We basically had a year off from the flu last year. This year it’s unlikely the luck will hold.
While people were largely isolated and outdoors last winter, many are reconvening under the same roof this year, which means colds and the flu will be circulating at much higher rates.
Zinc has been identified in the past as a potential way to boost immunity during flu season. New data published in November suggests it could be helpful in improving immune function and promoting overall health.
Looking at more than 5,000 subjects from 28 studies, researchers found that:
- Zinc supplements or nasal sprays were associated with a small improvement in feeling healthy and active.
- Zinc seemed to help the body recover faster by about two days.
The study, however, pointed out that the evidence for the findings wasn’t necessarily strong.
Taking over-the-counter zinc supplements can also come along with some rather inconvenient and unwanted effects. Nausea and mouth or nose irritation are both potential outcomes of regular zinc supplementation.
So, what should you do? If you have the money and desire to give zinc a try, go for it. But if not, there are plenty of other things you can do to boost immune strength.
Washing your hands whenever getting to or coming from anywhere is a great defence. Staying active and eating a nutrient-rich diet is also a great way to keep your immune system revving. Supplementing with vitamin C may also help.