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TRUTH IN MEDICINE

Does taking zinc work for colds?

Q:Does taking zinc work for colds?

 

A: Maybe. Study results on whether zinc prevents or shortens common colds are mixed. Some studies show no benefit. While other studies have found that taking zinc within 24 hours of the start of cold symptoms may shorten how long you’re sick.

However, experts agree that more research is needed before the most effective kind of zinc therapy can be determined, and they caution that in high doses — more than 40 milligrams per day — zinc can cause unwanted side effects.

Also, stay away from zinc products that go directly into your nose because they may permanently damage your sense of smell.

Make sure to talk to your doctor before taking zinc or any other supplement to prevent or fight off a cold.

For more information about primary care services available at South Nassau, click here.

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