As we face the crisis of Covid we all need to consider ways to boost and strengthen our immune systems.
One important nutrient to add to our immune fighting arsenal is zinc.
According to a study done in Spain at the European coronavirus conference, researchers found that hospitalized COVID-19 patients with low blood levels of zinc tended to fare worse than those with healthier levels.
In the study, the leading researcher, Guerri-Fernandez and his team tracked 249 patients admitted to the hospital with COVID-19 in March and April. Patients averaged 63 years of age and 21 (8%) died from their illness.
All of the patients had their blood zinc levels tested upon arrival -- the average level was 61 micrograms per deciliter of blood (mcg/dL)
However, among those who died of COVID-19, blood levels of zinc were much lower, averaging just 43 mcg/dL, the researchers reported. In contrast, blood levels among those who survived the illness averaged 63 mcg/dL.
It is well known in the scientific community that mild to moderate zinc deficiency can impair macrophage functions (the PacMen of the immune system) as well as natural killer cell (NK cell) activity, but unfortunately, zinc deficiency is fairly common now as a result of soil losses and losses in food processing.
We now know that zinc is probably involved in more body functions than any other mineral. It is necessary for growth, wound healing, normal development, sexual function, immunity and detoxification of chemicals and metabolic irritants.
In the functional medicine world the best test to determine a true zinc deficiency is the RBC intracellular test.
I also recommend looking at your most recent lab test and seeing the level of your alkaline phosphatase. Levels of alkaline phosphatase below 70 IU/L should raise an eyebrow for a possible zinc deficiency.
One of the most absorbable forms of zinc is zinc monomethionine.
One of the best plant-based foods with the highest amount of zinc is: pumpkin seeds. Whole grains such as oats, wheat and rye are also good sources for plant-based eaters, but avoid refined/processed grain. For example, studies have shown that, roughly 80% of zinc is lost in making white flour from whole wheat. This is because zinc is primarily located in the bran and germ layer of the grain.
It is important to remember that your body is built up from the food that you eat.
Today, as well as eating zinc rich foods, try to practice eating a plate of food that looks as bright, vibrant and colourful as the rainbow. This will pack a punch for your immunity and will be full of life-giving nutrients and antioxidants.
I love the following quote from Ellen G. White which captures the essence of this perfectly.
"It is a wonderful process that transforms the food into blood and uses this blood to build up the various parts of the body. This process is going on continually, supplying with life and strength each nerve, muscle, and tissue" (MH 295).
If you decide to supplement with Zinc be sure to check for any contraindications.
Have a great start to your week and remember 'Nature is God's Physician'.
With love from Nature's Physician Nutrition Clinic
"Behold," He said, "I have given you every herb yielding seed ... and every tree, in which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for food." Genesis 1:29.
Elson M.Haas, Buck Levin "Staying Healthy with Nutrition, rev; The Complete Guide to Diet and Nutritional Medicine. p212-220
Compliments from Functional Medicine University
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