Your immune system is the first line of defense against infectious diseases, and there are many different ways to strengthen and improve it. Zinc is one of the nutrients that play a very important role in the ability of your immune system to fend off viral infections and may play a significantly underestimated role in the COVID-19 pandemic .
Notably, the media has given increased attention to prominent doctors claiming that it is impossible to strengthen your immune system to defeat the SARS-Cov-2 virus. It is difficult to realize that this kind of ignorance still permeates the medical system and that they can get away with criticizing people who offer evidence to the contrary.
Joseph Mercola: The dosage of the zinc for the immune system
Your immune system is the first line of defense against all diseases, especially infectious ones, and there are many different ways to strengthen and improve it. One of the nutrients that plays a very important role in the ability of your immune system to fend off viral infections is zinc.
Zinc-binding compounds strengthen the immune system
Zinc may be a grossly undervalued player in the COVID-19 pandemic. It is vital for the healthy functioning of the immune system, and the combination of zinc with its ionophore (a transport molecule) has been shown to inhibit the SARS coronavirus invitro. In cell culture, it also blocked virus replication for several minutes.
Most recently, Vladimir Zelenko, a practicing doctor from New York, claimed to have successfully treated 699 consecutive cases of COVID-19 with a combination of oral zinc, chloroquine (a zinc ionophore), and the antibiotic azithromycin. It is important to note that zinc deficiency impairs the functioning of the immune system. As noted in a 2013 article on zinc deficiency:
“Zinc is the second messenger of immune cells, and free zinc inside these cells is involved in signaling events. Zinc … it is very effective in reducing morbidity in the elderly. Zinc not only alters cellular immunity but is also an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent.”
Other natural carriers of zinc quercetin and palatability
The good news is that drugs like chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine probably won’t be needed either (except in perhaps the most serious cases) since other natural compounds can do the same job.
A comparative study published in 2014 looked at two zinc ionophores: quercetin and gallateepigallocatechin (EGCG found in green tea), and noted that many of the biological actions of these compounds may actually be related to their ability to increase cellular uptake of zinc. As the authors explain:
“Labile zinc, a tiny fraction of total intracellular zinc that is weakly bound to proteins and easily replaced, modulates the activity of numerous signaling and metabolic pathways. Dietary plant polyphenols, such as flavonoid quercetin (QCT) and gallatepigallocatechin, act as antioxidants and as signaling molecules.
It is noteworthy that the activity of numerous enzymes targeted by polyphenols depends on zinc. We have previously shown that these polyphenols chelate zinc cations and suggested that these flavonoids may also act as zinc ionophores, transporting zinc cations through the plasma membrane.
To prove this hypothesis, here we demonstrated the ability of CCT and gallateepigallocatechin to rapidly increase labile zinc in mouse cells of hepatocarcinoma marker 1-6, as well as for the first time in liposomes… The ionophoric activity of dietary polyphenols may underlie the increase in labile zinc levels caused by polyphenols in cells and thus many of their biological actions.”
Quercetin is also a powerful antiviral drug, agallatquercetin and epigallocatechin also have the added advantage of inhibiting protease 3CL, an enzyme used by SARS coronaviruses to infect healthy cells. As explained in an article in Nature 2020, 3Cl protease is “necessary for the processing of polyproteins that are translated from viral RNA.”
And, according to another 2020 study, the ability of quercetin, gallateepigallocatechin, and some other flavonoids to inhibit SARS coronaviruses “is presumably directly related to the suppression of 3CLpro SARS Cov activity in some cases.”
“Protection from Coronavirus for the poor”
Finally, Sardi suggests simulating the Zelenko Protocol against COVID-19 using natural remedies if you have symptoms of SARS-Cov-2 infection and cannot get a prescription for chloroquine/hydroxychloroquine and a z packet:
- A natural antibiotic, such as cinnamon extract or oregano oil
- Quercetin as a zinc ionophore (for improving the penetration of zinc into cells)
- Zinc, up to 30 milligrams per day
- Vitamin B6 (Niacin), 25 to 50 mg per day, and selenium to further increase the bioavailability of zinc
If zinc is not enough, consider eating more zinc-rich foods. Examples include hemp seeds, sesame and pumpkin seeds, cocoa powder, cheddar cheese, seafood such as oysters, Alaskan crab, shrimp and mussels.
Zinc + Niacin + selenium-the winning combination
Adding Niacin and selenium seems to be good advice, given that both play a role in the absorption and bioavailability of zinc in the body. For example, a study published in 1991 demonstrated that when young women were on a vitamin B6-deficient diet, serum zinc levels decreased, suggesting that a B6 deficiency affected zinc metabolism, so that “absorbed zinc was not available for use.”
A more detailed study and explanation of the relationship of Niacin and selenium with zinc is presented in the 2008 article ” Zinc, metallothioneines and longevity: the relationship with Niacin and selenium»:
“Aging is an unavoidable biological process with gradual and spontaneous biochemical and physiological changes and increased exposure to disease.
Certain nutritional factors (zinc, Niacin, selenium) can improve these changes, leading to possible disease-free aging, which leads to healthy aging, as they are involved in improving the immune system, metabolic homeostasis, and antioxidant protection.
Experiments … zinc is shown to be important for the effectiveness of the immune system (both innate and adaptive), metabolic homeostasis (energy utilization and hormone metabolism), and antioxidant activity (superoxide dismutase).
Niacin is a precursor of NAD+, a substrate for the activity of the DNA repair enzyme PARP-1 and, therefore, can contribute to maintaining genome stability. Selenium provokes the release of zinc by metallothioneines (MT) by reducing glutathione peroxidase.
This fact is crucial in aging, as high MT may not be able to release zinc, followed by low availability of intracellular free zinc ions for immune efficacy, metabolic harmony, and antioxidant activity.
Taking into account the existence of zinc transporters… for its cellular outflow and influx, respectively, the relationship between zinc transporters and MT is crucial for maintaining satisfactory intracellular homeostasis of zinc during aging.
In the elderly, after physiological supplements, zinc contributes to the strengthening of the immune system, metabolic homeostasis, and antioxidant protection … The “zinc plus selenium” link improves humoral immunity in elderly patients after influenza