LETTER:Lack of Zinc, Vitamin D make people susceptible to COVID-Reader

Dear Editor, This is in response to the letter from Catherine Crawford of the Prince Edward Family Health Team (Picton Gazette, A first hand account of a “mild” COVID-19 case, May 27, 2021), about the oncology nurse Patricia, who got COVID.

Although Patricia was presented as the poster-child of healthy adulthood, her story contains two obvious clues that her lifestyle is not optimal for good health. First, she mentions that she gets a respiratory infection every year.

This is an indication that she is probably deficient in vitamin D. Study after study has confirmed that people with inadequate vitamin D levels are much more vulnerable to annual winter colds and flu. Within the past year, numerous studies have also confirmed that low vitamin D levels make people more susceptible to getting COVID infections and having more severe symptoms if they do get it. Some doctors (obviously not the PEC crowd) have had good success at treating COVID patients with large make-up doses of vitamin D.

For the next four months, Patricia should get outdoors regularly and expose her bare skin to the sun for 10 or 15 minutes per time (never to the point of burning) so she can manufacture vitamin D in her skin for free. After September, she should supplement with cod liver oil or vitamin D3 capsules—a very inexpensive way to maintain good health. Second, Patricia observed that her sense of smell was gone within a few days of starting to feel ill. Losing the senses of smell and/or taste is a very strong indicator of inadequate levels of zinc in the body. This has been well documented in the scientific literature since 1984.

I first heard about zinc lozenges by reading Life Extension magazine at least a decade ago. Their website, lef.org, shows that they’ve been publishing articles about this since 2006. Ever since then, I’ve kept zinc lozenges in my medicine cabinet. At the first sign of respiratory illness (sneezing, sore throat, cough, etc.) I take a zinc lozenge or two, and the symptoms generally disappear within the day.

Doctors around the world (although apparently not those in Picton) are likewise having great success in treating COVID patients with a protocol that includes zinc. It’s unfortunate that Patricia suffered through six weeks of severe discomfort, with doctors unable to do anything for her. My suspicion is that if she had consulted a naturopathic doctor, or a nutritionist, or even a well-read lay person like me, she would have found relief much sooner by alleviating her apparent nutritional deficiencies.

Yours truly,

Karen Selick