loss of taste and smell in Covid?
Nutritionists and doctors have known for decades that Zinc is important for taste and smell neurology as well as the Immune System, Prostate and Pancreas.
COVID Loss of Taste and Smell
Loss of smell and taste can be strong early warnings of infection, perhaps more important than fever or low oxygen. If your taste and smell suddenly disappear, get tested immediately and isolate.
Studies such as this one from the European Journal of Neurology confirm these are Covid symptoms.
Many patients report recovery of smell and taste quickly with “light” cases of Covid. Others report slower recovery. Can Zinc help recovery from the illness as well as these symptoms?
Zinc and Stem Cells in Nose and Mouth
Olfactory (nasal) cells communicate to brain and nervous system receptor cells about what we breathe. Taste bud receptors on the tongue perform similar duties, telling the brain if the “food” is possibly acceptable (not a blatant poison) and how it tastes.
These receptor cells are short-lived. Stem Cells hover nearby to replace them.
Here’s where Zinc comes in – it helps Stem Cells replicate used, aged or damaged receptor cells in the nose and mouth.
Covid Damage to Oral and Nasal Epithelial Cells
Why do we get swabbed in the nose? The virus tends to inhabit and damage nasal receptor cells.
I could not find good studies on this, but most likely the infection damage of nasal and oral cells is too high for Zinc and Stem Cells to keep up, causing the loss of taste and smell.
Can Zinc Help Recover Covid Loss Of Taste and Smell?
Again, I can’t find studies, but I recommend my Clients take Zinc for its role in improving immune function, and now additionally to help recover taste and smell loss from colds, flu or other viruses. BUT: READ DOSAGE INFO below before you start extra Zinc…
Taking Zinc Affects Iron and Copper too
Like all supplements, understand WHAT you are taking and why. DO NOT TAKE EXCESS ZINC long-term.
Say this again:
Do NOT take HIGH doses of Zinc long-term. Why? Zinc, Iron and Copper form a triangle. Change one and you change the others. If you are a woman with heavy monthly cycles, you may already be borderline Iron anemic. Zinc can bind Iron. It’s OK to take high Zinc if EXPOSED to Covid or at first sign you are ill. Don’t take Iron during this time. SEE AMOUNTS BELOW.
Men need more Zinc than women in general as the Prostate uses a lot of Zinc. And men seldom have low iron as they don’t bleed.
Women can safely take 15 mg. Zinc daily long-term. If you are exposed or become ill, increase to 25 – 50 mg. daily with food. Take Zinc AWAY from Iron and Copper if possible. The TYPE of Zinc you choose is important. Zinc Oxide has poor bioavailability. I prefer this BisGlycinate (it’s in the Online Store now).
After 2 weeks on the higher dose, if recovering well, go back to 15 – 20 mg. daily for a few months. If not recovering well, stay at 40 – 50 for another month and re-evaluate. Remember that Zinc is essential for Immune Function too.
CHILDREN: half doses Young children, less.
Zinc Dosage for Males
Adult men can safely take 30 – 50 mg. Zinc regularly long-term. If ill or suspecting exposure, increase for 2 weeks to 75 – 100 before dropping back. Or, as for women, stay high a little longer.
Do NOT take 100 mg. Zinc long-term, especially if you are an athlete or heavy exerciser (They tend to be low on Iron. Check Ferritin levels annually. See my articles on Ferritin).
CHILDREN: half doses. Young children, less.
What Type of Zinc is Best?
In my Clinic and Online Store I carry Zinc BisGlycinate (TRACCS Chelate) and Zinc Picolinate. Absorbability is good with these and that’s a key to all minerals. Oxides are poor absorbers. Just because it says 15 mg. does not mean you get that much out of it. BisGlycinate from TRACCS Chelate is the most absorbable, then Zinc Picolinate. Here’s my Zinc BisGlycinate. It’s 15 mg. and just $10.95. Stock up.