Zinc Trumps Vitamin C as a Treatment for The Common Cold
For all the advances in medical science, it is astounding that there is still no known cure for the common cold. Sure, there are theories of susceptibility such as a cold is a virus and something you ‘catch’. Treatment for the common cold, however, varies anywhere from chicken soup, to over-the-counter medications. Still, whatever methods have been employed in healing the common cold, they do not shorten its duration, that is, until we learned more about the mineral zinc.
Understanding The Common Cold and Its Symptoms
To heal the common cold, we first have to understand where the common cold originates. The common cold is said to be viral. It is usually accompanied by symptoms of lethargy, sneezing, runny nose, coughing, watery eyes, and usually runs its course over the period of seven days. A little known fact is, left untreated the common cold can lead to progression of disease. An example would be bronchitis or bronchial pneumonia, which usually begins with symptoms of the common cold that progress to the bronchial tubes.
The Common Cold Is A Symptom
Dr. Linus Pauling, two-time Nobel Prize winner had it right when he said "You can trace every sickness, every disease, and every ailment to a mineral deficiency." This statement most notably applies to the common cold.
According to this theory, a cold is not something you catch. A cold is something you become susceptible to by way of low immune function. The common cold is more a symptom of a body enervated both physically and physiologically at a cellular level than it is a disease, which is likely the reason there’s no known cause for it. This symptom can arise due to excessive physical or emotional stress, caused by overwork, lack of sleep, excessive physical training, or by physiological stress caused by improper diet, overeating or chronic constipation. It is for this reason most colds occur during the winter and holiday months, when poor eating, drinking and stress are excessive.
Vitamin C Prevents Colds, While Zinc As A Treatment, Shortens Duration
A study of the Treatment Of The Common Cold In Children And Adults showed Vitamin C modestly reduced the duration of the common cold. That being said, according to the Mayo Clinic, the scientific jury is still out on whether Vitamin C is effective in curing the common cold.
While a 1984 double-blind placebo controlled study tested the efficacy of zinc in lessening duration of common cold symptoms, it confirmed that zinc administered within 24 hours of onset of symptoms effectively reduced the duration of common cold symptoms in healthy people.
We are all zinc deficient.
The reason the common cold is more prevalent than ever is likely due to the fact that as a society, we are all zinc deficient. This is because many of the foods we eat are also zinc deficient, either from the soil they’re grown in, or in the case of meats, poultry and fish -- the feed they’re fed. Therefore, it makes sense that a diet low in zinc would lead to lower immune function and a higher frequency of the common cold.
It’s Easy To Get More Zinc In Your Diet
It is best to get a steady dose of dietary zinc from whole foods instead of processed foods that are “fortified” with vitamins and minerals. Plant-based foods are sure to deliver bioavailable amounts of zinc, as well as other minerals necessary for better assimilation and immune function. Foods high in zinc include kidney beans, chickpeas, peas, almonds, cashews, and oatmeal. Animal based foods high in zinc include meat, fish, and seafood, particularly oysters.
Zinc is vital to growth, reproduction, taste, sight, skin and most of all immunity in humans. When we are deficient in this mineral, generally, we are going to see more incidences of the common cold. An easy and efficient treatment to boost immune function and ward off the common cold is to correct diet and supplement with a liquid zinc sulfate daily.