Zinc in Oysters Vs. Cold Lozenges or Cold Remedies

zinc in oysters

Oysters are known to be an aphrodisiac, eaten for health, but are also known in modern times to boost the immune system due to the amount of zinc in them. Zinc may help ward off a cold, reduce its symptoms, and shorten its duration. So does the zinc in oysters or cold remedies or lozenges work? Are they safe?

Dietary zinc can be supplemented or it can be gotten through zinc-based food, but which foods have zinc? How much do you need to ward off a cold? Current over-the-counter cold remedies or cold lozenges like Zicam or similar brands have zinc as their main homeopathic component to help boost the immune system so you can fight off a cold naturally. However, is there enough zinc in oysters to do the same thing? Which his better to take?

Oysters are shellfish and belong to the bivalve mollusk family. This family also can include mussels, scallops, and cockles. Oysters are also a good source of vitamin B-12, iron, selenium, and of course the zinc in oysters is also required by the body, but only in small amounts.

Typically 3 oz. of oysters will provide enough of the essential trace mineral for your daily requirements (based on a 2,000 calorie diet). The recommended daily amount of the mineral is about 8 (women) to 11 (men) milligrams, according to the National Institutes of Health, Office of Dietary Supplements.

Because zinc in oysters is plentiful, they can be eaten cooked or raw to obtain about the same amount of the metallic chemical element, with zinc in oysters that are raw favoring slightly higher amounts (33 vs. 26 mg). However, how much zinc in oysters is present varies on where they come from and how they are prepared.

Dr Oz says zinc plays several crucial functions within your body

Dr. Oz says zinc in oysters is the highest form of the mineral as foods go; however, supplements can be taken if you don’t like other foods high in zinc, such as “beans, nuts, crab, lobster, whole grains, fortified breakfast cereals, and dairy products.”

Furthermore, Dr. Oz has listed what zinc is good for, besides warding off colds, like over-the-counter drugs do. Zinc can:

  • Accelerate the activity of about 100 body enzymes
  • Promote immune system function to fight colds and sickness
  • Support cell growth and healthy development
  • Ensure proper sense of smell and taste

Zinc in cold remedies and lozenges

So how much zinc is in Zicam and similar brands of cold remedies or cold lozenges? Zincum glutonate and zincum aceticum in Zicam are at levels of 1x and 2x, respectively. Would this be 1x and 2x the daily recommended dosage? The package is not clear to the average consumer.

Furthermore, note that the nasal gel and sprays of some zinc-containing over-the-counter cold remedies (like Zicam) have removed these specific products from stores because people were claiming that they were losing their sense of smell. A study was done that supported that notion, so now (since 2009) people usually take them orally.

Your body cannot store zinc, so make sure you get your daily dose (no more than 40mg/day). Natural sources may be better than over-the-counter drugs, even if the latter does claim to be homeopathic.

I have taken Zicam in the past, on and off for years, to ward off colds, and I swore by it until I started losing my sense of smell, at which point I started looking for an alternative. Today I take medicinal mushrooms to boost my immune system naturally, and no longer catch colds or the flu, but knowing I can get zinc in oysters, which is a natural food, is also a good choice (pollutants and heavy metals in the oceans are now also a concern, however).

Regardless of where you get your zinc (zinc in oysters, other foods, or supplements), know that your body has no natural way to store zinc, so it’s important to make sure you’re getting your daily dose in some manner, especially if you are male (men’s health regarding reducing chances for prostate cancer requires more zinc).

The author of this story is a freelance contributor to National Nutraceuticals’ online news portals, such as Amino Acid Information Center at http://www.aminoacidinformation.com and Vancouver Health News at http://www.VancouverHealthNews.ca.  National Nutraceuticals, Inc. also owns and operates a third health news portal focusing on medicinal mushrooms at http://medicinalmushroominfo.com, plus our newest portal at http://todayswordofwisdom.com.

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