Sunday, February 8, 2009

What is zincum aceticum and does it work?

Some samples were mailed to our office of Zinx Zincum aceticum. I had never heard of it before, so here is my research into this product. Zinx is just a trade name for a group of products made by the manufacturer Auriga Laboratories. The purported actual active ingredient is zincum aceticum. I could not find any documented information on the Internet or PubMed database. A very plausible explanation is on WikiAnswers. In short, this is a product of homeopathy and sham marketing with the production of a name. This comes from adding -um to the compound zinc acetate. The name Zinx plays off the widely accepted fact in the lay literature that zinc can prevent colds. This is never been proven in controlled studies. This is why virtually all physicians do not widely recommend taking zinc preparations to prevent or treat respiratory infections. My take on this entire line of products is two thumbs down. I have nothing against the principle. There are no facts that document its safety or efficacy, just word of mouth.

4 comments:

carrilia said...

Hello,
I've been trying to find reliable information about "zincum aceticum" and came across your post. You mention that there are no clinical studies proving efficacy of zinc. In my search I've come across a reference to two clinical studies which found positive effect of zinc in cold treatment (http://www.annals.org/cgi/content/abstract/133/4/245 Mossad et. al, Annals of Internal Medicine Vol. 126, No 2 July 15, 1996; Godfrey et. al., Journal of International Medical Research, Vol 20, No 3 June 1992).

I wonder if you find the results of these studies persuasive or if you have reservations about their reliability. I'd be grateful to know your opinion on the matter.

Neil Kao said...

I apologize about the delay in responding. I just now noticed the comment. The first study has been completely discredited because the physician in charge neglected to mention to the Annals that he was a significant stockholder in the company. The second study had weak methodology and has influenced neither myself or any other physicians to recommend zinc. Note that this was done almost 20 years ago and with no other studies.
Respectfully,
NK

Douglas said...

Could it be that zinc creates a very alkaline environment (albeit temporary) that is hostile to bacteria and (perhaps) viruses as well? I'm sure it won't show up on an alkaline foods list, but it does taste quite chalk-like...

Hank Roberts said...

http://scienceblogs.com/effectmeasure/2009/06/if_you_smell_heres_a_remedy.php

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