Zinc is an essential nutrient that supports healing, cell growth, sense of taste and smell, and insulin function. It has been used as natural health support for generations, and new research, published in the journal BMJ Open, supports this claim with the finding that zinc can prevent and shorten the duration of respiratory tract infection symptoms.
The new study is a rapid systematic review and meta-analysis of existing data focused on adults who were at risk of or had viral respiratory tract infections. Looking at the use of zinc in these cases and their outcomes, the researchers concluded that oral or intranasal zinc prevented symptoms in some patients and when symptoms were present, sublingual or intranasal zinc resolved these symptoms about two days earlier than those taking a placebo.
The researchers were careful to note that this is just a preliminary analysis and more research must be done to confirm a correlation. They also emphasized that the research did not focus on Covid-19, and that vaccines and other medically-prescribed treatments should be emphasized above mineral treatments.
“I wouldn’t necessarily rush out and start taking zinc, as there is the risk of copper deficiency with ongoing use. However, I would suggest that people with chronic diseases and older adults discuss their dietary zinc intake with their healthcare professionals,” said study co-author Dr. Jennifer Hunter, Ph.D.