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How quickly can supplementation affect immune response?

Research shows that the right supplementation could make a difference in COVID-19 survival rates. 

Selenium and Zinc are two micronutrients known to positively impact the immune system, and a recent study outlined in the article Clinical Significance of Micronutrient Supplementation in Critically Ill COVID-19 Patients with Severe ARDS shows how quickly and effectively supplementation may help fight against severe COVID-19 complications. 

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Key points from the article:  

  • A clinical study found that 50% of those admitted to an ICU with severe, COVID-19 induced acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) had substantial selenium deficiency 
  • 22 out of 46 patients were selected in the study to receive 1mg of Se supplementation per day along with an artificial diet containing various amounts of selenium and zinc 
  • After 10-14 days of supplementation, Se levels significantly increased to normal range in all patients 
  • 64% of the 22 patients responded significantly to supplementation and survived to ICU discharge with higher Se levels than non-survivors 
  • Higher Se levels were also associated with reduced inflammation and better immunity, as indicated by an increase in the number of lymphocytes which are the first line of defense against both viruses and cancer cells 
  • Results suggest that Se and Zn may help to reduce inflammation in the body and restore critical lymphocyte counts for the cytotoxic immune response 

Reference: Notz, Quirin et al. “Clinical Significance of Micronutrient Supplementation in Critically Ill COVID-19 Patients with Severe ARDS.” Nutrients vol. 13,6 2113. 20 Jun. 2021, doi:10.3390/nu13062113 

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