Zinc is considered a natural remedy for colds. Recent experiments with laboratory mice have shown that the essential trace element could also help with inflammation. A meta-analysis shows the first indications of the effects on humans.
Zinc is indispensable for all living things. Because the trace element is part of many enzymes. In addition to the normal daily requirement, which is around 12 to 15 milligrams in an adult, many people also rely on the intake of zinc as a dietary supplement. In particular, strengthening the immune system and thus protecting the body from colds is the focus. A study by Ohio State University on mice has now shown that zinc could also have other positive effects on the immune system. The university’s researchers have shown that mice develop a particularly severe course of disease when they are infected if they suffer from a zinc deficiency. Because the trace element influences the innate immune system and has a positive effect on the metabolism. With the help of zinc, germs are better fended off and the activity of inflamed cells slowed down. The course of inflammation in the mice was therefore significantly weakened by the administration of zinc. The experiment with mice does not allow direct conclusions to be drawn about humans. But there are also new research results on this. An analysis by the Cochrane Collaboration found that zinc can reduce the severity of an infection. For this purpose, test persons took the trace element within the first 24 hours of a cold. Clinical studies have yet to show whether zinc can also relieve life-threatening inflammation such as sepsis.