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Could zinc aid in preventing COVID-19? Recent studies show hopeful results

  • 3 min read

As we continue to grapple with the COVID pandemic, both scientists and society are looking for answers. Researchers are exploring preventative measures and possible treatments for the virus with various medications or supplements. We’re just looking for… hope. Up to this point, there has been some evidence that suggests certain supplements may have an effect on preventing or lessening the severity of the disease. However, this evidence is still limited and some simply not strong enough to constitute putting the recommendation into practice. Zinc has long been thought of as a mineral that may be effective against the common cold and reducing the severity or duration of symptoms. The findings from recent studies also suggests promise in preventing and mitigating COVID-19.

Zinc is an essential mineral that can be obtained from foods such as red meat, poultry, beans, nuts, some seafood, whole grains and fortified cereals. It’s also available as a supplement in the form of lozenges, pills or sprays like NB Pure’s Zinc Up+ spray. The effect of zinc supplementation on various illnesses has been studied largely due to zinc’s important role in immune function. Zinc may have antiviral activity that could improve the function of immune cells or decrease a virus’s ability to multiply. This powerful mineral may be useful in shortening the duration of specific illnesses. Zinc is also needed for our senses of taste and smell, which are often lost during a bout of COVID.

A recent study conducted at University Health Care ambulatory primary care centers in Hialeah, Florida recruited 129 participants aged 50 to 84 The aim of the trial was to study the effectiveness of different doses of zinc necessary to prevent or mitigate COVID-19 infection. In general, the study subjects were mostly Hispanic women who had comorbidities, such as obesity or diabetes. Participants were assigned to one of three daily dose regimens: 10, 25, or 50 mg of zinc or a control group. The results of the study showed that participants in the control group were seven times more likely to develop symptomatic COVID-19 infection compared with the individuals supplemented with zinc. 

Subjects in the treatment group may have been taking zinc supplements prior to the study which could explain why all three doses were effective. Of the participants who received the 10 mg dose, none developed symptoms of the virus. One person in each of the 25 mg and 50 mg groups had symptoms. The control group reported a total of nine symptomatic COVID-19 cases with three that required hospitalization and one death. While more research is needed to hone in on exact doses and with other ethnic groups, the findings suggest that even low doses of zinc may offer additional protection against symptomatic COVID-19 infection.

Having COVID-19 can deplete nutrients from our bodies and replenishing is key to recovery and immune support. In fact, a zinc deficiency can cause a loss of smell and taste just as some have experienced as a symptom of the virus. Zinc is an important mineral for proper immune function and a deficiency may pose the risk of a more severe COVID infection. A small observational study conducted in Spain found that patients with COVID who had low zinc levels (50 mg/dL or less) had more severe disease when admitted to the hospital, longer recovery time and higher mortality rate. 

Understanding the immunity supporting power of zinc, we took our supplement one step further by adding vitamin C into the formulation. The combination of zinc and vitamin C in our Zinc Up+ spray provides unmatched protection against illnesses like the common cold or flu with the potential to have an impact on COVID by bolstering the immune system to fight off infection.