Should a loss of smell and taste be added to Australia's recognised coronavirus symptoms?

Nutrition Digestion

Adequate Zinc levels are vital to keep you healthy...

Zinc- can't live without it.

Practitioners trained in functional and nutritional medicine have been prescribing zinc to help prevent and / or treat viral infections for many years. They have also found that most people with a poor sense of taste or smell recover with zinc supplementation.

Coronavirus symptoms

Common Covid-19 symptoms include:



Dry cough.

Shortness of breath

Aches and pains

Sore throat

What about loss of smell and taste?

There is currently debate about whether a loss of smell and taste should be added to the current list of coronavirus symptoms.  

A leading Australian ear, nose and throat surgeon has warned widely reported symptoms of loss of taste and smell in COVID-19 cases may linger long after some patients have recovered from the virus.

A growing body of scientific literature identifies anosmia and dysgeusia — the loss of smell and a diminished sense of taste — as coronavirus symptoms, alone or in conjunction with other symptoms

Zinc (Zn) is an essential micronutrient known to play a central role in the immune system. This includes regulation of lymphocytes and generating both innate and acquired (humoral) antiviral responses. Zinc is required for normal development and function of neutrophils and natural killer cells.

People with zinc deficiency are at risk of reduced smell and taste, as well as increased viral infections.

It is therefore not surprising that loss of smell and taste are symptoms of Coronavirus infections.

Zinc is Essential For Health

You may currently take zinc when you have a cold or flu.

However, did you know that your cells need zinc on a daily basis? The adult body contains approximately 2.0 to 3.0 g of zinc, mostly stored inside your cells. Zinc has far-reaching actions which affect the health of your whole body.

Are Your Zinc Levels Low?

If you experience any of the following symptoms, your zinc levels may be low:

Recurrent colds, flus and/or infections;

Reduced sense of taste and/or smell (anosmia);

Poor appetite,

Sluggish digestion;

Slow growth and development;

Slow healing, acne and other skin conditions;


Sugar cravings;

Stress, anxiety, and depression.

The Low Down on Zinc Deficiency

Many people are deficient in zinc.

According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey III, 35% to 45% of adults 60 years of age or older had zinc intakes below the estimated average requirement of 6.8 mg/day for elderly females and 9.4 mg/day for elderly males.

Older adults are especially affected by changes in taste sensations because of age-related gustatory dysfunction, use of multiple medications and increased frailty.

Inadequate dietary intake, increased physiological needs, or a diet high in sugar or alcohol and profuse sweating are common causes of zinc deficiency.

Testing Your Zinc Levels

Zinc levels can easily be tested with a blood test or a Hair Mineral Tissue Analysis (HTMA). The latter has the added bonus of measuring multiple different nutritional minerals including copper.

Nourishing Your Body from A to Zinc

Zinc protects your cells from free radical damage, providing antioxidant defence. Zinc’s actions include supporting healthy immunity, and improving appetite and digestive function.

Its ability to increase the healing rate of acne and wounds makes it indispensable for skin health.

Zinc also plays a key role in blood sugar metabolism, for greater blood sugar control.

Zinc aids growth and development, and is an important nutrient during pregnancy for both mother and baby.

Zinc is also important for male health, fertility and sperm production, increasing sperm motility and concentration, production, increasing sperm motility and concentration, therefore enhancing the chances of conception.

Zinc is found in high concentrations in the hippocampus area of the brain which controls thought and memory.

Recent research has shown zinc to be good for the brain, reducing stress and having a positive impact on mental function and mood.

You Don’t Just Have to Eat Oysters!

You can top up your zinc levels by increasing the intake of Zinc rich foods:

Oysters are a rich source of zinc and a popular aphrodisiac, but if you are not a fan you can choose from beef, pork, chicken, lamb or fish as they all contain zinc.

Plant based sources of zinc include nuts, whole grains, legumes, yeast and ginger.

Zinc Supplements

If you need more zinc, talk to me about choosing a well absorbed form of zinc that will best target and meet your needs. This is especially true for people with Krytopyrrole Disorder or Mauve Factor Disease.


Telehealth consultations with Healthdirect, Zoom or Coviu are the new way for medical consultations and are now available for my clients at The Wellbeing Institute. You are welcome to book online or contact reception by email.

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