Does Zinc Really Cut Your Cold In Half?

As we experience the flu season upon us, we are dreading the possibility of catching the common cold, and are willing to try anything to end the miserable feeling. When most people feel they are getting a cold, they bundle up, eat chicken soup and drink vitamin C, but what most people don’t know is that taking zinc could cut your cold in half.

Most colds are caused by rhinoviruses, a family of 99 viruses that trigger symptoms like a sore throat, runny nose, nasal congestion, and sneezing. Rhinoviruses live and breed inside nasal passages. Coughing and sneezing easily spread the virus in our immediate environment.  Anyone who comes in contact with a virus may easily become infected.
woman with blanket, woman with cold, woman that is sick
Although the common cold causes minor symptoms, it is the number one reason for work and/or school absences. The symptoms of a cold interfere with our concentration, making it difficult to focus on even simple tasks. Additionally, colds affect sleep and zap our energy. Cold sufferers seeking to feel better faster, often look to remedies, such as zinc, to quickly alleviate their symptoms.
What is zinc?
Zinc is a mineral commonly found in whole wheat flour, nuts and red meat amongst other foods.  It is among the most important minerals in the body since it plays an important role in many cellular functions such as hair and skin health, eyesight, and cognitive functions.  However, the most immediately observable effect is the impact on your immune system. Research has shown that if zinc is taken particularly on the first day of experiencing cold symptoms, it can lead to a faster recovery.