Vitamin D and Zinc and the Virus: Can Zinc and Vitamin D3 Fight COVID-19?

Several studies have looked at the impact of vitamin D and zinc on COVID-19. Based on several publications and studies, vitamin D seems to be the “most promising” supplement for COVID-19 protection. Many studies have showed the link between vitamin D deficiency and COVID-19. 

vitamin D and COVID-19

According to the Mayo Clinic, vitamin D deficiency is particularly common among Hispanic and black people, two groups who have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19. Vitamin D deficiency is also more common in people who are older, and those who are obese or have high blood pressure. Again, these factors also increase the risk of severe COVID-19 symptoms.

A summary of evidence on Vitamin D versus COVID-19 from vdmeta.com stated 95% of the studies to date report positive effects (11 of 19 are statistically significant in isolation).

Sufficiency studies show a strong association between vitamin D sufficiency and outcomes. Meta-analysis of the 42 sufficiency studies shows an estimated reduction of 54%.

Co-Nutrients Reduce Your Vitamin D Requirement

You can minimize your vitamin D requirement by making sure you’re also getting enough magnesium. Magnesium is required for the conversion of vitamin D into its active form and research has confirmed higher magnesium intake helps reduce your risk of vitamin D deficiency by activating more of it. 

Vitamin K2 is another important cofactor, and taking both magnesium and vitamin K2 can lower your vitamin D requirement.

Eggs (44 IU per egg), along with fortified foods including milk and some cereals are excellent sources. 
Do take note that you can also get good amounts of vitamins C and D, zinc and other essential vitamins and minerals from a basic multivitamin. If you are taking a multivitamin, your D-vitamin needs may be covered, but be careful not to let the total exceed 4,000 IU or 100 mcg.

To maintain healthy levels, only 400 to 800 IU (15 to 20 mcg) of vitamin D is required daily, but, to boost low levels, higher doses, such as 2,000 IU daily, are used and are generally safe.

A group of researchers from the US, UK, Netherlands and New Zealand, said that the RDA of vitamin D should be increased to 2,000 IU and vitamin C to 200 mg in their review published in Nutrients 2020.


Vitamin D3 vs D2: What's the Difference?

Vitamin D is more than just one vitamin. It’s a family of nutrients that shares similarities in chemical structure.

In your diet, the most commonly found members are vitamin D2 and D3. While both types help you meet your vitamin D requirements, they differ in a few important ways.

Research even suggests that vitamin D2 is less effective than vitamin D3 at raising blood levels of vitamin D.

The vitamin comes in two main forms:
  • Vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol)
  • Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol)
The two forms of vitamin D differ depending on their food sources.

Vitamin D3 is only found in animal-sourced foods, whereas D2 mainly comes from plant sources and fortified foods.

Your skin makes vitamin D3 when it’s exposed to sunlight.

Vitamin D2 and D3 are also not equal when it comes to raising your vitamin D status.

Both are effectively absorbed into the bloodstream. However, the liver metabolizes them differently.

The liver metabolizes vitamin D2 into 25-hydroxyvitamin D2 and vitamin D3 into 25-hydroxyvitamin D3. These two compounds are collectively known as calcifediol.

Calcifediol is the main circulating form of vitamin D, and its blood levels reflect your body’s stores of this nutrient.

For this reason, your health care provider can estimate your vitamin D status by measuring your levels of calcifediol (Trusted Source).

However, vitamin D2 seems to yield less calcifediol than an equal amount of vitamin D3.

Most studies show that vitamin D3 is more effective than vitamin D2 at raising blood levels of calcifediol (Trusted SourceTrusted Source).

Zinc and COVID-19

Zinc and COVID-19

Zinc has been shown in a lab study to inhibit regular coronavirus (not the current SARS-CoV-2) in a 2010 publication.

As of March 2021, there are 54 studies that have been launched to investigate the benefits of Zinc against COVID-19. You can review the status of these trials on clinicaltrials.gov.

A retrospective observational study (Carlucci P, Sep 2020) compared zinc supplementation to no zinc supplementation in hospitalized patients with COVID-19 who received hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin from March 2 to April 5, 2020. A total of 932 patients were included in this analysis; 411 patients received zinc, and 521 did not. After adjusting for the time at which zinc sulphate was added to the protocol, an increased frequency of being discharged home and reduction in mortality or transfer to hospice among patients who did not require ICU level of care remained significant. This study provides the first in vivo evidence that zinc sulphate may play a role in therapeutic management for COVID-19.

