Your immune system is your first line of defense against all illnesses, especially infectious diseases, and there are many different ways to boost your immune system and improve its function. One nutrient that plays a very important role in the immune system’s ability to fight off viral infections is zinc.
zinc Gluconate,1 Zinc acetate2 and zinc sulfate3 All of these have been shown to reduce the severity and duration of viral infections, such as the common cold. Zinc also appears to be a key component of treatment with hydroxychloroquine (HCQ).
This is because HCQ is a zinc ionophore (zinc transporter molecule),4,5 This means it is a drug that increases the uptake of zinc into cells. Once inside the cell, zinc stops the virus from replicating.6 This is why zinc and zinc ionophores need to be taken early in the disease, or as a preventive drug.
The problem is that zinc is largely insoluble and cannot easily pass through the fatty walls of cells. Getting all the way into the cell is critical because that’s where viral replication occurs. This is why zinc ionophores are so important.
Besides hydroxychloroquine, other natural and safer zinc ionophores include quercetin and epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). Zinc and zinc ionophores, if given early, should help reduce viral load and prevent immune system overload, at least in theory.
Zinc is Essential for Healthy Immune Function7 — Like vitamin D, it actually helps regulate your immune function8 — In 2010, the combination of zinc with a zinc ionophore was shown to inhibit SARS coronavirus in vitro. In cell culture, it also stops viral replication within minutes.9