Posts Tagged ‘zinc’
Walt White explains Zincum Gluconicum
INT. DAY – DINER
WALT WHITE, a chemistry teacher and cancer-ridden drug lord, watches SINUS SISTER, who wears her FUR HAT indoors. CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS cannot improve the shabby diner where they sit, with a PAPER BAG on the table between them.
SINUS SISTER sneezes. She takes a bottle of COLD-EEZE from the FUR MUFF in her lap and holds it up to her ruby-red LIPS.
What’s that crap you’re spraying in your mouth?
It’s not crap. It’s Cold-Eeze. Mint flavour.
It’s probably just candy. Let me see.
SINUS SISTER whips the bottle of COLD-EEZE at WALT, so he can read the ingredients.
No, no, I stand corrected. There’s an active ingredient in here. Zincum Glyconicum.
Zinc, you moron. Didn’t you just learn about zinc last week?
SINUS SISTER pulls a GUN from the FUR MUFF on her lap. She points it as WALT.
You can talk to Jesse that way, but not to me. EXPLAIN ZINC.
WALT looks at the CANADA DRY CLOCK and swallows.
We don’t have time for this.
No, we don’t have time for me to have a bad cold during the Christmas rush.
He sighs, shrugs in agreement, and reads the BOTTLE more closely. SINUS SISTER puts away her gun.
Zincum Gluconicum is a form of zinc bound to a substance which makes for better absorption.
So it works?
Hang on. It recommends two sprays a day. That’s about 26 mg.
Studies have shown that zinc can reduce cold symptoms drastically…
…if you take it fast enough. Which I did. Two sprays last night.
Steady and holding, instead of full-on sick .
So, why are you asking me?
SINUS SISTER slides the PAPER BAG toward WALT. He tucks it into his coat.
Are you going to tell me what’s in there?
Stocking stuffers for the crew.
Sinus Sister cozies up to the Periodic Table
Could it be true? Does zinc, or “Zn” to fans of The Big Bang, help fight the common cold? Or is it more marketing hype? I scoffed at the rumours, unwilling to buy yet another supplement. My nightstand already looks like a triage station. Yet, why not ask around? In the name of science—okay, in the name of not-being-sick—I found answers on Savvy Health, an authoritative blog by hottie Dr. Kim Foster. Here’s what I learned from Kim:
Does zinc help or is it hype?
Zinc seems to shorten the duration and severity of the common cold, in otherwise healthy people.
When should you take zinc?
As soon as you start to feel crappy (my word, not her’s). Because most viral replication happens within the first 24 hours of symptom onset, you’re going to get the most benefit from zinc if you start taking it on Day 1. That said, taking it within the first 3 days may still have benefit.
How much should you take?
Aim for at least 75 mg/day of zinc. The studies showing the most benefit used 75 mg as a minimum dose. Sinus Sister killed a cold, flat, with double that dose, but listen to Dr. Foster.
What form should you take?
It seems that contact time with zinc is important. Zinc lozenges appear to be most effective when you dissolve them slowly in your mouth (slowly, here, is sucking on a lozenge for 20-30 minutes), and doing this every 2 hours. Sinus Sister is too impatient to keep a lozenge alive for 20-30 minutes, so she burned through a small bag of lozenges in no time. Again, listen to Dr. Foster.
How does zinc work?
The exact mechanism of zinc is unknown, but it’s thought to assist T cells (a subset of white blood cells) which kill virus-infected cells.
Any potential harm?
Intranasal administration of zinc is not recommended–this has been linked with a loss of the sense of smell, which can be permanent. Yikes. And don’t overdo it with zinc. Large doses (more than 300 mg per day) can compete with copper and manganese absorption, and can interfere with T-cell function. It can also chelate some antibiotics and cause drug-drug interactions.
What about using zinc for prevention?
Yep, it seems to be helpful for that, too. Supplementary zinc taken on a daily basis appears to help prevent pesky colds from striking in the first place. In studies, children receiving supplements for at least 5 months had fewer colds and fewer absentee days from school.