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Zinc And The Common Cold Essay

1181 words - 5 pages

The common cold is the leading cause of illness in the United States alone equaling to about 1 billion a year. In the continuing quest to find a cure for the common cold it was discovered in 1984 that zinc could possibly help shorten the duration of colds and reduce symptom severity (4). However some findings proved to be inconclusive when they tried to repeat the results. This paper will explore more recent studies on the effect of zinc on the common cold, and examine what further research should be explored.
This first study explored the treatment of the common cold using zinc nasal gel. The hypothesis of this study was to help determine if zinc injected directly to the site of infection ...view middle of the document...

This study enrolled 80 patients, 18-55 years old, and they had to have had the cold for 24-48 hours (3). This study also administered the gel starting at 9pm on the initial period, then every four hours the day after until symptoms have resolved or for ten days. There were no other cold remedies allowed during this study. This study also showed positive results for zinc group, there symptoms only lasted 4.3 days and the placebo group symptoms lasted for 6 days. What differed this study from the other was that they further explored that 18 patients were positive for rhinovirus, and that the cold only lasted for 3 days in the zinc group compared to 6 days in the placebo group (3). Limitations that were discovered in this study were that only healthy participants were included, it would be interesting to see a study on critically ill or immune compromised individuals, and that assessment of response was entirely subjective.
The third study researched the effect of zinc acetate lozenges in reducing the duration of symptoms of the common cold. This study included 48 participants made up of medical students that attended Wayne State University. Cold symptoms need to be at least 24 hours long and at least show 2 common cold symptoms (5). Participants were expected to take either 12.8 mg zinc lozenges every 2 to 3 hours or the placebo, for as long as symptoms lasted. This hypothesis was also proven true cold symptoms lasted 4.48 days in the zinc group and 8.1 days in the control group (5). Because of financial restraints that study was not able to help determine if the zinc had any anti viral effects.
The fourth study researched if the supplementation of zinc could help school aged children reduce frequency and rate of the common cold living in a low socioeconomic suburb in north-east Iran. The study included 200 children aged 78-120 months, split up evenly between placebo and non-placebo group (6). The children were either given 10mg zinc sulfate tablets 6 days a week for 5 months (November to March) or a placebo. In conclusion the zinc group only obtained the cold 1.37 times during the study period compared to the placebo group, which was 3.15 (6). Further research is needed to help determine if fortifying commonly used foods such as...

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