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The effects of some essential and toxic metals/metalloids in COVID-19: A review

Jose L. Domingo, Montse Marquès
Food and chemical toxicology 2021 v.152 pp. 112161
COVID-19 infection, Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, arsenic, cadmium, cobalt, copper, human health, iron, lead, manganese, mercury, nutrition, pathogenicity, selenium, toxicity, toxicology, vanadium, zinc
Thousands of studies have been conducted in order to understand in depth the characteristics of the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, its infectivity and ways of transmission, and very especially everything related to the clinical and severity of the COVID-19, as well as the potential treatments. In this sense, the role that essential and toxic metals/metalloids have in the development and course of this disease is being studied. Metals/metalloids such as arsenic, cadmium, lead, mercury or vanadium, are elements with known toxic effects in mammals, while trace elements such as cobalt, copper, iron, manganese, selenium and zinc are considered essential. Given the importance of metals/metalloids in nutrition and human health, the present review was aimed at assessing the relationship between various essential and toxic metals/metalloids and the health outcomes related with the COVID-19. We are in the position to conclude that particular attention must be paid to the load/levels of essential trace elements in COVID-19 patients, mainly zinc and selenium. On the other hand, the exposure to air pollutants in general, and toxic metal/metalloids in particular, should be avoided as much as possible to reduce the possibilities of viral infections, including SARS-CoV-2.