. Meat, nuts, shellfish and legumes are the best source of zinc in our body with significant levels of it. Shellfish comes with the highest amount of zinc.
2. What Is the Right Dosage for Zinc?
Ans. 4.5 – 24 mg of elemental zinc is the best dosage for treating the common cold. The recommended amount varies from person to person and a doctor will prescribe it.