Another study, a retrospective (Frontera et al) 3,473 COVID-19 hospitalized patients showed a 37% lower mortality with Hydroxychloroquine plus Zinc. 

study in Spain (Gonzalez, The Lancet preprint, Oct 2020) among people hospitalised with COVID-19 found that having very low blood levels of zinc was associated with more severe disease and higher mortality rates.

Foods that are high in zinc include oysters, crab, lobster, mussels, red meat, and poultry. Cereals are often fortified with zinc. Most multivitamin and nutritional supplements contain zinc.

Taking zinc long term is typically safe for healthy adults, as long as the daily dose is under the set upper limit of 40 mg of elemental zinc (PubMed).

Be aware that typical daily doses of zinc provided by zinc lozenges generally exceed tolerable upper limits for zinc, and for this reason, they should not be used for longer than about a week. 

Excessive doses may interfere with copper absorption, which could negatively affect your immune system as it can cause copper deficiencies, blood disorders, impair the absorption of antibiotics and potentially permanent nerve damage or loss of smell.

The ideal dose for prevention while the COVID-19 risk is high is 40-100 mg/d, a portion of which comes from zinc lozenges to spread the zinc through the tissues of the nose, mouth and throat. It should be accompanied by at least 1 mg copper from food and supplements for every 15 mg zinc.

Do take note that you should keep the dosage back to within 40 mg/d once the exposure risk is back to normal.

Zinc Sulphate is also part of Dr. Vladimir Zelenko anti-coronavirus protocol. Please take note that the protocol is experimental and has not been 100% proven. Do discuss with your doctor before taking the medication as per the protocol. You can check out his publication in the International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents

Based on the statement released on 2 October by the U.S. president’s physician, zinc is also part of the treatment given to the US President. According to the president's physician, "Trump has been taking zinc, vitamin D, famotidine, melatonin and a daily aspirin.”

Editor's note: Hydroxychloroquine is a zinc ionophore. If increased intracellular Zn ion concentration is required to disrupt viral replication, perhaps using multiple zinc ionophores would increase that concentration thus decreasing viral replication further. Other OTC (over the counter) zinc ionophores include quercetin (QCT) and epigallocatechin-gallate (EGCG – green tea extract).


Conclusion

Zinc and Vitamin D3 are essential nutrients that you will need whether there is a pandemic or not. The most common confusion among the average consumers is the dosage.

Do take note that the dosages for micronutrients or vitamins are higher for 'treatment' as opposed to 'maintenance or preventive'. This is probably due to higher demand of the body or the deficiency of the micronutrients are worse during a complicated viral infection. However, for 'prevention or maintenance', the dosages for zinc and vitamin D3 should be much lower.

Aside from zinc and vitamin D3 supplements, there are also other ways that may help improve immune response and to prevent you from catching the coronavirus:
  • Wear protective face mask. This is to protect not only yourself but others.
  • Abundant evidence suggests that eating whole in fruits, vegetables and whole grains—all rich in networks of naturally occurring antioxidants and their helper molecules—provides protection against free radicals.
  • Getting Enough Sleep
  • Avoid Sugar, red meat and processed foods.
  • Don't smoke.
  • Take steps to avoid infection, such as washing your hands frequently, using hand sanitizer and cooking meats thoroughly.
  • Try to minimize stress.
  • Drink enough water to keep your body hydrated.
  • Avoid excess alcohol.
  • Avoid crowded areas.
  • Regular physical activity (outdoor activities may not be allowed in countries with 'lock-down').
  • Consult your nearest local healthcare provider if you have any doubt.

More COVID-19 related topics > COVID-19


Supplements you can purchase from Amazon for COVID-19 prevention based on the FLCCC prevention protocol > 

Here is the list of nutrients you can purchase online from Amazon. Respective dosages are based on the FLCCC prevention protocol.
  • Vitamin D3 — 1000–3000 IU/day. (Amazon)
  • Vitamin C - 1,000 mg BID (twice daily). (Amazon)
  • Quercetin 250 mg daily. (Amazon)
  • Melatonin: 6 mg before bedtime (causes drowsiness). (Amazon)
  • Zinc: 50 mg/day (elemental zinc). Zinc lozenges are preferred. (Amazon)
You might need this: Pulse Oximeter > (Amazon)

Be aware that most of the dosages are above the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) and therefore such dosages should not be maintained on a long term basis. 

Disclaimer: The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from the research and experience of third party sites. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition, consult your health care professional before using products based on this content.


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