Vitamin D and Zinc Deficiency in Long COVID: A Clinical Study from Taiwan
A study published in the Journal of Trace Elements in Medicine and Biology explores the relationship between vitamin D and zinc deficiency and their impact on patients suffering from long COVID.
Here’s a detailed summary:
Objective and Methods: The study aimed to assess whether monitoring and treating deficiencies in vitamin D and zinc could benefit COVID-19 patients, potentially reducing long COVID risks. It involved 55 patients, analyzing the interval between their COVID-19 diagnosis and their visit to a pulmonary department for prolonged symptoms. Laboratory tests measured zinc levels using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry and vitamin D levels through chemiluminescence immunoassay.
- Deficiency Rates: Among the participants, 29.1% had vitamin D deficiency, and 27.3% had zinc deficiency. The study found a positive correlation between vitamin D and zinc concentrations.
- Impact on Inflammation and Recovery: Zinc deficiency was associated with acute and persistent inflammation, indicated by higher fibrinogen levels in those with deficient zinc compared to those with sufficient levels. Vitamin D deficiency was linked to delayed recovery in long COVID syndrome.
- Duration of Long COVID Symptoms: On average, patients underwent long COVID treatment for about 31.7 days. Zinc and vitamin D deficiencies significantly correlated with prolonged symptoms.
- Demographic Differences: Patients with vitamin D deficiency were significantly younger than those without deficiency. This aligns with other studies indicating a higher prevalence of vitamin D deficiency among younger individuals, especially those in higher education levels and certain occupations.
- The study is a first in clinically detecting zinc concentrations in patients with both acute and prolonged COVID symptoms. A considerable percentage of patients exhibited zinc deficiency.
- Patients with vitamin D deficiency had a longer disease duration than those without, and younger patients with vitamin D deficiency experienced longer disease durations compared to older patients.
- The study suggests that micronutrient deficiency, particularly of vitamin D and zinc, may contribute to dysregulated host responses in long COVID patients.
Conclusion: The research concludes that zinc deficiency correlates with acute and persistent inflammation, while vitamin D deficiency is associated with delayed recovery in long COVID syndrome. Addressing these deficiencies could be crucial in alleviating the medical burden of long COVID.
This study offers valuable insights into the potential role of micronutrient management in long COVID treatment strategies, highlighting the importance of monitoring and addressing vitamin D and zinc deficiencies in these patients.