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Zinc 'can kill the common cold'

16th February 2011

Zinc may be an effective remedy for people suffering from the common cold, according to new research published in the Cochrane Systematic Review.

After analysing 15 trials involving a total of 1,360 participants, the study authors found that zinc is an effective means of warding off colds and can speed up recovery if taken within a day of symptoms developing.

Lead researcher Meenu Singh, from the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research in Chandigarh, India, explained that zinc may work by 'coating' the virus, preventing it from replicating or entering the body through the nose.

Experts now intend to determine the most suitable means of administering the mineral and establish an optimum treatment timescale to ensure maximum efficacy.

'At the moment it is still difficult to make a general recommendation, because we do not know very much about the optimum dose, formulation or length of treatment,' Dr Singh explained.

In 2008, experts from the Common Cold Centre at Cardiff University claimed that consuming hot drinks could provide 'immediate and sustained relief' from the symptoms of a cold.

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