The common cold is caused by a viral infection of the upper respiratory tract. People afflicted with a cold often cough and sneeze, are fatigued, and have runny noses, sore throats, congestion, and a low-grade fever.
Although there is no specific drug that treats the common cold, there are steps that can be taken at the very first signs of symptoms that may help ward off infection. The key is to be aggressive: treat a potential infection as a full-blown illness, taking every precaution possible, including nutrients, hormones, and sometimes drugs, along with getting as much sleep as possible.
A number of published studies show that if zinc lozenges are taken within 24 hours of the onset of common cold symptoms, the severity and duration of cold miseries are significantly diminished (Hulisz D 2004; Prasad AS et al 2000; Marshall S 1998; Mossad SB et al 1996).
Rhinoviruses attach to specific cell receptor sites in sinus and throat tissues, become lodged in the nose and throat, and then replicate out of control (Gwaltney JM 2002). By binding to the same cell receptor sites as do cold viruses, zinc inhibits the ability of rhinoviruses to take hold in the body.
A meta-analysis of all the published literature on zinc lozenges was conducted last year. The following was the conclusion of the report: "Clinical trial data support the value of zinc in reducing the duration and severity of symptoms of the common cold when administered within 24 hours of the onset of common cold symptoms. Additional clinical and laboratory evaluations are warranted to further define the role of ionic zinc for the prevention and treatment of the common cold and to elucidate the biochemical mechanisms through which zinc exerts its symptom-relieving effects" (Hulisz D 2004).
The key here is to suck on two 24-mg zinc lozenges at the very first symptom of a cold and continue doing this every 2 hours (while awake). Once rhinoviruses bind to their receptor sites in the nasal tissues and begin replicating, zinc lozenges lose their efficacy. Considering how inexpensive zinc lozenges are, it makes sense to keep them on hand so that they are immediately available if cold symptoms manifest.
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*These supplements should be taken in conjunction with a healthy diet and regular exercise program. Results may vary.