Saturday, 19 February 2011

ZINC SPEEDS RECOVERY FROM COMMON COLD Issue Date: 18th February 2011 Taking zinc supplements can lessen the severity and duration of the common cold, experts believe. A review of the available scientific evidence suggests that taking zinc within a day of the onset of cold symptoms speeds recovery. It may also help ward off colds, say the authors of the Cochrane Systematic Review that included data from 15 trials involving 1,360 people. "This review strengthens the evidence for zinc as a treatment for the common cold” Adults catch between two to four colds a year, children up to ten a year, and there is little a person can do to avoid these infections because the viruses that cause colds are so commonplace. Cold viruses can be passed from person to person not only by coughs and sneezes but also by touching contaminated surfaces such as door handles. There is no proven treatment for the common cold, but experts believe zinc medications may help prevent and lessen infections by coating the common cold viruses and stopping them from entering the body through the thin lining of the nose. And in laboratory tests, it also appears to stop the virus from replicating. There is also the suggestion that zinc aids the immune system and may dampen down some of the unpleasant reactions the body has to an invading virus. Speedy Recovery Lead researcher Meenu Singh, of the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research in Chandigarh, India, said: "This review strengthens the evidence for zinc as a treatment for the common cold. However, at the moment, it is still difficult to make a general recommendation, because we do not know very much about the optimum dose, formulation or length of treatment." 
 According to trial results, zinc supplements taken within a day of the onset of cold symptoms reduce the severity and length of illness. At seven days, more of the patients who took zinc remedies every couple of hours during the daytime had cleared their symptoms compared to those who took placebos. 
And children who took 15mg of zinc syrup or zinc lozenges daily for five months or longer caught fewer colds and took less time off school. 
 Editor in Chief of the Cochrane Library, David Tovey, said: "This is a treatment that is showing some promise which, where treating the common cold is concerned, is unusual. 
"Although there are many over-the-counter cold remedies already available, we are not awash with things that can stop cold symptoms or greatly reduce their severity. But there is uncertainty about the best doses, timings and formulations and more studies will be needed to look at this."
 Nature's Sunshine's zinc contains 15mg of zinc per tablet, so is a perfect fit for people who would like to 'manage' their colds. Ref: BBC news 16.02.11

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