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I looked for orange flavor online, especially in bulk on alibaba and flavor supply, as well as smaller consumer packages, and it seemed to in basically every case mean orange essential oils, which I don’t think have citric acid as it is hydrophilic ( If said oil did give citric acid, so would the lemon oil. No clue exactly though.

You didn’t look closely, correct. The literature does engage with the “mannitol, sorbitol, citric acid, glycine, and many others may cause past studies to not find an effect”. At least five of the eight studies referenced in the meta analysis, the meta analysis itself, the other paper, and many other studies make statements to that effect and are designed to avoid it. It’s still a mess though.

As for testing yourself - unless you do a blinded, well done, long term, controlled self experiment a la Gwern, it’s so easy to make a mistake that it probably is meaningless. I have over the internet seen hundreds of “this worked for me!” with many different methods of confirmation and levels of confidence - most of them ended up being very wrong. Here, Gwern takes magnesium - sees a benefit or signs of benefit - then does several detailed and careful self experiments and finds it causes significant harm. There are so many other examples.

Also what’s going on here? The evidentiary standard and level of evidence is much lower for pro zinc evidence - this (very incorrect) speculation that could’ve been corrected by reading more than two paragraphs of that article, for whatever reason, was much better received than mine. Several times you guys have clearly referenced studies without reading them, and your post got 10 to 1 vs mine that actually read the papers!

... what? Read the study. It mentions the potential interaction with citric acid, and avoids it;

The zinc lozenge was a commercially available zinc acetate lozenge with 13 mg elemental zinc per lozenge (University Pharmacy, Helsinki, Finland). The lozenge weighed 0.9 g and had a diameter of 13mm. The lozenges contained isomaltulose, sorbitol, magnesium stearate, orange and peppermint flavours and sucralose. The instruction of the commercial package for patients with common cold is to dissolve slowly six lozenges per day in the mouth, which

Now, this study does use mannitol. And mannitol is one of the things mentioned by some studies as blocking zinc’s action. So maybe we’re out of the water! But wait - four of the eight studies in the meta analysis have acidic flavoring - “lemon and lime oils”, “peppermint oil”, “tannic acid”, etc. even worse, glycine is also mentioned as a zinc binder that hurts its action - yet many of the studies it cited use glycine!

Also, one study this meta analysis cites concludes that “zinc gluconate should not be used to treat cough due to high side effects”.

That said, it’s not clear at all. Maybe a particular combination of excipients did randomly manage to make some trials fail and others succeed! But that’s what you’d expect to happen in a case of no effect but publication bias and excuses. Which seems more likely?

Wouldn’t it wash off much faster than six hours though?


google scholar? you just search the word? preregistered.

Cochrane reviews in particular are actually, like, literally, the gold standard for medical reviews. They are notorious for finding that “there is weak or no evidence”. So them finding positive is not “well calibrated for not very”, which is why I was genuinely shocked to read that, and correctly found it wasn’t.

Is there some material I can read on the case for zinc? On this site?

N95s are, at a rough guess, significantly more effective, and have the massive benefit of not being something you put in your body, which can go wrong a lot of ways (the claimed loss of taste side effect, or just general mild dysfunction)

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