The common cold (rhinovirus) is one of the most widespread illnesses whereby it is a viral infection of the upper respiratory tract that primarily affects the nose. The symptoms include coughing, sneezing, runny nose, headache and fever. Zinc has been regarded as an immune booster and prescribed in medication for the common cold, however the research has not provided a clear conclusion.
Therefore Singh and Das, (2011) decided to assess the effects of zinc on the common cold by searching a number of databases to find randomised, double blind, placebo controlled trials using zinc for 5 consecutive days to treat or for at least 5 months to prevent the common cold.
The authors concluded that zinc taken within 24 hours of cold symptoms reduces the duration and severity of the cold in healthy people. Also, when supplementing for 5 months or more, it reduces the incidence of getting a cold. Thus, supplementing with zinc either on a regular basis or on the onset of a cold can either prevent or decrease the onset of cold.