Zinc is an essential mineral that is found in
almost every cell of the human body. This mineral stimulates the activity of approximately 100
enzymes, which are substances that promote biochemical reactions in your
body. Zinc supports a healthy immune system, is needed for wound healing,
helps maintain your sense of taste and smell, and is needed for DNA
synthesis. It also supports normal growth and development during
pregnancy, childhood, and adolescence. In people with type 2 diabetes, an
inadequate blood level appears to increase the risk of heart
attack and death from heart disease.
In contrast to zinc tablets taken orally, lozenges are used to melt in the back of the throat and upper palate in order to prevent or minimize symptoms of the common cold.
As of 2016 I have not seen any recent studies with the use
of zinc lozenge as a preventive or therapeutic method to reduce the symptoms and
duration of the common cold. My personal opinion and experience indicate that
immediate use of this natural product does help reduce the severity and/or
length of common cold symptoms.
Zinc lozenges may shorten the duration of colds: a systematic review. Open Respir Med J. 2011. Dosages over 75 mg a day were effective.
by George Eby, a well-known researcher in this field
Zinc lozenges as cure for the common cold -- a review and hypothesis.
Med Hypotheses. 2010. Eby GA 3rd.Director of Research, George Eby Research Institute, Austin, TX, USA.
A 7-day reduction in duration of common colds was shown by Eby et al. in 1984 using 23mg zinc gluconate throat lozenges. Over the following 25years, 14 double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized clinical trials produced widely differing results with about one-half showing success and the remainder showing failure. Positively charged, ionic zinc (iZn), but not bound zinc, is strongly astringent, antirhinoviral, increases interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) 10-fold, inhibits intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) and inhibits the release of vasoactive ingredients from mast cell granules. Solution equilibrium chemistry analytical techniques showed lozenge iZn fraction varying from 0% to 100% of total lozenge zinc between trials, with zinc acetate (ZA) releasing 100% iZn, zinc gluconate (ZG) releasing 72% iZn and other zinc compounds releasing much less or none at physiologic pH 7.4. Zinc lozenges slowly dissolving in the mouth over a 20-30 min period releasing adequate iZn (18 mg) used each 2h are hypothesized to shorten common colds by 6-7 days, which is a cure for the common cold. Due to inadequate lozenge iZn very few of more than 40 different brands of zinc lozenges on the US market are expected to have any effect on the duration or severity of common colds.
Zinc lozenge study in humans
Duration and severity of symptoms and levels of plasma interleukin-1 receptor antagonist, soluble tumor necrosis factor receptor, and adhesion molecules in patients with common cold treated with zinc acetate.
J Infect Dis. 2008. Department of Internal Medicine, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, MI, USA.
Fifty ambulatory volunteers were recruited within 24 h of developing symptoms of the common cold for a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of zinc. Participants took 1 lozenge containing 13 mg of zinc (as zinc acetate) or placebo every 2-3 h while awake. The subjective scores for common cold symptoms were recorded daily. Plasma zinc, soluble interleukin (IL)-1 receptor antagonist (sIL-1ra), soluble tumor necrosis factor receptor 1, soluble vascular endothelial cell adhesion molecule were assayed on days 1 and 5. Compared with the placebo group, the zinc group had a shorter mean overall duration of cold (4 vs. 7 days) and shorter durations of cough (2 vs. 5 days) and nasal discharge (3 vs. 4.5 days). Symptom severity scores were decreased significantly in the zinc group. Mean changes in plasma levels of zinc and sIL-1ra differed significantly between groups. Administration of zinc lozenges was associated with reduced duration and severity of cold symptoms. We related the improvement in cold symptoms to the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of zinc.
Comments: I suspect the benefits of the zinc lozenge treatment would have been even more if the researchers were able to recruit the volunteers within 12 hours of onset of symptoms.
