Currently we are in the midst of a globally encompassing pandemic: Covid-19 or more commonly known as Coronavirus.
COVID-19 is believed to be a zoonotic virus that originated from an unknown animal to human transmission in late 2019. It is spread through coughs and sneezes but can also remain on surfaces. This is why there is such an emphasis on hand washing currently to make sure that an infected surface hasn’t been touched and then contact made with the eye/nose inadvertently. There are a number of people that can be Infected but show no symptoms (asymptomatic). these are known as carriers because they can still spread the disease while outwardly appearing unaffected. This is why there is such an emphasis on social distancing and self-isolation.
Up until this point we were reluctant to write about Coronavirus for a number of reasons:
- We didn’t have anything to offer on the topic as we are not virologists
- We felt that there is enough information on the virus out there and didn’t want to overload our readers
- We didn’t want to appear to be fearmongering during this time for financial gain.
The reason we have decided to write a short blog post on Coronavirus is the connection between zinc, copper and immunity. It is unknown how long we will be battling coronavirus or when/if a cure will be found however, several interesting studies have linked hydroxychloroquine in conjunction with zinc to show positive effects against the virus. Hydroxychloroquine is a less toxic from of chloroquine which is an anti-viral for malaria but also used for auto immune disorders and even arthritis. The thinking behind this is that hydroxychloroquine can help transport zinc across cell walls (by acting as a zinc ionophore) and once in the cell zinc can contribute towards proper immune function. However, more research is needed for this to be confirmed.
Interestingly one of these studies is from as far back as 2010.: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2973827/?mc_cid=7f3bcb26ce&mc_eid=%5bUNIQID%5d
So, what is zinc?
Zinc is the second most abundant trace metal, second only to iron. Zinc is well known for its immune boosting effects, but not many people are aware of the role copper plays in conjunction with zinc, particularly the ratio of the two. A balanced copper to zinc ratio, plays a role in maintaining the immune system, helping fight infectious diseases when they strike.
With this ongoing pandemic immune health is more important now than ever before. Zinc is an important factor in immune functions. If you are deficient in zinc fighting any infection may prove more difficult due to the contributing nature of zinc to our immune system. Zinc deficiency historically was most prevalent in developing countries but in recent times the there has been a significant increase in zinc deficiency seen in the developed world due to lifestyle, diet, age and contributing factors that may be associated with any combination of the three.
Where can I get these minerals naturally? Oysters are the highest source of zinc, although it can be found in red meat, beans, nuts, whole grains and dairy.
Foods with the best copper to zinc ratio include oysters, sesame seeds, cashew nuts, and sunflower seeds.
One of the best sources of zinc and copper is oyster extract powder. This is a single ingredient product made exclusively from oysters. All vitamins and minerals found within are naturally occurring making them more bioavailable when consumed. However, many brands of oyster extract are low in nutrients and fillers like maltodextrin are used to make the product cheaper. Pure oyster extract powder from Ireland is has high levels of zinc, and copper.
Think before you zinc!