What the research says: A 2015 analysis found that zinc lozenges and syrup reduced the length and severity of colds when started within 24 hours after symptoms start.
Is it safe: Possible side effects include diarrhea, nausea, stomach cramps, and vomiting. Long-term use, especially in high doses, may cause copper deficiency, which can trigger anemia.
CR;s take: The uncertain benefits aren’t worth the potentially serious risks.
Source: Consumer Reports magazine January 2018
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