MultiVit Rx High Quality Daily Vitamins and Minerals
Vitamin A - Beta Carotene - Retinyl Palmitate
Vitamin C with Rose hips (ascorbic acid)
Vitamin E (mixed tocopherols)
Vitamin B-1 (thiamine hcl)
Vitamin B-2 (riboflavin)
Biotin is a B vitamin
Pantothenic acid (d-calcium pantothenate)
Iodine (potassium iodine)
Zinc (oxide) - 15 mg - 100%
Selenium (amino acid chelate)
Copper (amino acid chelate)
Chromium (amino acid chelate)
Molybdenum -(amino acid chelate)
Green Tea (leaves)
N-Aceytl-L-Cysteine is a potent antioxidant
PABA -(para aminobenzoic acid)
Rutin is a bioflavonoid
Citrus Bioflavonoid Complex
Lycopene (from tomato)
Lutein (from marigold extract)
Astaxanthin is a carotenoid
Zeaxanthin is a useful nutrient for better vision
and the common cold, does it help reduce severity or duration?
Click common cold to find out additional details on what you can do to minimize symptoms of the common cold. A zinc lozenge is quite helpful in reducing the symptoms of a common cold.
The following is an hour-by-hour recommendation of how to go on the nutritional
offensive with vitamin C and zinc lozenges and put a halt to your
common cold virus before it settles in for a lengthy stay. This supplement plan
has the best chance of being effective the earlier you start. So pay attention to your
body (and it helps if you keep your home stocked with these crucial supplements year-round
for the fastest response time) and start this cold attack plan at the first moment your
suspect a cold is coming on. Often, the earliest symptoms include a scratchy throat,
twitching in the nose, runny nose or congestion, or sneezing. But remember, cold symptoms
usually develop about two or three days after you are exposed to the virus. If you suspect
that you were exposed, start this plan immediately, before waiting for the full blown
symptoms to emerge.
Please discuss with your physician to make sure he or she approves of this plan before you start.
At the earliest onset of symptoms: (discuss
with your health care provider first)
Take 3 to 5 grams of vitamin C followed by 500 mg every 3 hours. If you believe you shook hands or was in close proximity to someone who has a cold, you may use the zinc lozenge preventively.
Allow a zinc lozenge containing 10 to 20 mg of zinc in the form of zinc
gluconate, zinc gluconate/glycine, or zinc acetate lozenge to dissolve in the back of your mouth.
Keep the zinc lozenge in the mouth for at least 5 to 10 minutes or as long as you can.
Swallowing the zinc lozenge early reduces its effectiveness. After the zinc lozenge has melted, wait
a few minutes and place another zinc lozenge in your mouth. Repeat the zinc lozenge every hour
for three or four hours and then reduce the frequency to every two to three hours while awake. If
you wake up in the middle of the night, take the zinc lozenge again.
The effectiveness of zinc is not due to a zinc deficiency in your body, but because the zinc lozenge is acting locally to prevent the common cold virus to attach to the cells in the upper respiratory system. Swallowing a zinc supplement orally will not do the same thing.
The second and third days
Take 1,000 mg of vitamin C three times a day and continue with a zinc lozenge every three to four hours.
Research studies as a
treatment of the common cold
Efficacy of zinc against common cold viruses: an overview.
J Am Pharm Assoc (Wash DC). 2004. Hulisz D. Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio
Published articles identified through Medline using the search terms zinc, rhinovirus, and other pertinent subject headings. Human rhinoviruses, by attaching to the nasal epithelium via the intracellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) receptor, cause most colds. Ionic zinc, based on its electrical charge, also has an affinity for ICAM-1 receptor sites and may exert an antiviral effect by attaching to the ICAM-1 receptors in the rhinovirus structure and nasal epithelial cells. Clinical tests of zinc lozenge for treatment of common colds have been inconsistent, primarily because of study design, blinding, and zinc lozenge contents. Early formulations of zinc lozenges also were unpalatable. In three trials with similar study designs, methodologies, and efficacy assessments, zinc lozenge effectively and significantly shortened the duration of the common cold when it was administered within 24 hours of the onset of symptoms. Recent reports of trials with zinc gluconate administered as a nasal gel have supported these findings; in addition, they have shown that treatment with zinc nasal gel is effective in reducing the duration and severity of common cold symptoms in patients with established illness. Conclusion: Clinical trial data support the value of zinc lozenge in reducing the duration and severity of symptoms of the common cold when administered within 24 hours of the onset of common cold symptoms.
