Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry Seminar
- Friday, February 12, 2021 at 3:10pm
Erik van Kuijk, MD, PhD, Professor & Chair, Ophthalmology & Visual Neurosciences at the University of Minnesota, will present a virtual seminar titled “Role of Prophylactic Zinc in Preventing in Severe Disease Progression from COVID-19”.
Abstract: Several randomized double blind clinical trials (RCT's) have shown benefits of oral zinc supplementation. One trial showed zinc could reduce the severity of influenza (common cold) by taking oral zinc at the time of onset of symptoms. Two other and larger RCT's called the Age-Related Eye Disease Study I & II (AREDS) showed that zinc can reduce the progression from intermediate to advanced macular degeneration by 25%. Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD is the most common cause of vision loss in elderly in the United States and reduce independency and interferes with activities of daily living. Because the AREDS studies showed a beneficial effect on AMD progression, it is standard of care to recommend the AREDS formula to patients, typically older than 55, with intermediate AMD. Therefore, approximately 25% of elderly patients over 65 years old are taking this supplement, commercially known as Ocuviter or Preservision. In March of 2020 an article was published in Science showing that zinc prevents the coronavirus causing COVID-19 from entering the cell via a blood pressure receptor known as ACE-2 (Angio-converting Enzyme 2). The ACE-2 receptor is primarily located in heart, lung, kidney and intestine, therefore explaining common presentations of severe COVID-19. This provides a basic scientific rational for prophylactic Zinc to prevent disease progression from COVID-19 following infection. Several studies have been initiated to investigate the potential benefits of prophylactic Zinc in COVID-19, and preliminary results will be reviewed.
- Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry