• Barbara Johnson, MD

Promising Study of Zinc and COVID-19 in Human Trial.


Several physicians from New York University (NYU) just released a very noteworthy preprint study focusing on the role of zinc and COVID-19 outcomes. This is one of only a few trials looking at the role of zinc in humans.

This is a retrospective study rather than a randomized, controlled study, so it does not provide clear cause-and-effect evidence. The authors analyzed two different groups at NYU. One group was treated with hydroxychloroquine, azithromycin and zinc and the second group the same dosage of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin but no zinc. The dose of zinc was 220mg/d which is 50mg/d of elemental zinc.

Several interesting findings included:

● Adding zinc was not associated with differences in hospital stay or, length of time on the respirator.

● Adding zinc was associated with a 49% lower risk of being transferred to a hospice facility or dying, a 44% decreased change of requiring ventilation and a 56% increased likelihood of being discharged from the hospital.

One key finding was that adding zinc when the patient was already in the ICU or had an activation of cytokine storm did not improve outcome. But adding zinc early on to the hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin protocol was beneficial. Zinc has been shown to prevent progression of the disease.

The study didn’t focus on the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine, but rather if zinc improved the expected result. The authors concluded that the combination of zinc and hydroxychloroquine provided positive outcomes.

While there are many limitations to the study that could have been impacted by confounding variables, this is the first human study looking at the potential therapeutic benefits of zinc.

Zinc does need to be dosed judiciously using both lozenges and oral. Read more about how to effectively supplement with zinc to help prevent COVID-19 infection, and to decrease the viral load which may lessen the development of symptoms.

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