Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Oral zinc may lessen common cold symptoms but adverse effects are common

Date:
May 7, 2012
Source:
Canadian Medical Association Journal
Summary:
Oral zinc treatments may shorten the duration of symptoms of the common cold in adults, although adverse effects are common, according to a new study.

Oral zinc treatments may shorten the duration of symptoms of the common cold in adults, although adverse effects are common, according to a study published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

Canadian researchers looked at 17 randomized controlled trials with 2121 participants between 1 and 65 years of age to determine the efficacy and safety of zinc in treating the common cold. All trials were double-blinded and used placebos as well as oral zinc preparations. The authors found that, compared with placebos, zinc significantly reduced the duration of cold symptoms, although the quality of evidence was moderate. High doses of ionic zinc were more effective than lower doses at shortening the duration of cold symptoms.

"We found that orally administered zinc shortened the duration of cold symptoms," writes Dr. Michelle Science, The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), Toronto, with coauthors at McMaster University. "These findings, however, are tempered by significant heterogeneity and quality of evidence."

There was weak evidence that people taking zinc were less likely to have symptoms after one week, although there was no difference in symptoms between the two groups at three days. While zinc appeared to reduce the duration of symptoms in adults, there was no apparent effect in children. Participants taking zinc treatment were more likely to experience adverse effects including bad taste and nausea.

Previous studies have shown conflicting effects of zinc in reducing cold symptom severity and the duration of symptoms.

"Until further evidence becomes available, there is only a weak rationale for physicians to recommend zinc for the treatment of the common cold," conclude the authors. "The questionable benefits must be balanced against the potential adverse effects."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Canadian Medical Association Journal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Michelle Science, Jennie Johnstone, Daniel E. Roth et al. Zinc for the treatment of the common cold: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Canadian Medical Association Journal, 2012 DOI: 10.1503/cmaj.111990

Cite This Page:

Canadian Medical Association Journal. "Oral zinc may lessen common cold symptoms but adverse effects are common." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 May 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120507141245.htm>.
Canadian Medical Association Journal. (2012, May 7). Oral zinc may lessen common cold symptoms but adverse effects are common. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120507141245.htm
Canadian Medical Association Journal. "Oral zinc may lessen common cold symptoms but adverse effects are common." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120507141245.htm (accessed September 16, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

EU Ministers and Experts Meet to Discuss Ebola Reponse

EU Ministers and Experts Meet to Discuss Ebola Reponse

AFP (Sep. 15, 2014) The European Commission met on Monday to coordinate aid that the EU can offer to African countries affected by the Ebola outbreak. Duration: 00:58 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Despite The Risks, Antibiotics Still Overprescribed For Kids

Despite The Risks, Antibiotics Still Overprescribed For Kids

Newsy (Sep. 15, 2014) A new study finds children are prescribed antibiotics twice as often as is necessary. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

AP (Sep. 15, 2014) The FDA is considering whether to ban devices used by the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center in Canton, Massachusetts, the only place in the country known to use electrical skin shocks as aversive conditioning for aggressive patients. (Sept. 15) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Respiratory Virus Spreads To Northeast, Now In 21 States

Respiratory Virus Spreads To Northeast, Now In 21 States

Newsy (Sep. 14, 2014) The respiratory virus Enterovirus D68, which targets children, has spread from the Midwest to 21 states. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins