Can Taking Zinc Supplements Protect Me From the Coronavirus?

Dear Dr. Manny,

I have been reading so much about how to strengthen my immune system to protect me from the corona virus. Would adding a zinc supplement to my daily diet help to protect me?

Right now, the most important measure that you can take to protect yourself from the Coronavirus is social distancing, washing your hands, not touching your face and following the guidelines that the CDC has put out for self-quarantine.

Read More: What Vitamins and Supplements Should I Take Daily?

However, I do understand your question.  Zinc
supplements have been touted for many years to be effective in shortening the
phase of common colds, and there is data to support that.   There
have been many randomized controlled trials which have shown that zinc
supplements can inhibit replication of the common cold viruses and, therefore,
reduce the average duration of a common cold.  But clearly, zinc has not
shown to kill any common cold viruses, so therefore when it comes to the
coronavirus, at the present time one has to be careful in thinking that zinc
supplements can be the silver bullet that we are all looking for. 

There are some potential side effects in taking too much
zinc.  It can be as simple as severe nausea or damage of losing your sense
of smell depending on the product.   If you are considering taking
zinc lozenges in your daily routine, please consult your physician before doing
so.

I hope this information helps.

Read More: Coronavirus – When Should I Go to the Doctor?

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