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The right kind of zinc beats colds fast

Q: I’m doing a lot of traveling this summer, and the last thing I want is for a headcold to interfere. Anything I should keep in my carry-on?

Dr Wright: Zinc lozenges are one of the best ways to get over a cold FAST—if you’re taking the right ones. A study last year showed that people taking zinc acetate lozenges got over colds faster (4.0 days vs. 7.1 with placebo), had a shorter cough duration (2.1 days vs. 5.0), and shorter periods of nasal discharge (3.0 days vs. 4.5).

Like I said, though, you have to make sure you’re taking the right ones. And that means checking the label to make sure those lozenges are zinc acetate, not any other kind! It has to do with the way it dissolves—the “acetate” form leaves 100% of the zinc behind to do its job—other forms aren’t as effective. In fact, some leave behind close to 0%!

Zinc acetate lozenges are available as Zinx® at natural food stores, compounding pharmacies, and from the Tahoma Clinic Dispensary (I am not affiliated in any way with the manufacturers of Zinx®.)