There’s a lot of information out right now about how to protect yourself from the coronavirus, the most important being social distancing, hand washing and staying healthy. Some companies are touting their products as a defense against the coronavirus, but are those claims true?
One claim happens to be zinc. Zinc is often touted as the “Cold Shortner” and since coronavirus is a form of the common cold, is this legitimate?
It depends on who you ask. Few will dispute the benefit of having your daily dose of zinc, but is it a coronavirus miracle mineral?
This internet cure may have started with University of Colorado School of Medicine MD, pathologist James Robb, who wrote, “Stock up now with zinc lozenges. These lozenges have been proven to be effective in blocking coronavirus (and most other viruses) from multiplying in your throat and nasopharynx. Use as directed several times each day when you begin to feel ANY “cold-like” symptoms beginning. It is best to lie down and let the lozenge dissolve in the back of your throat and nasopharynx. Cold-Eeze lozenges is one brand available, but there are other brands available.”
Zinc is often used to shorten the span of the common cold, so in layman’s terms, there is a belief by some in the medical field that it can also shorten the length of the coronavirus infection, but one thing all agree upon is that zinc will not prevent a coronavirus infection.
“The answer is we don’t know yet. But to twist the analogy: if changing the oil helps a Jeep Grand Cherokee avoid the shop, it’s a good bet that doing the same will benefit the Ford Explorer, too,” said Todd Neff of the University of Colorado Hospital and UCHealth.
“There’s been a lot of talk about taking zinc for colds ever since a 1984 study showed that zinc supplements kept people from getting as sick. Since then, research has turned up mixed results about zinc and colds,” according to the Mayo Clinic. “Recently an analysis of several studies showed that zinc lozenges or syrup reduced the length of a cold by one day, especially when taken within 24 hours of the first signs and symptoms of a cold.”
In recent days, the gout drug colchicine is being looked into for treating coronavirus patients and the former CEO of URL Pharma, Dr. Richard Roberts, who pioneered the medical research of the colchicine explained why zinc could be a beneficial supplement in the fight against the coronavirus. At the time of publishing, Roberts was not aware that the drug he researched was being looked at as a possible treatment for coronavirus.
One of the newly emerging symptoms of coronavirus is a loss of smell in a number of patients.
Professor Jean-Claude Tardif, director of the Research Centre at the Montreal Heart Institute said colchicine, “May reduce COVID-19-related complications in adults at risk or with evidence of an inflammatory storm.”
Since this news came out, zinc is nearly impossible to find on store shelves, even at your local pharmacy in the past 7 days.
Roberts said, before going out and buying zinc and using it, you should consult with your doctor and not take his word for it. Roberts explains that correlation and causation come into play when it comes to zinc and the coronavirus, but since no scientific studies have been done, at this point, the correlation could just be a coincidence.
He said many coronavirus patients may be experiencing low zinc levels which could be associated with the loss of taste and smell in many patients.
“Physicians are seeing clustering of loss of sense and smell in coronavirus patients,” Roberts said.
While many are rushing to the store to buy zinc this week, there are natural ways for your body to get zinc from foods such as oysters, ground beef, Alaska king crab, pork loin, baked beans and dark meat chicken.
So the answer to the main question, can zinc save your life? There’s a lot of reason to suspect this, but no formal studies have been done to prove this. Check with your doctor.
Want to learn about the science of zinc and the human body infected with the coronavirus? Check out the video below.