An open-label, single-center, phase IV
clinical study of the effectiveness of zinc gluconate glycine lozenges in
reducing the duration and symptoms of the common cold in school-aged subjects.
McElroy BH, Miller SP. The Heritage Center, Provo, Utah. Am J Ther. 2003.
The objective of this prospective, intent-to-treat, phase IV study was to determine the therapeutic and prophylactic effectiveness of zinc lozenges - gluconate glycine (Cold-Eeze) for the common cold. Zinc lozenges were administered once daily during the cold season for prophylaxis. For therapeutic purposes, zinc lozenges were given 4 times per day. The primary objective of the study was the treatment effect on cold duration, and the secondary objective was the effect on the number of common colds. A total of 178 children, ages 12 to 18 years, was enrolled, of which 134 met criteria for efficacy analysis. The average cold duration with therapeutic zinc lozenge use was 6.9 +/- 3 days, significantly shorter than the 9 +/- 3 days found in the control group. The mean number of colds was 1.28 with zinc lozenge prophylaxis versus 1.7 without prophylaxis, a 25% reduction. With zinc lozenge prophylaxis, 25% of the subjects did not experience a cold and two-thirds never had a cold or only had 1 cold. There was no antibiotic use for any cold, and there were no adverse events reported. Results of this study are consistent with those from our previous retrospective study showing significantly shorter cold duration and fewer colds with the use of zinc lozenges. The zinc gluconate glycine lozenges are well tolerated and are an easy-to-administer therapy that has the potential to substantially reduce cold-related school absences and antibiotic use and misuse as well as to provide a cost saving.
In a double-blind, placebo-controlled study published in the 2000 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine, researchers at the Department of Medicine, Wayne State University, in Detroit, Michigan, recruited 50 volunteers within 24 hours of developing symptoms of the common cold. Participants took one zinc lozenge containing 12.8 mg of zinc acetate or placebo every 2 to 3 hours while awake as long as they had cold symptoms. Subjective symptom scores for sore throat, nasal discharge, nasal congestion, sneezing, cough, scratchy throat, hoarseness, muscle ache, fever, and headache were recorded daily for 12 days. Compared with the placebo group, the zinc lozenge group had shorter mean overall duration of cold symptoms (4 vs. 8 days), cough (3 vs. 6 days), and nasal discharge (4 vs. 5.8 days) and decreased total severity scores for all symptoms.
Safety of zinc gluconate glycine
(Cold-eeze) in a geriatric population: a randomized, placebo-controlled,
Am J Ther. 2005. Silk R, Lefante C. 1Silk Clinic, LLC, Philadelphia, PA; 2Synergy Research, Inc., Teaneck, NJ, USA.
Zinc gluconate glycine lozenges are an over-the-counter nutritional remedy that significantly reduced the duration and severity of common colds in adults in 2 independent clinical trials. To evaluate the safety of zinc gluconate glycine lozenges in elderly individuals with 1 or more health conditions, with or without a cold. This randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group trial enrolled men and women between 60 and 91 years of age, who self-administered 1 zinc gluconate glycine or placebo lozenge every 3 to 4 hours for 6 days. One or more of the following conditions was present in the study population: arthritis, cancer, depression, heart disease, hypertension, lung disease, osteoporosis, prostate disease, and stroke. Safety assessments demonstrated no clinically significant differences between treatment groups. Four participants taking zinc tablets and 3 participants taking placebo tablets reported mild adverse events. Of those participants taking zinc tablets, 6 adverse events were possibly related to the study product and 2 adverse events were probably related to the study product. Of those participants taking placebo tablets, 3 adverse events were reported that were possibly related to the study product. No serious or clinically significant adverse events were noted. Zinc gluconate glycine lozenges are safe and well tolerated by a geriatric population and are suitable for prophylactic or therapeutic use to reduce the duration or severity of the common cold.
Zinc deficiency - not
getting enough through food and diet
Zinc is an essential trace element found in liver, muscles, bones, teeth, hair, skin, and testes. Zinc is involved in the making of deoxyribonucleic acid ( DNA ), ribonucleic acid (RNA ), and protein. furthermore, many enzymes need zinc for optimum function
Zinc deficiency often results from low intake of foods high in zinc, such as seafood, bran, meat, eggs, and nuts, or from impaired absorption. A zinc supplement of 10 to 15 mg taken twice daily with food can make a significant difference. High doses can cause nausea and stomach upset.
