10 Remedies That Do Absolutely Nothing to Treat the Common Cold

Zinc might decrease the length of your cold, but clinical studies have been inconclusive. ©iStockphoto/Thinkstock

Zinc is an important mineral in your diet, like iron and calcium, and your body uses it for everything from your senses of taste, smell and vision to keeping your reproductive and your immune systems healthy. It also has antioxidant properties, which help to keep your cells healthy.

Some people take zinc supplements to treat the common cold, but current research about zinc suggests that at best, it may only help reduce the symptoms of your cold by roughly one day. Studies have had mixed results, so zinc is not considered a good way to treat your cold.