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#Allergy and Immunology #Multispeciality
The Coronavirus disease 2019 or COVID-19 is caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). SARS-coronavirus (SARS-CoV) replication has shown to be repressed by zinc supplementation. By using the combination of zinc ions and the zinc-ionophore, a study has shown that the replication of SARS-CoV can be significantly reduced by increasing the intracellular concentration of zinc.
Generally, micronutrients play an important role in maintaining sufficient immune activity. Deficiency of micronutrient balance can adversely affect the immune system and increase the susceptibility to several bacterial and viral microorganisms.
Zinc is an important dietary trace mineral, which can enhance the functions of the immune cells. Zinc is one of those micronutrients, which can be consumed to reduce the intensity of SARS-CoV-2 infection. It can also lessen the respiratory tract infection by its antiviral actions.
Clinical zinc deficiency is more common in elderly individuals, especially with comorbid conditions, such as hypertension and diabetes. Elderly individuals can get commonly infected by the SARS-CoV-2. Current evidence shows that zinc exerts antiviral effects: 1) by suppressing viral replication and 2) by improving immune responses. Zinc possesses antiviral properties and might provide economical and effective adjunct therapy for certain viral infections, including respiratory tract infections. Therefore, it is necessary to maintain adequate zinc balance for protection from microorganisms, including viral infections. The tolerable upper intake level for zinc is 40 mg/day, and consumption of zinc is beneficial against the COVID-19 infection.
Source: Razzaque MS. COVID-19 Pandemic: Can Maintaining Optimal Zinc Balance Enhance Host Resistance? Tohoku J Exp Med. 2020; 251(3):175-181. doi:10.1620/tjem.251.175