Diet and Food
Zinc is found in a wide variety of foods. Oysters contain more per serving than any other food, but red meat and poultry provide the majority of zinc in the American diet. Other good food sources include beans, nuts, certain seafood, whole grains, fortified breakfast cereals, and dairy products. Phytates, which are found in whole grain breads, cereals, legumes and other products, can decrease zinc absorption.
Can you give me a brief list of foods
with this mineral?
Zinc in food is found in oysters, nuts, grains, beans, cereals, and whole-grain breads.
Does zinc help acne?
In rare cases of zinc deficiency, this mineral may help improve acne, but I do not think overall, in the United States, that zinc deficiency and acne have a strong relationship.
Active people who get too little zinc in their diets may run out of juice sooner than they should. When 14 active young men followed a 9-week diet low in zinc, their cardiovascular fitness dipped in comparison to their performance during 9 weeks on a zinc -fortified diet. The reason appears to be related to an enzyme in the body called carbonic anhydrase, which relies on zinc for proper functioning. The carbonic anhydrase enzymes in red blood cells help the body expel carbon dioxide, with the demand rising substantially during exercise. When men in a study followed a low- zinc diet, these enzymes were less active. The result was that, during exercise, their bodies were less efficient at "getting rid of carbon dioxide,"
Zinc plays an important role in the normal function of rhodopsin, a protein in the eye implicated in retinitis pigmentosa, a hereditary disease that often leads to blindness. Too little zinc in the body or a mutation in the binding site makes rhodopsin function abnormally, resulting in degeneration of the retina and eventually blindness.
Users of the nasal spray Zicam Cold Remedy
have filed a proposed class action lawsuit, claiming the popular
over-the-counter product robbed them of their sense of smell. A spokesman for
Phoenix-based Matrixx Initiatives Inc., which distributes Zicam, said the
lawsuit had been prompted by media reports on a flawed medical study and was
without merit. The lawsuit also seeks unspecified damages from retailers such as
Walgreen Co., Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Costco Wholesale Corp., Kroger Co., Rite Aid
Corp., Safeway Inc. The lawsuit, filed in Arizona Superior Court last month and
made public on Monday, claims Matrixx and Botanical Laboratories Inc. sold the
homeopathic spray and gel without proper testing. Zinc nasal sprays have been
touted by doctors and some researchers as a way to cut the length and severity
of colds. But a University of Colorado study, presented in the American Journal
of Rhinology's May-June issue, linked zinc sprays to loss of the sense of smell,
Various forms available over the counter without a prescription
Zinc is not a vitamin, but a mineral. You will find it in various forms including zinc ascorbate, gluconate, sulfate (sometimes spelled sulphate), picolinate, chloride, and chelate.
Zinc oxide is used as skin sunscreen although I have been told by a knowledgeable individual working at a top notch vitamin manufacturing plant that it is absorbed internally quite well.
Zinc pyrithione is used to prevent microbial degradation of materials such as plastics and polymers, and in a wide range of finished articles made from these starting materials. Zinc pyrithione prevents the growth of bacteria, fungi, and algae that cause deterioration such as discoloration and staining.
Zinc side effects, risk, danger
Too much zinc supplementation may not be a good thing for the urinary system of older adults. The finding comes from a secondary analysis of a trial involving 3,640 adults between age 55 and 80 years of age with the retinal disease, macular degeneration. As treatment for their eye condition, the subjects were assigned to various treatments: daily antioxidant therapy with vitamin C, vitamin E and beta-carotene; zinc, 80 milligrams daily; antioxidants and zinc in combination; or inactive 'placebo' supplements. Dr. Aaron R. Johnson and colleagues from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, report that there was a "significant increase in hospital admissions due to genitourinary causes in patients on zinc vs. non-zinc formulations during the 6 years of the study. These increased admissions were largely due to an increased number of urinary tract infections and urinary stones. Journal of Urology, 2007.
