Zinc supplementation may be of potential benefit for prophylaxis and treatment of COVID-19. - GreenMedInfo Summary
Potential role of zinc supplementation in prophylaxis and treatment of COVID-19.
Med Hypotheses. 2020 May 25 ;144:109848. Epub 2020 May 25. PMID: 32512490
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) represents the largest current health challenge for the society. At the moment, the therapeutic strategies to deal with this disease are only supportive. It is well known that zinc (Zn) possesses a variety of direct and indirect antiviral properties, which are realized through different mechanisms. Administration of Zn supplement has a potential to enhance antiviral immunity, both innate and humoral, and to restore depleted immune cell function or to improve normal immune cell function, in particular in immunocompromised or elderly patients. Zn may also act in a synergistic manner when co-administered with the standard antiviral therapy, as was demonstrated in patients with hepatitis C, HIV, and SARS-CoV-1. Effectiveness of Zn against a number of viral species is mainly realized through the physical processes, such as virus attachment, infection, and uncoating. Zn may also protect or stabilize the cell membrane which could contribute to blocking of the virus entry into the cell. On the other hand, it was demonstrated that Zn may inhibit viral replication by alteration of the proteolytic processing of replicase polyproteins and RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) in rhinoviruses, HCV, and influenza virus, and diminish the RNA-synthesizing activity of nidoviruses, for which SARS-CoV-2 belongs. Therefore, it may be hypothesized that Zn supplementation may be of potential benefit for prophylaxis and treatment of COVID-19.