Q: We've been passing a cold from person to person in my house for the past few weeks. I'd like to try natural remedies like zinc, but I heard that the lozenges don't work very well. Is that true?
Dr. Wright: For years, there's been a debate going on about whether or not zinc lozenges actually shorten the duration of colds. Research does show that they're helpful, but I hear mixed reviews from Tahoma Clinic clients who have tried them and say they had no effect.
There are two things to keep in mind when trying zinc lozenges to shorten the duration of cold symptoms. First, the only zinc lozenges that has been proven effective in studies are ones in which the zinc has been combined with acetate.
Second, since zinc works by killing microorganisms on contact, you shouldn't chew or swallow the lozenges. It's a much better idea to allow the lozenge to dissolve slowly under your tongue. And it's even more effective to "swish and gargle" some of the dissolved zinc, to let it come into contact with as many oral and throat surfaces as possible. Individuals who have used this simple adjustment tell me their zinc lozenges work even better than before.
About the author
Jonathan V. Wright, M.D. has degrees from both Harvard University (cum laude) and the University of Michigan. More than any other doctor, he practically invented the modern science of applied nutritional biochemistry and he has advanced nutritional medicine for nearly three decades.
As of today, Dr. Wright has received over 35,000 patient visits at his now-famous Tahoma Clinic in Washington State.
To learn more about Dr. Wright, and to sign up for his free Health e-Tips eLetter, please visit www.wrightnewsletter.com.