Shedding Cold Symptoms Faster
You may be able to help shorten cold symptoms by taking zinc acetate lozenges within 24 hours of your first sniffles. A new review from Finland of three randomized controlled trials reported that people who took the zinc lozenges recovered in five days, three times faster than those who took a placebo. The doses used were between 80 and 92 mg daily. Although these doses are about 10 fold higher than the 8 mg daily for women and 11 mg daily for men recommended in the U.S., the researchers from the University of Helsinki said even higher doses had been used for longer to treat unrelated health problems with few adverse effects. However, the researchers did note some downsides to taking zinc lozenges – not all of those on the market are effective against colds, particularly those containing citric acid, and some zinc lozenges have an unpleasant taste. More importantly, lead researcher Harri Hemilä advised that pregnant women and children avoid the lozenges until further research confirms their safety.
Harri Hemilä et al, “Zinc Acetate Lozenges May Improve the Recovery Rate of Common Cold Patients: An Individual Patient Data Meta-Analysis.” Open Forum Infectious Diseases, April 3, 2017; 4 (2) DOI: 10.1093/ofid/ofx059
Also in this week’s bulletin:
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