Zinc has proven itself effective in fighting vision loss caused by age-related macular degeneration. But even if you’re not at risk for developing AMD, there’s one important reason why you should add Zinc to your arsenal: it’s effective against the common cold.
Zinc and Vision Loss
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) gradually destroys sharp, central vision. Central vision is needed for seeing objects clearly and for common daily tasks such as reading and driving. In some cases, AMD advances so slowly that people notice little change in their vision. In others, the disease progresses faster and may lead to a loss of vision in both eyes.
Fifteen million Americans have macular degeneration. Twenty-five percent of people over the age of 65 develop the disease, but symptoms can start in people in their 50s. Early symptoms include blurring of vision and a gradual loss of central vision.
A study conducted by the National Eye Institute, the “Age-Related Eye Disease Study” (AREDS), found that people at risk for developing advanced stages of AMD, lowered their risk by 25% when treated with a high-dose combination of antioxidants and zinc. People with intermediate AMD or advanced AMD in only one eye, reduced the loss of vision in the other eye by 19%.
People on diets rich in green, leafy vegetables have a lower risk of developing AMD, but, the study concludes that, “the high levels of nutrients that were evaluated in the AREDS are very difficult to achieve from diet alone.”
Zinc and the Common Cold
Zinc gained prominence as a cold remedy way back in 1996 when the Cleveland Clinic reported on a study in which participants were given zinc lozenges within 24 hours after experiencing cold symptoms. The zinc-takers’ colds lasted an average of 4.5 days, while the placebo-takers endured 7.5 days of cold symptoms.
Another study conducted at Wayne State University in Detroit reported similar results: 4.5 days for zinc-lozenge users vs. 8.1 days for those in the placebo group. This study, published in 2000, also reported that zinc recipients coughed for only three days vs. six days for the placebo group.
Don’t spray away your sense of smell. Reports are starting to crop up that some people who use spray versions of zinc gluconate have lost their sense of smell and taste. These patients complained of a burning sensation followed by a loss in their ability to smell and taste. The problem may be that sprays come in direct contact with that part of the nose containing the olfactory nerve.
While zinc lozenges won’t affect your sense of smell, many people can’t stand the bitter or sour taste associated with most zinc lozenge products. That’s not a problem with Basic Organics Zinc Lozenges because it’s available in three delicious flavors: Cherry, Lemon and Orange.