No, taking zinc will not protect you from COVID-19

The National Institutes of Health and two OhioHealth doctors advised against using zinc supplementation above the recommended dietary amount to prevent COVID-19.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — There's a lot of misinformation about COVID-19 -- but this was the first time our verify team heard this claim. A viewer wrote in asking whether zinc can help protect against the virus. Our verify team asked our local medical experts.


Does zinc protect against COVID-19?


  • National Institutes of Health
  • Dr. Joe Gastaldo from OhioHealth
  • Dr. Anup Kanodia from OhioHealth and an assistant professor at Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center



Here’s what we found:

“There is no evidence that taking zinc will prevent you from getting COVID-19 and it is not a recommended medicine to take if you have COVID-19,” said Dr. Gastaldo.

“My answer is no,” said Dr. Kanodia.

The National Institutes of Health posted an update on its website on April 21, 2021, writing in part quote, “the panel recommends against using zinc supplementation above the recommended dietary allowance for the prevention of COVID-19.” 

We can verify, no taking zinc will not protect you against COVID-19.

Doctors say the best defense is a COVID-19 vaccine.

Staying healthy is more important than ever, and that may mean making sure you do not have a zinc deficiency.

Dr. Kanodia says there is a blood test for that.

Both experts caution though, you need to be careful not to take too much zinc.

"Too much zinc can cause a copper deficiency which is also bad," said Dr. Kanodia.

The results from small clinical trial in JAMA from February show zinc does not affect COVID-19 symptoms.

There also has been at least one observational study done through a collaboration of researchers looking at supplements and COVID-19 risk.

In this case -- researchers saw no protective effect at all for supplements like vitamin C, garlic, and zinc.

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