Ronald Grisanti D.C., D.A.B.C.O., DACBN, MS, CFMP
As we face the crisis of Covid we all need to consider ways to boost and strengthen our immune systems.
One important nutrient to add to our immune fighting arsenal is zinc.
According to a study done in Spain at the European coronavirus conference, researchers found that hospitalized COVID-19 patients with low blood levels of zinc tended to fare worse than those with healthier levels.
In the study, the leading researcher, Guerri-Fernandez and his team tracked 249 patients admitted to the hospital with COVID-19 in March and April. Patients averaged 63 years of age and 21 (8%) died from their illness.
All of the patients had their blood zinc levels tested upon arrival — the average level was 61 micrograms per deciliter of blood (mcg/dL).
However, among those who died of COVID-19, blood levels of zinc were much lower, averaging just 43 mcg/dL, the researchers reported. In contrast, blood levels among those who survived the illness averaged 63 mcg/dL.
In is well known in the scientific community that mild to moderate zinc deficiency can impair macrophage functions (the PacMen of the immune system) as well as natural killer cell (NK cell) activity.
In the functional medicine world the best test to determine a true zinc deficiency is the RBC intracellular test.
I also recommend taking a look at your most recent lab test and see the level of your alkaline phosphatase. Levels of alkaline phosphatase below 70 IU/L should raise an eyebrow for a possible zinc deficiency.
The most absorbable form of zinc is zinc monomethionine.
The two best foods with the highest amount of zinc include: pumpkin seeds and oysters.