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Why you need more zinc when planning baby, especially during coronavirus

Published on:9 February 2021, 13:34pm IST
If conceiving is becoming challenging then add a dash of zinc in your diet.
ANI
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Stay fertile with zinc. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
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The coronavirus pandemic has definitely forced many couples to pause their plans to have a baby. Apart from all the chaos and change it caused, it also emerged that those who suffered from coronavirus are likely to face reproductive problems.

Fortunately, there is one mineral which helps you combat this. 

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A new study has suggested that zinc supplements can prove to be beneficial to those who are trying to start a family. Zinc may help prevent mitochondrial damage in young eggs and sperm cells.

The study was published in the journal ‘Reproductive Sciences’. The pandemic, which has taken a toll on the physical and mental health of people, has also reportedly affected fertility among men and women. The new study has found a way to combat the ill-effects of the pandemic on individual fertility.

Zinc boosts immunity against this virus, according to the study

Researchers from Wayne State University School of Medicine reported that zinc could enhance immunity against the virus.

zinc for pregnancy
Add some zinc to your diet! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

In ‘Potential Role of Zinc in the Covid-19 Disease Process and its Probable Impact on Reproduction’, Husam Abu-Soud, PhD, associate professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the CS Mott Center for Growth and Development, said that in addition to benefiting couples attempting to conceive during the pandemic, zinc supplementation of up to a maximum of 50 mg per day for all adults could be beneficial in enhancing immunity and fighting viral diseases, including the coronavirus.

Dr Abu-Soud and co-authors Ramya Sethuram, Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility fellow, and medical student David Bai, reviewed the pathophysiology of coronavirus, particularly in relation to reproductive function.

They found that zinc depletion in connection with the cytokine storm – the overreaction of the immune system that causes inflammation, tissue damage, and possible organ failure when infected by the novel virus – can cause mitochondrial damage and an accumulation of reactive oxygen species in the immature egg and sperm. The result could prevent reproduction and conception.

Zinc reduces the risk of damage to eggs and sperm

Zinc has beneficial effects as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent. Hence, it could prevent or mitigate the damage in the egg and sperm cells that results from the body’s immune reaction to the virus, Dr Abu-Soud said. The use of zinc could improve embryo quality and potentially lessen some pregnancy complications.

He also noted that zinc can be beneficial to the general population in enhancing immunity and fighting the viral disease process. The element works by combating oxidative cell damage.

zinc for pregnancy
Gorge on these easy zinc rich foods to fight off the covid-19 storm. Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

Zinc alone may be insufficient to reverse the process once widespread oxidative cell damage has occurred. However, if the supplement is administered to those infected with coronavirus before the cytokine storm phase, zinc may assist in ameliorating disease progression in the mild and early phases by suppressing viral replication and preventing cell damage as a pro-antioxidant, the researchers said.

So don’t forget to take your zinc supplements! Moreover, adding natural sources of zinc in your diet like spinach, avocado, cauliflower, beans, bell pepper, broccoli, eggs, peas, and tomatoes is super easy and will help you stay strong.