Every other week it seems like there is some new drug being tested to help fight COVID-19 or another weird home remedy claiming to keep you safe. It got us wondering what sort of NATURAL things can help us combat the effects of the Corona virus. That led us to two studies reporting on the effects of Vitamin D and Zinc. But first, we wanted to share with you this dynamic duos super powers that could just help you make it through this winter a bit easier.
What Vitamin D and Zinc can do for you on a daily basis.
Not only is this super hero vitamin and mineral great for helping to boost your immune system, they can help you get past the common cold and the dreaded Mid-West Winter Blehs (aka Blues).
Vitamin D helps you to maintain optimal blood levels of calcium and phosphorus, which we can get through exposure to the sun's ultraviolet rays, supplements and foods we eat. If you've lived in the Mid-West long you know that finding any amount of sunlight over the long winter months can be a herculean task. That's why its a great idea to add some Vitamin D to your diet, especially during that long grey stretch we call winter.
You can get Vitamin D in your food from sources like salmon, tuna, sardines, fortified cereals/juices, milk, cheese and egg yolks.
Vitamin D can also protect you from respiratory infections. Clinical studies in the Journal of Pharmacology and Pharmacotherapeutics stated that Vitamin D can also significantly decrease the chance of respiratory tract infections.
Zinc has been associated with shortening the length of rhinovirus colds, nasal congestion and drainage, sore throats and coughs. Another great super hero to have in your arsenal this winter. You can find zinc in foods such as meat, shellfish, legumes, dairy, seed/nuts, eggs and whole grains.
Zinc helps produce and activate T-cells (t-lymphocytes), which trigger the body's immune response to infections, according to the National Institutes of Health.
How can these ardent assailants of viruses help combat COVID-19?
If these virus fighting, cold stomping natural abilities don't impress you, then you may find it interesting that recent studies have associated risks of COVID-19 with low amounts of Vitamin D and Zinc.
New research presented at the Conference on Coronavirus Disease suggests that lower levels of baseline plasma zinc are associated with poorer survival outcomes in patients hospitalized with COVID-19. Having a plasma zinc level lower than 50 mcg/dl when patients were admitted was associated with a 2.3 times increased risk of in-hospital death compared with patients with plasma levels greater than 50 mcg/dl (Guerri-Fernandez et all 2020).
Low plasma Vitamin D levels have also emerged as an independent risk factor for COVID-19 infection and hospitalization in a recent large population-based study. COVID positive participants were 50% more likely to have low levels of Vitamin D. While this study was largely observational, there have been other studies that correlate the same findings, as well as other compelling evidence suggesting an association (McNamara 2020).
Whether further studies will confirm or deny these findings, the long term studies of the benefits of both Vitamin D and Zinc are beneficial enough to add them to your arsenal this winter, especially if you're a Mid-westerner longing for the return of the sun god Ra.