Taking zinc syrup, tablets or lozenges can lessen the severity and duration of the common cold, experts believe.
A review of the available scientific evidence suggests taking zinc within a day of the onset of cold symptoms speeds recovery. It may also help ward off colds, say the authors of the Cochrane Systematic Review that included data from 15 trials involving 1,360 people. But they say zinc cannot be used long-term because of toxicity concerns. Excessive amounts can cause nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and diarrhoea.
Now more work is needed to determine the exact dosing required, say the experts.