logoThe People's Perspective on Medicine

How Zinc Helps Fight Infection

How Zinc Helps Fight Infection

Zinc deficiency may contribute to life-threatening inflammation in the face of serious infection. The researchers at Ohio State University used animal models and human cell cultures to study the immune response to infection. They found that when zinc was adequate, the innate immune response was effective but did not get out of control. When zinc levels are too low, however, the immune reaction may run amok and lead to excessive inflammation that could be deadly. This might also help explain why zinc may be helpful against the common cold.The scientists posit that about 40% of elderly Americans may suffer from zinc deficiency because they get too little red meat and shellfish in their diets.
[Cell Reports, Feb. 8, 2013]
We discuss zinc lozenges (zinc acetate or zinc gluconate are the ones to use, without citric acid) in our Guide to Colds, Coughs and the Flu. The guide also offers a number of other cold remedies; nearly all of them work best if used early in the illness.

Rate this article
5- 5 ratings
About the Author
Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist who has dedicated his career to making drug information understandable to consumers. His best-selling book, The People’s Pharmacy, was published in 1976 and led to a syndicated newspaper column, syndicated public radio show and web site. In 2006, Long Island University awarded him an honorary doctorate as “one of the country's leading drug experts for the consumer.” .
Get the latest health news right in your inbox

Join our daily email newsletter with breaking health news, prescription drug information, home remedies AND you'll get a copy of our brand new full-length health guide — for FREE!

Screenshots of The People's Pharmacy website on mobile devices of various sizes
Join over 150,000 Subscribers at The People's Pharmacy

We're empowering you to make wise decisions about your own health, by providing you with essential health information about both medical and alternative treatment options.