Potential interest but difficult to measure

Zinc can have positive effects against viral respiratory diseases, in prevention as well as in treatment, but that’s still too inconclusive to give accurate prescription recommendations, according to estimates of a study published Monday.

« We were unable to answer questions about the relative effectiveness, efficacy, and acceptability of zinc at different doses and formulations. ‘,” say the authors of this study published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ).

It is still necessary to carry out the work for ” Elucidation of the efficacy and mechanisms of action of zinc against viral respiratory infections, such as SARS-CoV-2 The virus is at the origin of Covid-19, they continue.

This study is a meta-analysis, that is, a work that takes, compares, and aggregates the conclusions of previous studies. This type of publication provides more robust prior answers than an isolated study.

In this case, the researchers worked on about thirty studies to determine whether, in patients who did not have a previous deficiency, taking zinc reduces the risk of developing viral respiratory diseases or is easier to treat.

The topic has been the subject of controversy during the Covid-19 crisis, with a few isolated doctors recommending zinc supplements despite the lack of a convincing study. However, the study published on Monday goes beyond the scope of Covid-19 alone by examining the effects of zinc on an entire class of respiratory illnesses.

Based on the collected studies, the authors conclude that there are positive effects.

In people taking zinc supplements, there is less risk Viral respiratory disease. As a treatment, zinc” Reduces the duration of symptoms Even if it does not have a convincing effect on its severity, according to the researchers.

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But the latter emphasizes that their conclusions cannot go further, especially since the studies examined are often of low quality.

Among the limitations faced by these studies” They have a high risk of bias and/or (based on) small samples ‘, warning the authors.

with AFP

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