Can Zinc Supplements Treat Covid-19?

What the latest science says about the hyped-up mineral

There’s been plenty of speculation that commonplace vitamins and supplements might play an unexpectedly big role in treating Covid-19. Vitamin C, melatonin, and vitamin D have taken multiple turns in the spotlight, and now, zinc supplements are the focus of a new study published in the medical journal, JAMA Network Open.

F. Perry Wilson, MD MSCE, an associate professor of medicine at Yale University, breaks down the study in easy-to-follow terms on his Medium blog, deeming the research “well-conducted.” But despite the study’s smart design, he writes, it doesn’t show much of an effect for zinc supplementation on Covid-19 symptoms.

Last March, Dana G Smith wrote on Elemental about the “modest” effect of zinc on other coronaviruses, like those that cause the common cold, but pointed out that there was no research specifically on zinc and SARS-CoV-2. Writing on zinc supplementation last November, Robert Roy Britt noted the same.

Wilson says he’s open to reviewing more research on zinc in combination with other drugs, though it’s probably wise to temper expectations for the mineral and others like it. “More broadly,” he writes, “I think we need to just accept the fact that it’s pretty unlikely that a cure for Covid-19 is sitting in our closets.

Read more from Wilson below:

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