As the common cold is a viral infection of your nose and throat. A cold virus enters your body through your mouth, eyes or nose. It can spread through droplets in the air when someone who is sick coughs, sneezes or talks.
Dr Anand Prashad from Bihar pioneed the study of since deficiency and published over 300 papers and 15 books. Dr Prashad was born in 1928 in Bihar’s buxar and completed his graduation from the Patna medical college in 1951 in physiology. And for further studies, he went out to India. From the University of Minnesota in the United States, he pursued his doctorate. And was the first medical graduate to move to the US.
For his research paper, his subjects were calcium and magnesium. Additionally, he spent the next 5 years doing his PhD and got trained as a clinical scientist.
In 1952 he went to st paul’s hospital texas, for his training in pathology with his wife Dr aryabala.
Later on in 1958 when he started his research on zinc and discovered it’s a deficiency in humans. when he moved to Iran to set up a teaching program in the department of medicines at a hospital.
In his research in 1961 Dr parshad published an article in the American journal of medicine suggesting for the first time that zinc deficiency accounts for human growth retardation.
The essentiality of zinc in humans was established in 1963. During the past 50 y, tremendous advances in both clinical and basic sciences of zinc metabolism in humans have been observed. The major factor contributing to zinc deficiency is high phytate-containing cereal protein intake in the developing world, and nearly 2 billion subjects may be zinc deficient. Conditioned deficiency of zinc has been observed in patients with malabsorption syndrome, liver disease, chronic renal disease, sickle cell disease, and other chronic illnesses. Major clinical problems resulting from zinc deficiency in humans include growth retardation; cell-mediated immune dysfunction, and cognitive impairment.
There’s been a lot of talk about taking zinc for colds ever since a 1984 study showed that zinc supplements kept people from getting as sick. Sinice the research has turned up mixed results about zinc and colds.
Recently an analysis of several studies showed that zinc lozenges or syrup reduced the length of a cold by one day, especially when taken within 24 hours of the first studies symptoms of a cold.
Dr Prashad’s report says” the duration and severity of cold symptoms suggest that zinc significantly reduced the overall duration and severity of common cold symptoms if the therapy was started within 24 hours of the onset of cold “.
In a talk with the New York Times, Prashad told “ I couldn’t believe that a 19-year-old guy could gain over six inches in height,
“Properly composed zinc gluconate lozenges may be as effective as zinc acetate lozenges. There is no evidence that zinc doses over 100 mg/day might lead to greater efficacy in the treatment of the common cold. Common cold patients may be encouraged to try zinc lozenges for treating their colds. The optimal lozenge composition and dosage scheme need to be investigated further,” said a research conclusion by Harri Hemila.
Dr Prashad’s further research proved that zinc had an effect on immunity and made him think that it might help cure a common cold. And his research led to this evaluation of zinc’s potential and ever since there have been several studies to decipher the impact of this element in human health and disease.
He has received much recognition for his contributions including several awards and honours. He was also the founding editor of 2 journals, the American Journal of haematology and the journal of trace elements in experimental medicine.
As we know is a trace mineral, meaning that the body only needs small amounts, and yet it is necessary for almost 100 enzymes to carry out vital chemical reactions. It is a major player in the creation of DNA, growth of cells, building proteins, healing of damaged tissue and supporting a healthy immune system.
So we have the first 94 years old Indian-origin doctor who specialised in the role of zinc in human metabolism. It was Dr Prasad’s research that led to this revelation of zinc’s potential and ever since there have been several studies to decipher the impact of this element in human health and disease.