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Regular zinc supplementation decreases the duration and severity of cold symptoms and the incidence of antibiotic use.

Whether you should take zinc year-round or just when you’re feeling a cold coming on depends on your zinc levels. If you have excellent zinc stores, taking a supplement year-round likely won’t be effective, because you don’t need it. But if your tank is running low, supplementation may help you avoid colds.

If you eat foods rich in zinc, such as oysters, egg yolks, fish, meats, poultry, sardines, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, kale, and broccoli, your stores may already be healthy. If, however, you’re susceptible to colds and you don’t eat many of these foods, you may be deficient and taking zinc on a daily basis may be right for you.

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