Covid-19, chelated zinc supplements and the US going off the rails

During the COVID-19 pandemic sale of zinc supplements skyrocketed. Sales of zinc supplement, in response to the pandemic, are projected to hit an estimated $134 million, according to Nutrition Business Journal. Zinc is good for the immune system so adding zinc during the pandemic seems a natural though there is no evidence that supplemental zinc lessens the severity of COVID-19 illnesses.

The point, however, is that supplementing with zinc has increased during the pandemic. Almost all marketed forms of zinc are zinc chelates. I hold that chelated zinc supplements can have very adverse health effects. One can be become ill on chelated zinc supplements where the illness presents as a very profound malaise but where the malaise originates from is not clear.

Bizarre conspiracy theories have arisen and have gathered a mass following. . 5 years ago if someone told a psychiatrist about QANON he or she would have been quickly slotted to a couple of weeks stay on a locked ward of a psychiatric hospital. Now belief in QANON is common. Members of Congress are believers. A former US national security adviser swore allegiance to QANON. While President during the COVID-19 pandemic Donald Trump was taking a zinc supplement. Donald Trump was also drinking lots of diet Coke. And Donald Trump advanced the idea that injecting disinfectant could be a good way to treat COVID. There could be a connection.

Zinc has been extensively clinically tested for various conditions, however, in human clinical trials almost always non-chelated forms of zinc are studied. Non-chelated zinc supplements could have health benefits but individuals are taking chelated zinc supplements. Zinc methionine has been extensively tested in chickens, pigs and calves but as the lives of chickens, pigs and calves are lives of utter malaise the effects of chelated zinc on malaise would not be noticeable in chickens, pigs and calves. The same goes for zinc bisglycinate. However, zinc supplements that are marketed to consumers are 98% chelates and all are excellent chelates. If the supplement says ‘chelated’ the supplement is chelated.

Is the idea that mineral supplements must be available in the gut totally outre? Individuals could say ‘sure for hundreds of millions of years digested minerals were first used in the gut but that is so unnecessary . Look at these absorption studies. We cannot detect any increased malaise in chickens when the chickens are given chelated zinc. Sure, the gut is important but in terms of nutritional needs what goes around comes the gut as well as in life. Systematic absorption will eventually deliver to the gut all the nutrition that the gut needs. Yes, that is so that the gut has turned out to be of key importance but not for minerals, Look at the absorption studies. Basically the gut is of no importance. ‘Increased absorption’ and ‘chelated’ are absolutely winning marketing terms..’

I won’t go into here why I think biotin-containing enzymes are key but I will say that biotin containing enzymes require bicarbonate. Bicarbonate is produced by carbonic anhydrases which are zinc containing enzymes. Carbonic anhydrases are highly expressed in the gut. Carbonic anhydrase 9 is almost exclusively expressed in the gut, liver and gallbladder. Supplementation with zinc sulfate, which is an unchelated form of zinc, increases levels of carbonic anhydrase VI. Carbonic anhydrase VI is almost exclusively expressed in the proximal digestive tract. Bicarbonate is required for pH buffering. pH strongly effects activity of enzymes.

The burden of proof clearly is on showing that chelated zinc supplements, which are largely untested in human clinical trials, are equivalent to unchelated zinc supplements on gut zinc enzymes, for example, on carbonic anhydrase. 9 and 6.

Pluses of the notion than the US has at least partly gone off the rails due to chelated minerals.

1, Everyone says both nature and environment are important. Outside of childhood abuse no one has been able to find relevant environmental factors. Here they are . The US has become increasingly polarized over the last 50 years. The supplement industry has experienced tremendous growth in the last 50 years. Correlation on causation? I think causation is definitely worth exploring and could be explored is a straight forward scientific way.

2. The idea is easily testable an animals. Individuals could even test this at home.. Zinc gluconate could be compared to zinc glycinate or zinc methionine. Might only work for individuals who are not any supplements. There can be huge difficulties with supplements and any added malaise from chelated zinc may not be noticeable if one is on a lot of supplements.

The effect of molybdenum glycinate on gut and liver molybdenum containing enzymes could be compared to the effect of sodium molybdate on gut and liver molybdenum containing enzymes. There are only four molybdenum containing enzymes which would very much simplify the study. Molybdenum glycinate and sodium molybdate would have to be given two times a day at daily Tolerable Upper Level Limits equivalent for rats.

3. This is a difficulty that could easily be fixed. The leftwing is at a loss as what to do about the rightwing and the rightwing is at a loss as to what to do about the leftwing. Zip changes. This could be changed. Individuals when supplementing with minerals could only supplement with unchelated minerals and unchelated minerals can be very helpful.

4, There is no proof than chelated minerals are equivalent in the gut to unchelated minerals and yet the gut has turned out to be of key importance.

5 There is no reason to think than chelated minerals are equivalent in the gut to unchelated minerals.

6.In human clinical trials almost always unchelated minerals are studied. Chelated minerals are largely untested in humans except for some absorption studies. The idea about chelated mineral supplements being deleterious could easily be true. The idea would be expected to be true.