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Winter is coming to an end and last Friday was officially the first day of spring (but if you're in England you probably didn't notice a difference; maybe the odd daffodil here and there but the weather is pretty much the same). So with the changes in weather comes cold & flu season, where it seems as if everyone's got a cold, and taking sick-days off school/work.
Two scientists at the University of Helsinki: Harri Hemilä from Helsinki, Finland and Elizabeth Chalker from Sydney, Australia decided to study whether there are differences in the effect of zinc lozenges on different common-cold symptoms.Harri Hemilä from Helsinki, Finland and Elizabeth Chalker from Sydney, Australia decided to investigate whether there are differences in the effect of zinc lozenges on different common-cold symptoms.
What are Zinc Lozenges?
Zinc lozenges contain zinc acetate, when you suck on a zinc lozenge, zinc acetate breaks down to release zinc 2+ ions, which are released into the saliva of the pharyngeal region where the levels are consequently high.
How do zinc lozenges work?
Zinc has been shown to have anti-viral effects; a theory suggest that interferes with viral proliferation by inhibiting viral capsid (the outer layer of the virus) formation when the virus replicates. Another theory is that zinc interferes with binding and subsequent entry into cells by the virus. Therefore zinc has positive effects on the stimulating the immune system.
High dose zinc acetate lozenges shortened the duration of common-cold associated nasal discharge by 34%, nasal congestion by 37%, scratchy throat by 33%, and cough by 46%, according to the meta-analysis, published in the BMC Family Practice Journal. The research was conducted by a pair of scientists at the university of Helsinki. The effects of zinc do not discriminate between nasal symptoms or respiratory symptoms.
Click here to read my post on how to keep the cold and flu at bay!
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Image from HealthFitnessMag - Flu Medicines Image - Zinc Acetate Wiki - Zinc Lozenges - BMC Journal