Potential health benefits of zinc supplementation for the management of COVID-19 pandemic

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The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the etiological agent for the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). The COVID-19 pandemic has created unimaginable and unprecedented global health crisis. Since the outbreak of COVID-19, millions of dollars have been spent, hospitalization overstretched with increasing morbidity and mortality. All these have resulted in unprecedented global economic catastrophe. Several drugs and vaccines are currently being evaluated, tested, and administered in the frantic efforts to stem the dire consequences of COVID-19 with varying degrees of successes. Zinc possesses potential health benefits against COVID-19 pandemic by improving immune response, minimizing infection and inflammation, preventing lung injury, inhibiting viral replication through the interference of the viral genome transcription, protein translation, attachment, and host infectivity. However, this review focuses on the various mechanisms of action of zinc and its supplementation as adjuvant for vaccines an effective therapeutic regimen in the management of the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic. Practical applications: The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the etiological agent for the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), has brought unprecedented untold hardship to both developing and developed countries. The global race for vaccine development against COVID-19 continues with success in sight with attendant increasing hospitalization, morbidity, and mortality. Available drugs with anti-inflammatory actions have become alternative to stem the tide of COVID-19 with attendant global financial crises. However, Zinc is known to modulate several physiological functions including intracellular signaling, enzyme function, gustation, and olfaction, as well as reproductive, skeletal, neuronal, and cardiovascular systems. Hence, achieving a significant therapeutic approach against COVID-19 could imply the use of zinc as a supplement together with available drugs and vaccines waiting for emergency authorization to win the battle of COVID-19. Together, it becomes innovative and creative to supplement zinc with currently available drugs and vaccines.