Zinc Lozenges - Do They Work? What Type is Best?
Zinc lozenges work if you use the right type and use them correctly. Here's what you need to know: Zinc lozenges work against viral infections because they slow the replication of the virus. However you need to use the right type and the right dosage for them to be effective. That's because the zinc has to be in contact with the virus over a long period of time to disrupt the replication process.
One must use the correct forms of zinc for it to be effective. The bond between zinc and the molecule it's conncected to (chelated to) must be loose so that the zinc can easily dissociate from it. If zinc remains strongly bound to it's chelating agent, as happens in zinc glycinate or zinc citrate lozenges, it can't slow the replication of the virus as it must become unbonded by the time it's in the throat to be effective.
On the other hand, the bond in lozenges made with zinc gluconate or zinc acetate is loose and easily broken in the body.
Therefore the zinc easily dissociates from these chelating agents and is free zinc in the throat, able to work it's magic on the viral infection. This is what we know thus far based on scientic studies. Therefore, only use zinc lozenges that are made with zinc acetate or zinc gluconate. Do not use zinc cirtate or zinc glycinate if you want to stop or shorten your cold/sore throat symptoms.
Dosage guidlines: I tell my patients to suck on 1 lozenge every couple of hours throughout the day as long as cold symptoms persist and then for a day after. It is critical to start at the first sign of a cold or sore throat. If you wait a few days it's probably too late to glean the benefits. With this in mind it's important to have a supply ready to go. I always have a bottle in my vitamin cabinet so I can use them or give them to my kids at the first sign of scratchy throat or stuffy nose. The studies that show benefit are the ones in which participants got at least 75mgs of zinc acetate or gluconate per day for a few days.
The Elderberry Way to a Cold Free Winter
Elderberry has been used for centuries to boost immunity. Elderberry contains concentrated amounts of vitamin C, flavinoids, fruit acids, and anthocyanic phytonutrients. It is also an excellent source of vitamins A and B and studies have shown it to have antiviral properties. There is new evidence concluding that Elderberries have great value in fighting flu and other similar viruses. Elderberry's use in fighting flu dates back to the Roman empire. Typically, Elderberry consumption will improve flu symptoms within three days. Elderberry has been proven effective against eight different strains of the influenza virus. Elderberry has proven itself in many studies to successfully reduce the viral impact of cold and flu viruses. It also supports longevity and this is how it got the name "Elder." Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, even promoted elderberry as an all purpose tonic.
I now carry a great new lozenge that I have found that combines Zinc and Elderberry together so that we get the "Best of Both Worlds." Each lozenge contains 12mgs of zinc gluconate (the right type of zinc), 100mgs of Elderberry plus 150mgs of vitamin C, 25 mgs of echinacea, 25mgs of Bee Propolis and 25mgs of Slippery Elm Bark making this the most comprehensive cold/flu/sore throat formula that i have seen. It's called Elderberry & Zinc and it's by NOW (click here to purchase) . Best of all...it's only $12.00 per bottle. At that price I tell my patients to just buy a bottle and have it ready in your cabinet so that when the time comes, that you begin to feel symptomatic, begin using them immediately.
Dr Neil Levin
Dr Levin is a chiropractor, nutritionist and fitness trainer practicing in East Northport, NY (631) 651-2929