Before writing about the best zinc supplement we should look at what the research says. Zinc is a highly controversial topic within the medical community regarding effectiveness. When I research zinc I always seem to run into what it does well but I know others find conflicting data.
According to a previous meta-analysis it was found that high dose zinc acetate lozenges reduced the duration of common colds by 42%; however, there are also uses of zinc that mix well with other vitamins that can be used to produce an anabolic effect such as using zinc with magnesium and vitamin b6 in a specific ratio. The supplement ZMA uses zinc in this certain way. If you want to use zinc to build muscle then stick with the supplement ZMA. You can also read more about ZMA here.
Another study looked at using zinc acetate lozenges for the common cold in doses of 80-92 mg/day. This means they were taking a zinc lozenge about one every 2 hours throughout the day.
It was discovered that the zinc acetate lozenges reduced the duration of nasal discharge by 34%, nasal congestion by 37%, sneezing by 22% scratchy throat by 33%, sore throat by 18%, hoarseness by 43% and cough by 46%, significant findings. Muscle aches were also reduced by 54% from the lozenges. It is believed that the zinc works best when used within 24 hours of noticing your cold symptoms in doses of about 80mg/day for a period less than 2 weeks.
Do not use nasal administered zinc as this has resulted in some people losing their permanent ability to smell.
Again, a Cochrane Database Syst Rev. studied 16 therapeutic trials (1387 participants) and two preventive trials (394 participants) and found that there was a significant reduction in the days of a cold by about 1 day however other studies have shown a greater reduction in the days of a cold. The zinc group also experienced a less likely chance of school absence and prescription of antibiotics. The only adverse effects noticed are by the lozenges and that's because they can cause a bad taste in the mouth and nausea. Doses of zinc per day should be kept above 75mg/day and this dose should be continued throughout the duration of the cold.
The question is what is the best zinc supplement? I would go with Nature Made Zinc since they are a reputable brand that can stand by their quality. They sell 30 mg pills. Take 3 a day for a total of 90 mg and you'll meet the minimum requirement of 70-80mg a day of zinc or you can take the popular Now Foods Zinc Gluconate 50mg tabs, 2 a day.
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