As discussed in our previous blog, there are many benefits of zinc for shortening the length of a cold. In this blog, we will discuss the effects of zinc and COVID-19, important aspects to know about the supplement, and foods that contain zinc.
Zinc supplementation for high-risk COVID-19 populations and COVID-19 patients is being studied. Based on the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, there is literature illustrating that it may be able to reduce lung damage and secondary infections particularly for older subjects with chronic diseases and other high risk groups. Continued studies and data are still needed to fully test the therapeutic effects for COVID-19.
In healthy individuals, zinc is a temporary supplementation, not an ongoing daily supplement without the oversight of a physician. Regular use of zinc is to be taken at the advice of a physician to treat low zinc levels. Detrimental effects of sustained dietary zinc supplementation include copper deficiency, immune dysfunction, anemia, and decreased ‘good cholesterol’, as per the National Institute of Health.
Important things to know:
- Do not take zinc if you do not have symptoms as there is no evidence that it prevents colds.
- Intranasal zinc products were banned by the FDA in 2009. Zinc gel sprays and nasal swabs had caused people to have lost their sense of smell. Use of a zinc throat spray is not advised, notes Ted Cooperman, President ConsumerLab.com.
Many foods provide natural sources of zinc. According to the National Institutes of Health, oysters, beef, crab, lobster, and baked beans have 2.9 or more milligrams of zinc. Poultry, pork, fortified breakfast cereals, and nuts also have zinc. Remember, the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of zinc for women is 8 mg and for men is 11 mg. As noted in Harvard School of Public Health’s website, it is interesting to understand that legumes (such as beans, lentils, and peas) and whole grains have variably high zinc levels. Depending on the amounts of another essential mineral, phosphorous, in these foods, the zinc level may be lowered. Phytates (the collective term for food containing phytic acid or a phosphorus base) impairs zinc absorption. The amounts of phytic acid changes significantly even for the same food. It varies in reference to the seed type, environmental conditions, climate and soil, as noted in Harvard School of Public Health’s publication, The Nutrtition Source.
At Cold FAid®, we recognize the clinically proven value in using zinc supplements to help shorten the length of your cold and keep you healthy!