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NewsBites August 2012 Issue

Oral Zinc Shortens Colds

Oral zinc lozenges or syrup really could shorten your suffering from the common cold, according to a new review of the evidence in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, but you may not like the side effects. In a meta-analysis of 17 trials totaling 2,121 participants, the average cold duration for those taking zinc was about a day and a half shorter than those given a placebo. Larger oral doses of zinc were associated with greater benefits, which were seen primarily in adults rather than children. There was no difference between zinc and placebo, however, in severity or presence of symptoms at three days. Patients receiving zinc were also much more prone to side effects, which included nausea and bad taste in the mouth. Researchers called for further studies focused on any adverse effects.

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