Zinc Lozenges May Help Colds Go Away 3 Times Faster

For the new review, published in Open Forum Infectious Diseases, Finnish researchers combined data from three randomized clinical trials, in which about 200 people who had cold symptoms took either zinc acetate lozenges or a placebo. Daily doses of zinc ranged from 80 to 92 mg a day—substantially higher than the recommended daily intake in the United States, which is 11 mg for men and 8 mg for women.

When the studies were analyzed together, results showed that 70% of the people taking zinc lozenges recovered from their colds after five days, compared to just 27% of people who took the placebo. After adjusting for several factors, the authors concluded that zinc provided a 3.1-fold increase in improvement. These effects were seen regardless of age, gender, race, smoking status or presence of allergies, the researchers note, suggesting that zinc’s healing powers could apply to a wide variety of people.

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