COVID19 update, October 17, 2020: Zinc deficiency and supplements; Remdesivir trials; Israel update

(1) Dr. John Campbell reviews two recent studies that show pretty convincingly that zinc deficiency is correlated to severity of COVID19.

He attributes the lack of interest in this work as “there’s no money in it, since zinc and vitamin D supplements are dirt cheap to produce”. (Actually, the lack of interest is not universal: Israeli HMOs are now telling dietitians to recommend vitamin D supplements to the entire population. They are not [yet] doing this for zinc.)

I remember picking up a biochemistry textbook to see what processes zinc plays a role in, and eventually concluding, “OK, I should have asked instead which processes it’s not involved in”.

(2) Dr. Seheult reviews recent studies on Remdesivir. I would have changed the title to “… may not work in patients sick enough to require hospitalization”

While there appears to be some indication it might do some good when administered early (as it was to US President Trump), the WHO “Solidarity Trial” on hospitalized patient shows no statistically significant therapeutic benefit. Actually, this is more or less what I’d expect with our current understanding of the disease: by the time patients are sick enough to require ventilation, the real enemy is no longer the virus but the patient’s own immune system. Look in the graph below at “low-flow O2” vs. the other options. (“No O2” was too few hospitalized patients to gather statistically significant data on.)

(3) a quick update on Israel: we are exiting lockdown tomorrow morning. Our epidemiological stats continue to trend in the right direction:

Severe cases (light green line, top) lowest in nearly a month, daily deaths (dark green line, bottom) finally dropping
Verified infections outside infection foci tapering off
Percentage of positive tests lowest in months (was 15% at peak)

And finally, active infections (=verified – cured – deceased)

2 thoughts on “COVID19 update, October 17, 2020: Zinc deficiency and supplements; Remdesivir trials; Israel update

  1. It’s easier to get nasty results from too much zinc, so they’ll probably be shy about doing a blanket suggestion like with D– I run into it, some times, when I’m dieting and exercising too much. Electrolyte imbalance, basically, I get the same symptoms I do for early anemia.

    I’m still strongly suggesting to friends and family that they take one of those “stress” B complex supplements, though. 😀 They’re just too good for all kinds of other problems.

  2. So, despite what the WHO tells us now, do lockdowns work (e.g. Israel)?

    I’ve been getting zinc by drinking green tea. Even if it doesn’t help, it can’t hurt.

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