Zinc Protective Role in COVID-19 Confirmed

zinc and COVID-19
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For many people, to boost immunity, zinc is the first mineral to start with. Apart from the common cold, new research also supports zinc proficiency in controlling COVID-19 symptoms to some extent.

The research was shared virtually on 22 September 2020 with the European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Disease (ESCMID) Conference on Coronavirus Disease. However, keep in mind that this medical study is preliminary and needs to be published by another research team.

Spanish researchers at the European coronavirus conference shared patients with COVID-19 and lower zinc levels to have worse flare-ups than those who had higher levels of zinc.

Pre-existing Research Giving Birth to the Idea

A review published in July in the journal of International Journal of Molecular Medicine found zinc to have anti-viral and anti-inflammatory properties that could help to fight COVID-19. Researchers from Sechenov University in Moscow, Russia proposed the idea.

According to the statistics shared by Prof. Anatoly Skalny, lead author and chief of the Laboratory of Molecular Dietetics at Sechenov University, around 1.5 billion people all over the world are suffering from zinc deficiency.

The scientific study showed the protective effects of zinc in controlling and treating the respiratory disorders caused by COVID-19. The evidence supported zinc to cause minimal damage to the lungs in pneumonia.

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One study also found zinc to play its role in inhibiting the activity of the enzyme that raised the pandemic in 2002 (SARS coronavirus).

One more recent study found the treatment of COVID-19 with hydroxychloroquine and zinc to cause a low mortality rate and more people discharging from the hospital. However, the FDA warns its usage to treat the patients because of their risks and side effects.

Even though there was evidence that approved the link, there was insufficient data to suggest zinc use in COVID-19.

Lower Zinc Levels and Severe COVID-19 Symptoms

The team of Dr. Roberto Guerri-Fernandez of the Hospital Del Mar in Barcelona calls zinc deficiency to have an association with the onset of continuous inflammation in the progression of the infection. In such cases, researchers found much poorer health after the infection ended.

A health expert from the United States cites that the findings are obvious considering zinc’s previous profile. Dr. Len Horovitz, pulmonologist of Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, asserts how zinc always is believed to be the immune-boosting mineral in medical science.

One of the causes to support the protective effects of zinc in this study is its anti-inflammatory properties. Guerri-Fernandez’s team in March and April studied effects based on the patients who were under COVID-19 professional health care after they had positive results in their laboratory tests.

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Out of 249, 21 patients died due to the severity of their health condition. The average age of the patients was 63. Health professionals tested zinc levels as soon as the patients were admitted. The average was 61 micrograms per deciliter of blood (mcg/dL).

Mortality Rate Higher In Lower Zinc Level Patients

Those COVID-19 patients who died had extremely low levels of zinc.On average it was 43 mcg/dL. However, who got discharged after recovery had zinc levels higher on average that is 63 mcg/dL.

Spanish researchers found that patients with adequate levels of zinc had fewer pro-inflammatory proteins during the course of infection.

Factors like age, severity, gender, and ongoing treatments that may influence the result were kept under consideration. A unit increase in zinc levels lowers risk of death by 7% under the professional health care.

There is a need for more research. It is a small scale study and the cause and effects is still unknown, asserts Guerri-Fernandez and his team.

Adeena Tariq Lari
The author is a graduate of dental surgery from the Dow University Health Sciences, Karachi. She has an academic background in content writing as well as English literature, giving her an edge in the field. Adeena is always curious about physical and mental health. She is always passionate about research and delivering high-quality reliable content to users.