“Zinc and respiratory tract infections: Perspective for COVID-19 (Review)” is an international collaborative review from Germany, Greece, Norway, Russia and USA academies, centers, colleges, hospitals, institutes and universities (Int. J. Mol. Med., 46: 17-26, 2020). In this in-depth review, the authors suggested that modulation of zinc status may be beneficial in COVID-19. The SARS-CoV-2 virus is the cause of the COVID-19 pandemic leading to lung diseases, namely pneumonia, ARDS (very severe pneumonia) and ventilator-induced injuries.
- Zinc works on the mucus lung cells by activating the removal of the virus and also inducing barrier activation, and therefore, the virus is prevented from penetrating deeper inside the body.
- Zinc may prevent viral replication before the viral uncoding and before the viral transcription stages.
- Zinc may boost antiviral activities by upregulating IFNα.
- COVID-19 induces inflammation that aggravates the disease state. Zinc limits excessive inflammatory responses thereby preventing the devastative cytokine storm.
- Bacterial co-infection from viral pneumonia is a commonly high risk. Zinc induces inhibition of Streptococcus pneumonia growth via modulation of bacterial Mn(II) homeostasis.
- High COVID-19 mortality and zinc deficiency share the same risk factors: ageing, immune deficiency and metabolic diseases (obesity, diabetes, atherosclerosis, etc.). The authors concluded that zinc supplementation may have beneficial effects in modulating at least some of the risk factors for high COVID-19 mortality.
Hamari Chemicals, Ltd. is the inventor and manufacturer of a zinc supplement, PepZinGI.
Disclaimer: The text and illustration were composed under fair use law as a summary of a scientific review titled, “Zinc and respiratory tract infections: Perspective for COVID-19 (Review)” published in Int. J. Mol. Med., 46: 17-26, 2020.