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Zinc lozenges and the common cold

Winter is the time when many people suffer from common cold. This viral infection is so common that sometimes a person gets it two or more times a year. Common cold is best if treated with remedies, and zinc lozenges are among the most popular ones.

About zinc lozenges

The story about how zinc lozenges were first discovered as an effective remedy for common cold is very interesting. In 1979 a man called George Eby had a daughter whose immune system was severely impaired due to chemotherapy she had to undergo because of her cancer. Her father gave her many different vitamin and mineral supplements to help boost the immune system. One time, when she was down with cold, she took a zinc tablet and fell asleep without swallowing it. when she woke up, she found that the zinc, which had melted in her mouth, had improved the symptoms of the common cold.

After years of research, George Eby patented zinc lozenges as a common cold remedy. Today, they are industrially produced and available in any drugstore or pharmacy. They usually come in form of different formulations of zinc gluconate or zinc acetate. Zinc acetate is considered to be a better choice, mainly because it has a much better taste. It also contains more zinc that the lozenges made of zinc gluconate, which makes them more effective, and they do not numb the taste buds.

Several studies have been conducted in order to investigate the effectiveness of zinc lozenges on common cold and its symptoms. In most of them, zinc was confirmed to cut the duration of cold in half. This means that persons who took zinc lozenges stayed sick for four days, while the ones who took placebo stayed sick for eight days.

How to use zinc lozenges

Like many other remedies and medications, zinc lozenges work best if taken as soon as the illness starts. Common cold usually starts with sneezing or a feeling of tiredness and fatigue. That is the best time to take a zinc lozenge and to continue taking them until the symptoms subside.

Lozenges should be allowed to dissolve slowly in the mouth. It is best to keep them under the tongue and not to chew them. Several lozenges a day should to the trick, and one must be taken before bedtime. However, it is not recommended to fall asleep before it dissolves completely. This is because the zinc is absorbed and moved through the body by the lymphatic system, which slows down and almost stops when a person is sleeping. If that happens, the lozenge will stick to the mucous membrane all night which may result in an uncomfortable feeling of dryness and irritation in the morning.

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