The role of zinc lozenges in helping to fight Covid-19

There is much concern about stopping the spread of Covid-19 in our communities at present but there has been minimal information to the general public on how powerful nutritional interventions may be in helping us to avoid bad outcomes when contracting the disease.

There is also a lack of information when it comes to how the virus enters the body, where in the body it can actually infect and how we can help to slow its replication and support our immunity so it does not under function, allowing the virus to flourish, or over function, causing our own immune system to cause more damage than good which can sometimes be fatal.

When the virus enters our mouth or lungs, it seek to find a cell with an ACE2 receptor. This is how it enters our body’s cells. It wants to enter our body’s cells so it can hijack its machinery in order to replicate as it has no replication machinery of its own. In the process, cells die, inflammation ensues, and proliferation of the virus begins.

It is important that we control the virus as soon as it touches our body and using zinc lozenges that contain specific nutrients may help to do this as they directly affect the first part of the throat and digestive system where the virus wants to enter.

ACE2 receptors are located in many places of our body and are actually present from the top of our throat all the way down our digestive system.

Our mucous membranes are one of the first places that the virus comes into contact with, so it is really important to support the health of this system. When healthy, our membranes can suspend the virus in mucus so it never touches the cells with the ACE2 receptors and gets removed by the body naturally. If our mucous membrane is faulty, mucus production is impaired and the virus has a better chance of entering the cell via the receptor. Vitamins A and E are really important for maintaining mucous production so it’s really important that a zinc lozenge contains these.

Also important is Vitamin D3. This will help us modulate our immune system so as not to have an exaggerated response and cause more damage to our cells than the virus itself. Medicinal mushrooms may also help in this regard.

Zinc also may reduce the activity of the ACE2 receptors and increase blood cells called leukocytes and lymphocytes which have been shown to be low in those with severe covid-19 complications. Lymphocytes are immune cells that help kill the virus so if we haven’t got many we are going to have a tough time!

Low zinc status is associated with an increased incidence of respiratory infections and an ample amount in the system has antiviral properties.

A zinc ionophore such as quercetin from olive leaf will help to transport zinc into the infected cell. The zinc helps stop the virus from replicating, reducing the proliferation of the virus.

Vitamin C also helps support the barrier defence but also plays a role in improving the potency of our immune system to destroy viruses whilst cleaning up and neutralizing the collateral damage produced by them.

So as you can see a zinc lozenge is not just a zinc lozenge! Because our saliva will break it down slowly it will coat our throat all the way down our digestive system where all the action is happening, and If it contains the nutrients I have mentioned there is a good chance you will be better supported and your symptoms less severe.

Louis Soteriou. Naturopathic Nutritional Therapist.