Zinc may kick your cold

by | Jun 5, 2012 | Research, Seasonal health | 0 comments

There are plenty of different things you can do to keep yourself healthy through the cooler months, but what happens if you do fall ill?

Don’t worry. Don’t panic. There is a lot you can do to feel better and bounce back in no time.

Today I’m going to tell you about the wonders of Zinc: an essential nutrient that plays a role in immune function, wound healing, digestion, protein synthesis and reproductive function. A pretty important guy, in other words.

Zinc can help you ditch a cold

We often recommend Zinc (together with Vit C and immune supporting herbs) to get our patients’ health back on track.

A Cochrane review published last year looked at the role of Zinc supplementation in kicking a cold. The reviewers found that taking a high-therapeutic dose of Zinc within 24 hours of  developing cold symptoms significantly reduced symptom duration i.e. people got better, faster. Hooplah! They also found that people who had been taking small doses of Zinc for several months were less likely to fall ill in the first place. Double hooplah!

Although supplementation should be just that – supplemental to dietary nutrition – Zinc liquid or tablets should be considered if you’re prone to illness at this time of year, or if you feel yourself coming down with something.

How do I know if I need more Zinc?

Apart from assessing your dietary intake and overall health to ascertain whether supplementation would be appropriate, we can also do a Zinc taste test here at the clinic – a quick and easy way to see if you need a boost.

If you feel you might be low, make a time to come on in and we can check.

What are the best dietary sources of Zinc?

Oysters contain the highest amount of zinc of all food sources. You will also find high levels of Zinc in organic meat (particularly beef & lamb) and organ meats (such as liver), chicken and turkey. As well as seafood (especially crab and lobster) and eggs.

Vegetarians and vegans can find Zinc in pepitas (pumpkin seeds), Brazil nuts and almonds (other nuts also have small amounts), sesame seeds,  whole grains and wheat germ.

Citric acid, such as you’ll find in lemons, oranges and other vitamin C-rich foods increases zinc absorption.