Zinc: Your Natural Shield Against Cold and Flu Season
As the leaves change color and temperatures begin to drop, cold and flu season follows close behind. As Autumn moves into full swing, and lots of people in our communities start coming down with bugs, we all ought to be on the hunt for ways to fortify our immune defenses. At TWC, we have a host of products chock full of high-quality, natural ingredients geared towards keeping your immune system in tip-top shape. In this article, we’ll provide an overview of the science behind an extremely important but often overlooked immune boosting compound, which is a key player in our Immune Boost Formula: Zinc.
Zinc is one of the most common minerals found in the earth’s crust. It exists in our soil, air, water, and food. It also happens to be a potent element on which our bodies rely for various functions, from producing DNA, to healing damaged cells, to forming enzymes and other proteins. Our bodies don’t naturally produce any zinc, so we have to get it either from foods like chicken, red meat, nuts, legumes, and whole grains, or in the form of a supplement. Just as we need iron for our blood and calcium for our bones, zinc is essential for our overall well-being.
How Does Zinc Impact Immunity?
At its core, zinc is like a coordinator for our body's immune defense cells, ensuring they're ready to fend off any invaders. These cells, responsible for fighting off germs, rely on zinc to grow and "talk" to each other. If there's a shortage of zinc, communication can break down, making it harder for our bodies to coordinate the production of the right immune cells at the right time, in order to ward off colds and flus effectively.
Despite its importance, zinc deficiency is surprisingly common, affecting up to a quarter of people in developing countries and almost 1 in 10 Americans. Deficiency can be a consequence of many different causes, a couple of major ones being high alcohol consumption and vegetarianism. Whatever the cause, this deficiency can lead to a weakened immune response, making individuals more susceptible to whatever infections are going around.
Studies: Zinc Prevents Pneumonia, Improves Recovery from Common Cold
In one study, elderly folks in a nursing home were given a multivitamin containing Zinc for a year. Over the course of the study, those individuals with the highest zinc levels were 50% less likely to get pneumonia.
The same effect has been found in other age-groups as well. In a large meta-analysis of six studies investigating zinc’s effect on immune function in children, researchers found that zinc supplementation reduced the prevalence of pneumonia by 41%.
Pneumonia isn’t the only condition for which zinc has been shown to be effective. In one large meta-analysis of people suffering from the common cold, those who were given with zinc acetate lozenges had a threefold faster recovery rate than those who were given a placebo.
Enhance Your Immunity with TWC’s Immune Boost Formula
In light of zinc's pivotal role in our immune health, we at TWC have included it in our Immune Boost Formula, a supplement designed to ensure you receive the right amount of zinc to keep your immune system firing on all cylinders all year long. As we navigate the challenges of the upcoming cold and flu season, it's time to equip your body with the best defense. This cold and flu season, make sure you’re doing everything you can to take your health into your own hands.
Read, S. A., Obeid, S., Ahlenstiel, C., & Ahlenstiel, G. (2019). The role of zinc in antiviral immunity. Advances in nutrition, 10(4), 696-710.
Meydani, S. N., Barnett, J. B., Dallal, G. E., Fine, B. C., Jacques, P. F., Leka, L. S., & Hamer, D. H. (2007). Serum zinc and pneumonia in nursing home elderly. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 86(4), 1167-1173.
Lassi, Z. S., Moin, A., & Bhutta, Z. A. (2016). Zinc supplementation for the prevention of pneumonia in children aged 2 months to 59 months. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, (12).
Hemilä, H. (2017). Zinc lozenges and the common cold: a meta-analysis comparing zinc acetate and zinc gluconate, and the role of zinc dosage. JRSM open, 8(5), 2054270417694291.