Covid-19 & Health Update: Does Zinc Really Work for Colds?

Hello everyone:

I hope that you all have had an excellent Thanksgiving holiday. One thing that I am truly grateful for is information that helps me to live an optimal life, and I am also thankful that I can share this data so that you and your loved ones can also be your best. This especially applies during this pandemic. In case you ever wondered if there is any science behind using zinc as a part of your anti-viral protocols, the answer is a loud yes!

“A new study published in BMJ Open adds to the evidence that zinc is effective against viral respiratory infections, such as colds. Use of zinc was also associated with an 87% lower risk of developing moderately severe symptoms (incidence rate ratio, 0.13; 95% CI, 0.04 – 0.38) and a 28% lower risk of developing milder symptoms.”

Bottom Line:

The careful use of zinc can assist your health and immune system in significant ways. It should be noted that zinc gels and nasal sprays have resulted in the loss of the sense of smell and that in some cases it was permanent. The article also notes that some people experience stomach/GI upset with zinc, and I have seen this also.

Often when a person has a gastro-intestinal reaction to zinc it can be because they are low in stomach acid. It is a type of loop problem: if you are low in zinc, you cannot make adequate stomach acid, and if you are low in stomach acid it is very difficult to absorb zinc. In other words, sometimes what looks like an adverse event is actually the uncovering of another problem.

What I have seen help this is to take betaine hydrochloride supplements with food and with zinc capsules, or to take a diluted tablespoon of apple cider vinegar if your stomach gets upset after taking zinc. The form of zinc that is the most well tolerated is called zinc glycinate, and I mostly recommend taking 20 to 30 mg. of zinc no more than twice a day. The risk for adverse events is low, but you should know about them. Often, after a while of taking zinc, I have seen a person’s digestive function improve so that they no longer need either the zinc or the betaine hydrochloride.

PS: If you take betaine hydrochloride (always with food) and experience any upset, stop taking it and take an antacid like TUMS or Rolaids and you should be fine in a short time and stop taking the betaine hydrochloride. Also, recall that zinc is not a primary care treatment nor a stand-alone treatment for any viral infection, but it is an essential part of our biochemistry needed for optimal immune function.

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