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Why do people take zinc?

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Zinc has become a popular treatment for the common cold. Some studies have found that zinc lozenges may reduce the duration of cold, perhaps by as much as 50%, and may reduce the number of upper respiratory infections in children. Zinc helps fight infection and heal wounds. However, if you already have enough zinc from your diet, it is not clear that getting even more -- from supplements -- has a benefit. Topical zinc is used to treat diaper rash and skin irritations. Zinc has also been shown to help with ulcers, ADHD, acne, sickle cell anemia, and other conditions.

From: Zinc WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES: Longe, J., ed. , second edition, 2004. Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University: "Micronutrient Information Center: Zinc." Natural Standard monograph: "Zinc." Office of Dietary Supplements: "Facts about Dietary Supplements: Zinc." : "A Randomized, Placebo-Controlled, Clinical Trial of High-Dose Supplementation With Vitamins C and E, Beta Carotene, and Zinc for Age-Related Macular Degeneration and Vision Loss."



The Gale Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine
Archives of Ophthalmology

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database: "Zinc."

Institutes of Medicine: "Dietary Reference Intakes: Elements."

Natural Standard: "Zinc."

The Journal of Family Practiceif . "Zinc for the common cold—not , but when." 

Cochrane Database Syst Rev : "Zinc for the common cold" and "Zinc supplementation for the prevention of pneumonia in children aged 2 months to 59 months."

Canadian Medical Association Journal: "Prevention and treatment of the common cold: making sense of the evidence."

Clin Respir J. "Efficacy of zinc given as an adjunct to the treatment of severe pneumonia: A meta-analysis of randomized, double-blind and placebo-controlled trials."

 

Reviewed by Carmen Patrick Mohan on June 13, 2017

SOURCES: Longe, J., ed. , second edition, 2004. Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University: "Micronutrient Information Center: Zinc." Natural Standard monograph: "Zinc." Office of Dietary Supplements: "Facts about Dietary Supplements: Zinc." : "A Randomized, Placebo-Controlled, Clinical Trial of High-Dose Supplementation With Vitamins C and E, Beta Carotene, and Zinc for Age-Related Macular Degeneration and Vision Loss."



The Gale Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine
Archives of Ophthalmology

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database: "Zinc."

Institutes of Medicine: "Dietary Reference Intakes: Elements."

Natural Standard: "Zinc."

The Journal of Family Practiceif . "Zinc for the common cold—not , but when." 

Cochrane Database Syst Rev : "Zinc for the common cold" and "Zinc supplementation for the prevention of pneumonia in children aged 2 months to 59 months."

Canadian Medical Association Journal: "Prevention and treatment of the common cold: making sense of the evidence."

Clin Respir J. "Efficacy of zinc given as an adjunct to the treatment of severe pneumonia: A meta-analysis of randomized, double-blind and placebo-controlled trials."

 

Reviewed by Carmen Patrick Mohan on June 13, 2017

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