Covid, flu and cold: Popular supplement that may prevent these illnesses

Flu ‘could lead to more fatalities than Covid’ says Professor Hunter

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From Covid to flu, all of these viruses seem to be at their peak during the winter months. Flu season is starting in December and lasts till March, according to Boots, while coronavirus and the “worst cold ever” have been going around for a while. New research reveals a supplement that might be the new go-to when it comes to prevention.

The supplement boosting our immunity and fighting upper respiratory tract infections is zinc, reports health portal Patient.Info.

Upper respiratory tract infections include flu, cold, coughs and Covid.

Although some of the health benefits of zinc are well-documented, the Covid pandemic highlighted a need for research looking at zinc and the new virus.

Now, researchers have found that zinc supplements may also prevent and reduce the length of coronavirus.

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Zinc has more than one benefit for our bodies, ranging from being essential for our immunity to smell and vision.

It also helps our biological functions, such as inflammation and blood pressure, Patient.Info reports.

With the coronavirus pandemic, a need for research into immunity and Covid, as well as upper respiratory tract infections, has emerged.

Upper respiratory tract infections are usually caused by various viruses.

For most of the pandemic, there has been a lack of research looking into zinc supplements.

But one study from 2020 published in the International Journal of Molecular Medicine noticed that the majority of high-risk groups for Covid complications are the same as for zinc deficiency.

These at-risk groups include the elderly, people with immune deficiency, diabetes patients, obese people and people with atherosclerosis.

Atherosclerosis describes the thickening of the inner artery walls.

However, a completely new study published this month suggests that zinc supplements may help prevent symptoms and reduce the length of illness for upper respiratory tract infections.

The study published in the British Medical Journal looked at 5,446 adults.

These results were seen in adults who were unlikely to be zinc deficient.

This might mean that zinc supplements may be used to lower the risk of coronavirus, cold and flu, Patient.Info explains.

The trial looked mainly at zinc supplements in the form of zinc lozenges, but also at nasal sprays and gels. 

These helped to prevent upper respiratory tract infections in five out of 100 people a month.

Participants who used supplements were also twice as likely to recover during the first week of illness.

The researchers said: “Zinc provides clinicians with a management option for patients who are desperate for faster recovery times and might be seeking an unnecessary antibiotic prescription.”

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