Apparently we have a pandemic on our hands and this pandemic needs a solution.
In order to beat COVID-19, we need two things to happen.
- Effective prevention measures, to reduce the chance of contracting the virus.
- Effective treatment strategies, so people who do contract it have the best chance of a full and quick recovery.
This blog post presents safe, affordable, readily available, and effective strategies for the above.
This post also contains a substantial amount of research and evidence to support my recommendations. Then you get to decide for yourself if this has merit for you to apply in your own life and if you believe this information is worth spreading and sharing with others.
There are no scientifically proven cures for COVID-19 yet, in part because many studies and trials going on will take months to come conclusive. Any preventative measures in the works like a vaccine can take over a year to become available.
However we can be proactive and take action via the protocol provided based on the following research and criteria:
- Any recommendations provided have science behind them, showing the mechanisms that would make them successful against this or other viruses.
- Most of the recommendations provided have already shown to be effective against many different viruses.
- Many of the recommendations provided have shown effectiveness via preliminary results from current ongoing COVID-19 treatment clinical trials.
- All recommendations provided have a long-standing safety record and provide many health benefits outside of just the treatment of viral infections.
The information provided is divided into two parts:
Part 1: Is the protocol recommendations for prevention and treatment. This is the protocol I am following myself and recommending to loved ones, you of course need to make the decision on what you believe is best for you and your family. The recommendations provided here are in the order of priority. It may not be feasible for everyone to do everything listed, nor is it necessary. My advice is to take some form of immediate action, start slow, do your best, and don’t stress about the rest.
Part 2: This very important section provides in-depth research and reasoning for everything listed in the protocol. This section also contains additional considerations for recommendations, instructions, and cautions.
Disclosure and Disclaimers:
You can find the full blog disclaimer here.
I am not a medical professional or expert, and anything I convey here should not be construed as medical advice. Nothing I present has been evaluated by the FDA or any national or worldwide health organization and is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure any disease.
This protocol is designed for prevention and treatment upon the initial onset of symptoms; however, this is not a protocol for people who are already in critical condition. People in serious or critical condition are advised to speak with a medical professional first to get advice or go directly to the hospital if experiencing trouble breathing or other symptoms that warrant it.
If you are pregnant, nursing, have allergies, have a preexisting medical condition or immune complications, please confirm safety with a medical professional before starting on any recommendations.
If you are currently on any prescription drugs, please check for any negative interactions before starting on any supplement. Although supplements, in general, have a substantial safety record in comparison to prescription drugs, that does not mean supplements are without side effects and need for specific cautions. I do provide links in the research section for each recommendation that contain more information on precautions, side effects, and interactions.
I am not affiliated or associated with any supplement companies at the time of writing this post, and I do not currently make money off of any of the recommendations provided. I have made a choice not to include links to specific products or reference particular brands in this post so that financial ties in regards to recommendations won’t be questioned.
Please do not hoard any of the recommended supplements, to solve this crisis we all need access.
The dosages I give in this protocol are based on the average size adult, and this protocol is not designed for children. Keep in mind that dosages needed may vary.
Finally, this protocol is designed to work in conjunction with and not in place of other preventative measures like having good hygiene practices, wearing personal protective equipment when necessary, and practicing social distancing measures when required.
Part 1: Protocol
Vitamin C: For prevention, take between 1,000-4,000 mg per day divided into doses of 500-1,000 mg throughout the day. For treatment, take in dosages of 1,000 mg every one to two hours while awake totaling 6,000-12,000 mg per day that you are experiencing symptoms. Ideally, if sick, take a liposomal form as it will be the closest to the intravenous vitamin C given by hospitals.
Zinc: For prevention, start with smaller doses of 8-15 mg and slowly build up every day until you reach 30-40 mg daily. Take zinc with food to not upset stomach. For treatment, increase zinc intake to be between 40-100 mg per day, you are experiencing symptoms. After symptoms subside reduce dose back down not to exceed 40 mg daily.