I developed an intestinal infection when traveling
abroad. I was given several courses of antibiotics (flagyl) which temporarily
reduced symptoms but did not resolve my condition. I consequently developed
leaky gut and reduction in beneficial intestinal flora. I took myself off the
antibiotics and took a three month course of grapefruit seed extract. Once I
finished that course, I took zinc supplements and glutamine for my intestinal
issues. I took around 100 to 200 mg of zinc daily and about 10 to 20 grams of
glutamine. Slowly but surely my symptoms resolved themselves. I maintain
maintenance levels of those supplements to this day. I've read that long term
intake of high amounts of zinc (over 100 grams) is associated with doubled
prostate cancer risk? is this accurate in your estimation?
High dose zinc supplement intake can cause harm to the body.
Excessive oral zinc supplementation.
J Pediatr Hematol Oncol. 2002; Salzman MB, Smith EM, Koo C. Department of Pediatrics, Kaiser Permanente West Los Angeles Medical Center, California, USA.
The use of megadoses of vitamin and mineral supplements has become common. The authors describe a 17-year-old boy who presented with fatigue after taking large daily doses of zinc supplements for 6 to 7 months in an attempt to treat his acne. A zinc-induced hypocupremia developed, causing anemia, leukopenia, and neutropenia. Anemia and neutropenia resolved 6 months after he stopped taking the zinc. Excessive zinc intake can have toxic effects.
Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2014. A question mark on zinc deficiency in 185 million people in pakistan-possible way out. This paper reviews research published in recent years concerning the effects of zinc deficiency, its consequences, and possible solutions. Zinc is an essential trace element necessary for over 300 zinc metalloenzymes and required for normal nucleic acid, protein, and membrane metabolism. Zinc deficiency is one of the ten biggest factors contributing to burden of disease in developing countries. Populations in South Asia, South East Asia, and sub-Saharan Africa are at greatest risk.
About four years ago I read your book The Common Cold Cure. I tried using zinc lozenge, Vit.C. and echinacea and found that they were really effective in stopping a cold if I used them at the first sign, and lessening the effects and shortening the duration of the cold if started a little later. Then I started to think, "If zinc kills viruses, would it work on the virus that causes plantar warts?" I had had plantar warts for 15 years and had gone to doctors repeatedly to have them frozen, burned, and finally I had laser surgery. But one year after the surgery all the warts had returned. Then I read your book and shortly thereafter started taking 50mgs zinc and 500 mgs Vit C. daily, ground up in a bowl of oatmeal. I did this for one year and by the end of the year every single wart was gone! I have been wart free for 3 years now even though I only takethem during the cold season and not every day. Thank you for your book.
Q. Is zinc related to hair loss?
A. Zinc deficiency may lead to hair loss, but it would be uncommon to have a serious deficiency when consuming a normal diet.
Q. Regarding zinc supplements, is zinc
oxide an effective, i.e. bioavailable form of zinc? I ask because I figure it is
inorganic, and I know of things like "zinc oxide tape"; looking at things like
that suggest to me that zinc oxide is probably not very useful to the body as a
nutrient or source of nutrient. But perhaps I am not quite correct? So is it
bioavailable, and how does zinc oxide supplement compare to say zinc aspartate
(e.g. ZMA supplements for bodybuilders)?
