‘Tis the season to pull out those winter warmers to prevent those dreaded cold-day sniffles
If, however, you’ve fallen into the deep, dark depth of ‘flu season’, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences have a top tip on how to reduce the duration of your cold.
Whilst zinc lozenges can cut your cold down by three days, new research out of Finland has found that both zinc acetate and zinc gluconate are equally effective at shortening your cough or cold. Previously, zinc gluconate wasn’t thought as effective, since the binding of zinc ions are tighter meaning that enough zinc may not have been released, meta-analysis researchers say.
Seven randomised trials with zinc acetate and zinc gluconate lozenges found that the duration of colds was shortened by 33%. “Ordinary tablets that enter directly into the stomach, without releasing zinc in the pharyngeal (throat) region are not effective,” said lead author Dr Harri Hemelia, of the University of Helsinki. “Zinc is important for the immune system and eating too little in the diet is known to increase the risk of infection”.
The latest findings confirm previous studies by Dr Hemila’s team as well as those by Cardiff University’s Common Cold Centre.