Study: Zinc plays major role in remedy for common cold - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Study: Zinc plays major role in remedy for common cold

DALLAS (NBC) - While there is no cure for the common cold, new research suggests a promising remedy from something you can buy over the counter.

The study from the Cochrane Library suggests over-the-counter supplements that contain zinc can shorten the length and severity of the common cold.

"It suggests that people who start taking zinc lozenges or syrup the first day they experience the symptoms have less symptoms for a shorter amount of time," said family practitioner Dr. Callie Hollenshead.

According the Cochrane study, adults get between two and four colds a year, which accounts for 40 percent of missed work days.

While the study suggests zinc can get you back on your feet quicker, it doesn't specify how much to take or what type. Zinc comes in all forms, from liquid drops to lozenges.

Hollenshead cautions you can take too much of it.

"Zinc lozenges, if they're taken too often, can cause nausea and a bad taste reaction," said Hollenshead.

In order for zinc to be effective, researchers stress it must be taken within 24 hours of the first cough or sniffle.

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