supplementing zinc reduces risk of COVID and prevents serious disease, hospitalization and death

Yesterday, we wrote about the first studies of zinc for COVID. They both looked at the protective effect of adequate blood levels of zinc. A new study has pushed further to look at the benefits of taking zinc supplements. What did it find? You'll want to know!

The first studies of zinc for COVID found that having adequate levels of zinc helps prevent COVID, severe COVID and death from COVID. Now a new study pushes the zinc question further and asks whether taking zinc supplements is beneficial for COVID. It is!

This single-blind study compared people who were supplementing zinc to people who were not. 96 people took no zinc, and 104 took either 10mg, 25mg or 50mg of zinc picolinate. The people in the study were at higher risk because they were older and because they had comorbidities like obesity and diabetes. The people in the zinc group were at even greater risk because they were slightly older.

There was significantly more symptomatic COVID in the group that did not take zinc. They were 5.93 times more likely to get symptomatic COVID. When the researchers controlled for co-morbidities, they found that the people who did not take zinc were actually 7.38 times more likely to get symptomatic COVID. No one taking 10mg of zinc developed COVID symptoms while one person in each of the 25mg and 50 mg groups did.

The two who did experienced only mild symptoms of cough, sore throat and low-grade fever. Neither developed complications, and neither required hospitalization. In the control group, 9 people got symptomatic COVID, 3 were hospitalize and one died.

This study found that taking zinc in as low a dose as 10mg reduced the risk of developing symptomatic COVID, even in vulnerable populations with multiple co-morbidities, and reduced the severity of COVID if you did get it. The researchers say the data also suggests the possibility that zinc prevents transmission of COVID: the people taking zinc were protected from catching COVID from close relatives who had symptomatic COVID.

200 people is a relatively small study, but look at those number closely. An inexpensive, safe, low dose of zinc reduces the risk of infection by 5.93-7.8 times, and it prevents serious disease, hospitalization and death. It may also prevent transmission.


Front. Med., 13 December 2021;doi.org/10.3389/fmed.2021.756707


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