Researchers at Ohio State University have found that zinc plays an important role in our body by keeping the immune system under control like in people who suffer from sepsis.
The researchers said that while they were unable to find out how exactly zinc helps fight off infection due to its complex role, they found that taking zinc supplements at the start of a cold may limit its severity while deficiency in zinc could lead to excessive inflammation.
"We do believe that to some extent, these findings are going to be applicable to other important areas of disease beyond sepsis. Without zinc on board to begin with, it could increase vulnerability to infection. But our work is focused on what happens once you get an infection -- if you are deficient in zinc you are at a disadvantage because your defense system is amplified, and inappropriately so", Ohio State University's Daren Knoell said.
The study has been published in the Cell Reports.