A. Zinc oxide is a white ointment used as sunscreen but apparently it can also be highly bioavailable taken orally.
Q. This year, due to likely thyroid and adrenal
insufficiency as well as a few other possible health issues, I have developed
debilitating menstrual cramps which no amount of over-the-counter painkiller
[neither acetominaphin nor ibuprofin (which seems to have given me tinnitus
since I've been using it full-strength for my cramps this year)], exercise, warm
baths, smart supplementation (I take good doses of all B vitamins, and all other
vitamins and minerals that are traditionally said to help crams), nor herbal
remedies (I've taken a low dose of Agnus Castus / Chasteberry / Vitex for about
3 years for hormonal balancing), etc. will relieve or lessen, and the pain and
heavy bleeding is limiting my ability to function in *any* capacity for 2 days
each month. Therefore, I am searching for relief, and have tried several things
already (including taking a daily spoonful of blackstrap molasses for the past 6
weeks, which did seem to help somewhat during the one period I've had since I've
been taking it, although I ended up "spotting" for a week after that one period
which is not normal for me, but one data point does not a cure make!) Recently I
found a study published a couple of years ago which seems to say that taking 31
mg of zinc per day, at a minimum in the 4 days before one's period, would
eliminate menstrual cramps. It sounds too good to be true, and I've not seen it
mentioned in any women's magazines or health websites, but the study appears on
official types of medical sites, and I'm wondering if you have any comment about
it. Does this effect of taking zinc seem to be true, in your eyes? Have you seen
any other research that backs this up? What concerns are there in taking 31 mg
of zinc per day, if I took that much zinc every day and not just in the 4 days
before my period (which I usually can't predict the start of, so that would be
very hit and miss)? If one is taking 31 mg of zinc daily specifically to prevent
menstrual cramps, would this be a supplement that you would urge "breaks" for,
such as 2 days off a week or 1 week off a month, or could that affect the
cramp-diminishing effect of the zinc on the body? Here is the abstract copied
and pasted here, for your convenience:
Med Hypotheses. 2007.
Zinc treatment prevents dysmenorrhea. Eby GA. George Eby Research, 14909-C Fitzhugh Road, Austin, TX 78736, United States.
Primary dysmenorrhea, menstrual cramps in otherwise well women, produces mild to debilitating cramping of the uterus. More than half, and by some estimates 90% of all American women experience menstrual cramps during the first several days of menstruation. About one in ten women are unable to perform their normal routine for one to three days each menstrual cycle due to severe uterine cramping. Although the uterus contracts and relaxes routinely, during menstruation the contractions are much stronger producing pain and "cramps". Women with dysmenorrhea have high levels of prostaglandins, hormones believed to cause menstrual cramping. Prostaglandins are believed to temporarily reduce or stop blood supply to the uterus, thus depriving the uterus of oxygen resulting in contractions and pain. One would expect zinc, like the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs used to treat cramping, to reduce the production of prostaglandins. Zinc inhibits the metabolism of prostaglandins ruling out this mechanism of action, suggesting erroneously that zinc deficiency would prevent cramping. However, it is shown by case histories that zinc, in 1-3 30-mg doses given daily for one to four days prior to onset of menses, prevents essentially all to all warning of menses and all menstrual cramping. One hypothesis for a mechanism of action is that a precursor (COX-2) or metabolite of prostaglandins causes menstrual cramping and not prostaglandins themselves. Another hypothesis is that zinc has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory actions in the uterus. Improvement in micro-vessel circulation by zinc may help prevent cramping and pain. In patients consuming 31 mg of zinc per day, premenstrual tension (PMT) symptoms did not occur, while in patients consuming 15 mg of zinc, PMT symptoms did occur. Protocols using 30 mg of zinc once to three times a day for one to four days immediately prior to menses to prevent dysmenorrhea are described and they are recommended for additional study. The side effect from the absence of all warning of pending menses due to zinc treatment was concern of possible pregnancy. The United States RDA for zinc appears to be too low to optimize women's health and prevent menstrual cramps.
A. I have not found zinc supplements to be very helpful for menstrual cramps in my patients, but since taking 20 to 40 mg of zinc 5 to 10 days each month should not cause any major side effects, and your doctor approves, it is worth a try.
serrapeptase enzyme; saw palmetto has phytosterols.
Zinc Lozenges to melt in
the back of the mouth and upper palate
Zinc gluconate supplement
These zinc lozenges are especially formulated to contain the most active forms.
Dosage: Use a zinc lozenge every two or three hours as soon as you
think you are getting a sore throat, stuffy or runny nose, or you think you have
been exposed to the common cold virus.
Buy Zinc lozenges natural orange flavor
|Serving Size: 1 Lozenge|
|Amount Per Serving||% Daily Value|
|Total Carbohydrate||1 g||<1|
|Vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid, sodium ascorbate)||100 mg||166|
|Zinc (zinc gluconate, zinc citrate)||15 mg†||100|
|Sodium (sodium ascorbate)||7 mg†||1|
|Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
Other products online
Now Foods, Zinc Picolinate, 50 mg, 120 Veggie Capsules
Nutricology, Zinc Citrate 25, 60 Veggie Caps