Can Zinc Protect You from the Effects of COVID-19?

After many months of collective challenges, the news of multiple successful COVID-19 vaccines is welcomed, to say the least. And since researchers are predicting efficacy rates of over 95%, the end to the pandemic may now be part of our foreseeable future! But these shots will not be available to everyone everywhere immediately; immunocompromised individuals and healthcare workers will be the top priority.  

While we continue to wait for the day when a vaccine is widely available, there are certain steps we can take now to ensure that we are keeping our immune systems as strong as possible. They include adequate nutrition, exercise, stress management, and supplementation. One interesting supplement to consider to help protect yourself against the Coronavirus is zinc. I have been taking zinc supplements regularly for their antiviral and immune-boosting properties – even before the start of Covid. Zinc can aid in recovery from COVID-19 by blocking the replication of the virus within our bodies. And the inverse holds true, too: zinc deficiency is a notable risk factor for increased severity of COVID-19 symptoms. 

When considering the findings of multiple studies that took place in 2020, taking zinc was linked to positive effects on COVID-19 patients who had mild to moderate symptoms, and showed a pattern of negative implications for those with deficiencies—including death. The coronavirus is not the only ailment that zinc can help remedy. Those with herpes, hepatitis, human papillomavirus, HIV, and other viruses, can also benefit from adding zinc to the regimen. It is a vital nutrient for the health of our immune system, known for enhancing its ability to fend off toxins, produce antibodies, bring immune cells to the right locations, suppress inflammation, maintain organ health, and prevent autoimmune issues. That is why I recommend it to almost all of my clients.

Zinc may not cure cancer, pneumonia, or influenza, but it does enhance the ability of the immune system to do its job. General immune malfunction manifests in ways that are similar to a zinc deficiency. This leads experts to conclude that low zinc levels may be linked to the degradation of our immune function, especially as we age.

Zinc wears many different hats when it comes to promoting optimal bodily function. It not only bolsters our immune system health, but it also plays a role in reducing oxidative stress, stabilizing proteins, regulating gene expression, packaging and secreting insulin, releasing neurotransmitters in the brain, and more. 

As you know, I am a huge proponent of a vastly plant-based lifestyle, so it is worth noting that those of us who abstain either heavily or totally from animal proteins are estimated to require about 50 percent more zinc intake. That is because the antioxidant compound phytate—which prevents the absorption of certain minerals, including zinc—is found in vegan staples such as whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds. 

Zinc is an essential nutrient, meaning our bodies cannot produce it on their own—so the onus is on us to make sure we are getting enough of it. My favorite zinc supplement is from Eidon Ionic Minerals. As always, be sure to check with your doctor before starting on a new supplement.

For more wholesome immune-boosting power, try my S.O.U.P. Cleanse, which delivers nutrient-dense foods that not only boost your immune system, but also your energy and focus, improve weight loss and gut health, and revitalize your glow. I am such a big fan of Eidon that I use their silica supplement in the cleanse! (Pssst: we are offering five extra Super Seed Bars for free to anyone who signs up for the last two cleanses of the year. Available in the Los Angeles area only).