Zinc Supplements: Necessary in Cold Fighting?

No doubt about it, zinc plays a crucial role in keeping us cold-free during this season when people to the right and left of us are dropping like flies with a cough, runny nose, congestion amongst other unpleasant symptoms. And if you’ve been following a typical diet, high in grains, you’re more likely to be low on this fundamental part of healthy diet.  Dr. Cordain has stated that “high levels of phytate in unleavened whole grain breads cause a zinc deficiency”. So what’s the best course of action, now that you’re following a Paleo regime?   Is it straight to the drug store to load up on processed zinc supplements? Below are a couple of typical reactions to attempting to load up on zinc:

  • Relying whole heartedly on Zicam, anytime you feel the slightest tickle in your throats or a sniffly nose.  Zicam is, per their site, “the only nasal spray that is clinically proven to shorten colds. A plant-based homeopathic no-drip nasal spray that also provides multi-symptom relief. Contains cooling menthol and eucalyptus” .  Unfortunately, it also contains benzalkonium chloride, dibasic sodium phosphate, eugenol. glycine, hypromellose, monobasic sodium phosphate, phenethyl alcohol, polysorbate 80, saccharin sodium, sodium chloride and succinic acid.

Plant-based, perhaps, but how about all that other junk?

  • Maybe taking a zinc tablet is the answer.  One popular brand, with “Natural” plastered across its label,  is FDA Approved (and we know how significant that is), contains Calcium, Magnesium & Zinc with D3 and “helps build strong bones & teeth”.  Oh, but wait!  It also contains Cellulose Gel , Maltodextrin , Croscarmellose Sodium , Polyvinyl Alcohol-Polyethylene Glycol Graft Copolymer , Silicon Dioxide , Magnesium Stearate , Color Added , Copovidone , Gelatin  and Corn Starch.

No, thanks. What’s left? You guessed it:  food! Hands down, the single best food source of zinc is an oyster, with a single 100 gram serving providing  up to 182mg of zinc! One again, we can see that everything we need is found in nature. Now you have a reason to enjoy Oysters, aside from wanting something decadent or to take advantage of their purported aphrodisiac benefits.    And for those of you moms-to-be, did you know they’re also indicated in TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) to help with fertility? Bottoms Up!