The benefits of using Zinc for colds

(NBC NEWS) Flu season is peaking, and so is the common cold. To prevent yourself from getting sick, taking zinc may seem like a no-brainer to boost your immune system. But is that really what’s best for you?

“Taking zinc everyday as a supplement probably isn’t the best approach for reducing the frequency of colds. The evidence for using it to prophylac or prevent colds is not very strong,” explains pharmacist Chris Smith.

Although he doesn’t suggest using it daily for prevention, Smith does recommend taking it when symptoms first start.

“Zinc has some evidence of shortening cold symptoms if it is taken within the first 48 hours of cold symptoms. It can shorten the duration of the cold symptoms for maybe one or two days. And the common cold is typically 10 days for most people,” he says.

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