The People's Perspective on Medicine

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.

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    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.” .
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    back in the 40s when my cat would be hurt from a cat fight, my mother would put zinc oxide cream on the wounds. WORKED Also for humans.

    My gynecologist suggested taking zinc a number of years ago to help with canker sores. It did work, too. I don’t get one very often.
    I still take it pretty much daily. I rarely get a cold.
    Did zinc help that? I don’t know or care.

    I used to take a regular Zinc pill every day for more than a year. This was the only supplement, no other minerals or vitamins. I had a minor stroke, my Dr said I should take aspirin instead of zinc. I don’t know if zinc has anything to do with increasing blood clot formation.

    Would zinc supplements help with 88 yo male with foley catheter, has new bladder infection, first one. Being treated with antibiotics, would zinc help?
    Thank you
    PEOPLE’S PHARMACY RESPONSE: Afraid we do not know. The research does not indicate that it is helpful for all patients.

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