Maintaining the required level of Zinc
Millions of Indians take zinc and vitamin C supplements at the first sign of the common cold. Now new research suggests the nutrient might play a role in COVID-19 outcomes, too.
Research has taken place in from Spain suggesting that hospitalized COVID-19 patients with low blood levels of zinc tended to fare worse than those with healthier levels.
Patients with lower zinc levels at admission had higher inflammation in the course of infection and poorer outcomes. said Dr. Roberto Guerri-Fernandez of the Hospital Del Mar in Barcelona.
It has long been thought that zinc bolsters the immune system. A possible explanation in this study is that zinc may have an anti-inflammatory effect that is protective.
In the new study, the research team tracked medical outcomes against the results of lab tests admitted to the hospital with COVID-19 in March and April. Patients averaged 63 years of age and 21 (8%) died from their illness.
All of the patients had their blood zinc levels tested upon arrival.
However, among those who died of COVID-19, blood levels of zinc were much lower, the researchers reported. In contrast, blood levels among those who survived the illness were much higher.
Also, higher levels of zinc in the blood were tied to lower levels of pro-inflammatory proteins when patients were infected, the Spanish researchers said.
Overall, and after adjusting for factors such as age, gender, illness severity, and treatments received, every unit increase of zinc in the blood was tied to a 7% lowering of the odds that a patient would die while in the hospital, the study found.
Still, the finding can't prove cause and effect, and the study group was relatively small, so "further studies are needed to assess the therapeutic impact of this association,".
This research does not suggest that taking Zinc supplements all the time is a good idea but maintaining the required level of Zinc in the body may do some benefit.
Dr. Rakesh Rai. MS, FRCS, MD, CCT, ASTS fellow