With school back in session, so are all the GERMS that come with this time of year. Fun times! Generally speaking, most people reach for the bottle of Vitamin C if they feel a cold coming on this time of year, or to prepare in the event of a possible cold. I am not saying that Vitamin C isn’t effective (as I do take it daily), but more and more studies are showing that Zinc has some very beneficial qualities when it comes to dealing with the common cold, also known as the rhinovirus.
Without going into great detail, and pulling multiple research studies at this time, some studies are showing that Vitamin C does not actually do much to prevent the common cold. Sorry Airborne L. Zinc, being the mineral that it is, seems to somehow interfere with the replication of the rhinovirus. Zinc influences the immune system in a few different ways. Zinc helps the immune system recruit white blood cells for proper and better immune system function, helps reduce systematic inflammation in the body, and is also an antioxidant – not too shabby Mr. Zinc J. Some studies that have also been done in the past few years have shown that people who started taking zinc after recently getting sick, had less severe symptoms from the cold, and the duration of the cold was not as long either.
Zinc is what they call a “trace element”. The cells of our immune system rely on Zinc to function. If one is getting enough zinc into their diet, the T-cells and other immune cells in our bodies can be greatly affected. Based on what Harvard Medical Researchers say, the suggested daily amount of Zinc is 15-25mg. Taking in an excessive amount of this supplement can actually cause a reverse reaction on the body, and is usually best to follow the recommended daily amount, or the amount prescribed by your physician.
If you are a person interested in getting more Zinc into your diet naturally, chickpeas, kidney beans, mushrooms, crab and chicken, are all good sources of food where Zinc can be found. Lozenges like Cold-Ez or syrups containing Zinc, can also help aid in support when you are not feeling well. If you are a person who would prefer to supplement, or your doctor has told you to do so, Metagenics ( www.metagenics.com ) has a supplement called, Zinc A.G.
Zinc A.G. is a special formula with enhanced absorption to help better address zinc repletion in the body. I use the Metagenics brand for Zinc, and that is what we carry or you can order at or through our office. I do not necessarily take Zinc all year around, but I do use it through out certain parts of the year to help fight off pesky germs, and when I may be training at a higher intensity or for a race and take as needed. I do not find that Zinc really has any bad side effects either, other than it doesn’t smell the greatest. Sometimes people can complain of nausea, but if I take most of my vitamins or supplements on an empty stomach, I do become nauseous regardless. If you have any questions regarding Zinc or other supplements we carry in our office, or in general, please feel free to ask me when in the office, or email me anytime at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Happy Back to School everyone, and so not ready for the summer to come to an end.