Zinc and Sars-CoV2
Maintaining optimal zinc levels decreases the replication of SARS-CoV2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) and may help resist COVID-19 infection. Optimal dosing is key.
Many common colds are coronaviruses, as is SARS-CoV2, and many scientific studies have found zinc effective in shortening the duration of the cold infection and lessening viral symptoms.
For example, a 2010 Study from the University of Leiden Medical in the Netherlands reported that zinc decreased the replication of SARS-CoV, the original SARS. Since SARS-CoV is a close cousin to SARS-CoV2, zinc may also offer some protection against the newer virus.
To explain why, coronaviruses (including SARS-CoV2) mainly infect by entering the nose and mouth. For this reason, most studies that evaluated the benefit of zinc to inhibit viral replication used zinc lozenges at a dose of 75mg a day. They found that coating your throat and nasopharynx with zinc helped prevent coronaviruses from multiplying in those tissues and resist infection.
Zinc lozenges are most important when you are going out and could be exposed.
Reducing COVID-19 Complications
In addition to helping resist infection, zinc can also help reduce COVID-19 complications, so supporting optimal levels of zinc prior to exposure is also very important. This is best achieved with zinc supplements which can prevent COVID-19 from damaging critical cellular functions and organs such as your lungs. Enriching your tissues with zinc takes time to build up so regardless of your exposure you should take oral zinc daily in divided doses.
Be cautious with zinc as too much can be detrimental. Levels of more than 150mg/d for adults can cause damage to the immune system.
Zinc Supplement Guide
Take Zinc Citrate 30mg twice a day, This is 60mg of oral zinc daily.
Take Zinc Acetate lozenge 10mg daily and increase to 3 times a day when exposed to the virus or
before going out to the grocery store or any public space.
Both supplements can be purchased HERE
Do not exceed a combined total of oral and lozenges of 150mg/day for adults. There is no need to take these high doses of zinc for the long term. But short durations of the oral zinc and then increasing for several weeks with the lozenge does not present any adverse effects.
Zinc and copper have a balanced relationship that is antagonistic meaning that elevation of zinc will cause a decrease in copper. The ideal relationship is to give 1mg of copper for every 15mg of zinc. But because I always measure the zinc and copper in my patients, I constantly see lower zinc with higher copper. I do not think that taking extra copper is important when supplementing with zinc for a limited duration. But do consider how to obtain copper from foods. The highest copper containing foods are: meats, shellfish, nuts, seeds, mushrooms, lentils and dark chocolate.
Why zinc supplementation is necessary. In order for zinc to provide anti-viral support, the body must have sufficient concentration to meet the daily nutritional needs of zinc. Zinc is an essential nutrient meaning that it must be obtained through the diet.
Zinc is critical for cellular and DNA health and most people are only getting a minimal amount of zinc through their diet. Therefore, when you start supplementing with zinc, it will first go to needed cellular processes for maintenance of health. And only when these needs are met will zinc be available to stop viral replication.
Zinc is required for gene expression, enzymatic reactions, immune function, protein synthesis, DNA synthesis, steroid hormone synthesis, wound healing, growth and development.
Zinc is necessary for the activity of over 300 enzymes that aid in metabolism, digestion, nerve function and many other processes. It is also critical for a healthy immune system. Low zinc produces a direct and rapid decline in T-cell function. T-cells are needed to eliminate viruses and bacteria.
Zinc regulates gene expression and cell signaling. It is estimated that over 3000 proteins in humans have functional zinc-binding sites.