Zinc may shorten colds

Some people swear by zinc as a way to get over a nasty cold faster than usual — and researchers say that belief may be nothing to sneeze at. An analysis of 17 patient trials comparing oral zinc preparations to placebo found that sucking on the lozenges appeared to shorten the duration of the common cold by about two days.

TORONTO — Some people swear by zinc as a way to get over a nasty cold faster than usual — and researchers say that belief may be nothing to sneeze at.

An analysis of 17 patient trials comparing oral zinc preparations to placebo found that sucking on the lozenges appeared to shorten the duration of the common cold by about two days.

But lead author Dr. Michelle Science, an infectious disease specialist at Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children, said the review of the trials involving more than 2,100 patients did not show that using zinc alleviated the severity of symptoms.

“Overall, what we found was that oral zinc taken at the start of a cold, or at the onset of a cold, reduced the average amount of time that a person will have symptoms, such as runny nose or congestion,” Science said Monday.

“But the reduction was relatively minor, so less than two days on average was what we found. If the average cold lasts seven to 10 days, then take off perhaps on average a day and a half of symptoms.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Third Albertan dies, 46 cases in central zone

A third Albertan has died from COVID-19, province announced Sunday. Forty additional… Continue reading

A message from the Advocate publisher

In good times and bad, The Red Deer Advocate has been here… Continue reading

Vaccine not expected until January 2021 for COVID-19, video posted on Alberta premier’s Facebook page shows

Premier Jason Kenney and Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw discuss vaccines

Red Deer: Put a bear in your window so kids can count them

Red Deer woman wants kids to go on ‘bear hunt’

City of Red Deer asks residents to help protect the pipes

Products that can cause blockages include towel, diapers, food scraps and fat, oil and grease

Alberta Health Services provides COVID-19 prevention tips

Alberta Health Services has a number of recommendations for people amid the… Continue reading

Alberta government website has latest COVID-19 statistics

Red Deer Advocate readers can stay up to date on the COVID-19… Continue reading

‘Worse than any flu’: Canadians describe how it feels to have COVID-19

“I woke up with a little scratch in my throat and started trying to cough it up”

Feds rolling out help for charities hit hard by COVID-19 economic slowdown

OTTAWA — The federal government signalled Sunday it is shifting the focus… Continue reading

Five things to watch for in the Canadian business world in the coming week

Thousands have already lost their jobs, while others like grocers look for ways to keep doors open

Athletes, musicians help raise 500,000 euros to fight virus

“It’s a very difficult situation, and for the league to be able to do something like this, it makes players, clubs and fans very proud”

Tokyo Olympics: Signs suggest summer dates for 2021 Olympics

Organizing committee suggested there would be no major change from 2020.

Most Read