Zinc plunger

Zinc has been The Alchemist's element of choice for warding off an imminent dose of the common cold, but is there any truth in the received wisdom that boosting intake of this trace element can stifle the worst symptoms of rhinovirus infection? It is unlikely that otherwise healthy individuals with a balanced diet who take regular exercise will be deficient in zinc. However, a Cochrane review of 15 randomized clinical trials suggests that taking zinc within 24 hours of the onset of symptoms can ameliorate the worst excesses of the body's response to a common cold and reduce the the number of days of misery.