Cold virus
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Zinc 'can treat the common cold'

16 February 2011 Last updated at 19:22 GMT

Taking zinc syrup, tablets or lozenges can lessen the severity and duration of the common cold, experts believe.

A review of the available scientific evidence suggests taking zinc within a day of the onset of cold symptoms speeds recovery.

But they say zinc cannot be used long-term because of toxicity concerns.

The BBC's Razia Iqbal reports.