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Zinc Gel for Colds?

Is zinc-containing nasal gel helpful, harmful, or just a waste of money?

September 16, 2010 |
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New game: Good, bad, or useless? Helpful, harmful, or just, a waste of money.
First up: zinc-containing nasal gel as a cold remedy. It’s unclear whether oral zinc supplements help with a cold, but what about squirting zinc up your nose? Good, bad, or just snakeoil?
Bad. More than 100 reports of people losing their sense of smell, some permanently—forever.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by veganmontreal.

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Dr. Michael Greger

Doctor's Note

Please feel free to post any ask-the-doctor type questions here in the comments section and I’d be happy to try to answer them. And check out the other videos on the common cold. Also, there are 1,686 other subjects covered in the rest of my videos--please feel free to explore them as well!

For some context, please check out my associated blog posts: Soymilk: shake it up! and The Best Way to Prevent the Common Cold?

If you haven't yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

  • http://nutritionfacts.org/members/mgreger/ Michael Greger M.D.

    Please feel free to post any ask-the-doctor type questions here in the comments section and I’d be happy to try to answer them. And check out the other videos on immune function. Also, there are 1,449 other subjects covered in the rest of my videos–please feel free to explore them as well!

    • http://nutritionfacts.org/members/sandrabeynon/ sandrabeynon

      Dr Greger, Why does fresh beet juice make me so instantly and very, very ill?
      Thanks,
      Sandra

      • http://nutritionfacts.org/members/drdons/ DrDons

        There could be several reasons. You could be allergic to the beets or just have a food intolerance. Dr. McDougall has a good post on “Allergic Reactions to Foods” on his website, http://www.drmcdougall.com/med_allergic.html. His recommended approach is very practical as it often difficult to pinpoint the reason for your reaction. Clearly you should avoid the food. If the reaction consists of trouble breathing I would suggest being evaluated by an allergist. Best wishes.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=515225148 Joshua Trost

    Are there any reports about those using oral Zinc-Gluconate cold treatments, such as those offered by Zicam, Cold-Eeze, and their generic equivalents?  These are often in the form of lozenges, or oral sprays.  Can these cause permanent loss of the ability to perceive scent?  

  • tavit

    holy cow! it’s good to know that