Zinc and the common cold: a meta-analysis revisited.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

The common cold has been estimated to cost the United States > $3.5 billion per year. Despite several randomized clinical trials, the effect of treating colds with zinc gluconate remains uncertain due to conflicting results. We conducted a meta-analysis of published randomized clinical trials on the use of zinc gluconate lozenges in colds using the random effects model of DerSimonians and Laird. Ten clinical trials of cold treatment with zinc gluconate were identified. After excluding two studies that used nasal inoculum of rhinovirus, eight trials were combined and analyzed. The summary odds ratio for the presence of "any cold symptoms" at 7 d was 0.52 (95% confidence interval, 0.25-1.2). We conclude that despite numerous randomized trials, the evidence for effectiveness of zinc lozenges in reducing the duration of common colds is still lacking.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Jackson, JL; Lesho, E; Peterson, C

Published Date

  • May 2000

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 130 / 5S Suppl

Start / End Page

  • 1512S - 1515S

PubMed ID

  • 10801968

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0022-3166

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1093/jn/130.5.1512S


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States