Home Remedies or Cough Syrup? From Myths to Medicine
A relentless cough can be an actual nuisance during wintertime. So, how can you handle it? Are home remedies effective, and what about cough syrup? He >>
Zinc is a mineral that is known to us from chemistry lessons at school. An adult body contains an average of about 2 g of zinc, in the form of its compounds, which is concentrated mainly in the prostate, muscles, liver and pancreas. 50 milliliters of human sperm contain about 10 milligrams of zinc. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the global prevalence of zinc deficiency is over 20 %. This microelement performs many functions in the body. Over 400 enzymes contain zinc. Among them, there are enzymes that catalyze the hydrolysis of peptides, proteins and esters, the formation of aldehydes, the polymerization of DNA and RNA. The presence of zinc stimulates the growth and division of cells, facilitates the development of bone tissue, tissue regeneration, supports the reproductive function and functioning of the immune system. That is why WHO underlines that zinc deficiency is a problem that can have serious consequences for human health and therefore requires urgent treatment
The recommended daily zinc intake (dietary) is 11 mg for men and 8 mg for women. During periods of active sexual life, the daily requirement of zinc in men increases and amounts to 30–70 mg. Among food products consumed by humans, the highest zinc content is in pumpkin and sunflower seeds, sesame, meat, cheese, oatmeal, legumes, and chocolate. Zinc is also present in high concentrations in oysters.
Decreased human immunity is a rather common occurrence in the modern world. The poor environmental conditions, poor-quality food products, workaholism and lack of rest, smoking, alcohol, stress and excessive fatigue do not pass without consequences for anyone. If the immune system has already failed, immunity improvement becomes the main task and key factor for relieved of diseases.
There is no a universal solution to improving immunity. Nevertheless, there are several scientifically proven natural remedies that have a positive effect on the body immune system. These include: vitamin C (in high daily doses), propolis, active substances of plants such as astragalus and echinacea.
The most important organ responsible for ensuring the body immunity functioning is the thymus gland or thymus. Its main function is to provide the body with immune defenses. Immune defense refers to the recognition and destruction of everything foreign to the body: pathogenic microorganisms; cells that degenerate into tumorous, cancerous, and that in general are unusual for the body; old, and abnormally altered cells.
T-lymphocytes, the main cells of the immune system, produced by the thymus, provide antitumor and antiviral protection. Zinc is necessary for the normal functioning of the thymus! With aging, the thymus gland is reduced in size, but this process can be slowed down, and even the thymus can be restored — all because of zinc. If zinc reserves are restored, it will be possible to restore the immune system and increase the efficiency of the thymus to the level characteristic of a younger body.
Zinc clinical significance for maintaining and restoring the body has been clinically proven in many different studies.
According to a 2011 meta-analysis, oral zinc intake reduces the duration and severity of symptoms of acute respiratory viral infection in both adults and children. The results of a meta-analysis showed that zinc intake reduces both the duration of respiratory infection and mitigates the symptoms of the disease. The tablet form of zinc was used in all studies in doses from 20 to 220 mg per day, depending on the zinc salt in which the drug was given.
A new 2017 study shows that zinc intake in severe pneumonia in combination with the standard protocol for pneumonia treatment (antibiotics) has a beneficial effect on reducing the duration of acute lower respiratory tract infection, and child mortality from pneumonia compared to using the antibiotic treatment protocol alone. For this reason, zinc intake is very important for viral infections such as coronavirus infection (COVID-19), the complications of which include life-threatening acute pneumonia.
In addition to the systemic effect on the immune system in general, orodispersible zinc preparations have a direct local effect on the discomfort in the throat. Zinc relieves inflammation in the throat and has an antiseptic effect.
There are many different dosage forms of zinc, which differ in the degree of bioavailability (the percentage of zinc that the body can actually absorb for its needs), as well as the presence/absence of side effects.
Dosage forms with the best bioavailability are preparations containing organic zinc compounds such as picolinate and citrate.
Dosage forms with lower bioavailability are acetate and gluconate.
Dosage forms with the lowest bioavailability are sulfate and oxide. In addition to poor absorption, its strongly irritate the gastrointestinal mucosa and can cause nausea.