Best supplements: Zinc supplementation could help reduce a cold, diarrhoea and diabetes

are known to help a variety of health issues and should be the first line of defence before embarking on antibiotics. According to studies and health experts, taking zinc supplements can help with many issues including helping with colds, diarrhoea and reducing diabetes risk.

Recent studies have shown the dynamic role of zinc, an insulin mimetic, as a “cellular second messenger” in glucose homeostasis and in the control of insulin signalling, said the National Library of Health.

It added: “Synthesis, secretion and insulin action are dependent on zinc and transporters.

“This suggests that zinc plays a role, previously not identified, where changes in the state of zinc over time can affect the activity of insulin.

“This is a novel area of investigation and introduces a new class of useful drugs for diabetes pharmacotherapy.”


Protects against colds

Dr Ian Tullberg, medical director of UC Health Medical Group said: “There’s good evidence that oral zinc works well.

“Those who swear by zinc as a cold remedy know to take it when they first start to feel a scratchy throat.

“They try to hit it early right when the cold’s coming on.

“Research spanning decades has shown that using zinc lozenges through the course of the cold does make a difference.”

“Recent studies suggest that administration of zinc along with new low osmolarity oral rehydration solutions / salts, can reduce the duration and severity of diarrheal episodes for up to three months.

“The World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF recommend daily 20 mg zinc supplements for 10 to 14 days for children with acute diarrhoea, and 10 mg per day for infants under six months old, to curtail the severity of the episode and prevent further occurrences in the ensuing -two to three months, thereby decreasing the morbidity considerably.”

As with most new supplements, it’s always best to consult with your GP beforehand.


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