Quercetin: For prevention, take 500 mg once or twice a day with a form of fat and make sure to take one of the doses is alongside the supplemental zinc. For treatment, consider doubling or tripling the dose based on severity during the days you are experiencing symptoms, and if you are taking the liposomal form of vitamin C take a dose of that with the quercetin and zinc as well to help increase absorption further.
N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC): For prevention, take 600 mg twice daily on an empty stomach (for example take first thing in the morning and before bed). For treatment, double the dose or consider switching to a liposomal form of glutathione dosed twice daily (also on an empty stomach). NAC is a building block for glutathione production.
Bonus Bed Time Support:
Melatonin: For prevention, take 1-3 mg before bed. For treatment, take 3-6 mg before bed.
Drink green tea daily hot or iced. Consider a daily matcha green tea latte hot or cold as well for a more potent alternative.
Treat yourself to golden milk. A delicious blend of potent anti-viral spices turmeric and ginger and don’t forget to add a sprinkling of cinnamon. Enjoy hot or iced. (Make sure you use plant-based milks in these recipes as regular milk is mucus-forming).
Here is another excellent recipe for a Lemon Ginger Green Tea that contains green tea, ginger, cinnamon, and turmeric. Make sure to also add a pinch of black pepper and feel free to leave the cayenne out if you don’t want it spicy.
Recommended Daily Supplements:
All vitamins and minerals are essential for immune functioning. Besides the zinc and vitamin C listed in the primary protocol, these additional supplements have a lot of research backing their importance in fighting viral infections.
Vitamin D: Average 2,000 IU’s daily preferably taken with vitamin K2 and alongside some fat. If you know you are deficient in Vitamin D you may want to start at a higher dose like 5,000 IU’s daily temporarily.
Selenium: 100-200 mcg’s per day.
Magnesium: 200-400 mg per day before bed.
Properly and regularly washing your hands, not touching your face, disinfecting surfaces, practicing appropriate social distancing, and wearing personal protective equipment like masks when required are some of the best ways to help prevent virus spread.
Being quarantined could be the best time to integrate some healthy immune-boosting habits into your daily routine. Sleep is crucial for your immune function. The ideal for sleep is between 7-9 hours per night. Other great practices that will help your immune system are things like reducing alcohol consumption, avoiding processed foods, doing stress-reducing practices like meditation, and exercising regularly.
A healthy diet is also a critical component to immune function, and eating fresh fruits and vegetables (organic if possible), and other nutrient-dense whole foods are foundational to good health. However, the nutrient levels in our food are not what they used to be for many reasons, including practices like mono-cropping depleting nutrients in the soil. Besides lower nutrient levels in our food, a lot of different things cause our bodies not to be able to absorb the nutrients from our food fully. This is why a healthy diet alone may not be enough to ensure sufficient nutrient levels in the body, which is why supplements play such a vital role.
Getting outside is crucial for both your mental health and health in general at this time. Even with vitamin D supplementation, nothing can replace the effect UVB exposure has on your body’s processes for making vitamin D so aim for 10-15 minutes daily, exposing at least the arms and legs if possible.
Forest bathing, which is the simple practice of walking in the forest for a couple of hours has been scientifically proven to boost immunity by increasing NK cell quantity and activity with the enhanced immune-boosting benefits lasting for over a week. The reason for this is due to inhaling phytoncide, an essential oil compound given off by the trees. If you do decide to do this immune-boosting activity, make sure to honor nature by staying on trails and following leave no trace guidelines.
Grounding, also known as earthing, is the simple practice of walking barefoot on the surface of the earth or sitting on the ground or a rock as a way to reconnect you to the planet’s electrical charges. These charges cannot be conducted through rubber-soled shoes. This research paper on the effects of grounding (earthing) on inflammation, the immune response, wound healing, and prevention and treatment of chronic inflammatory and autoimmune diseases concludes that the research on grounding points to a simple and accessible health care strategy against chronic inflammation. It states that recharging by conductive contact with the earth’s surface as a regular practice may be what is needed for all planetary life to function optimally.
According to this study, gargling can help prevent upper respiratory tract infections. Consider gargling at least twice a day with just water, green tea, or a saltwater solution. There is research showing that coronavirus can replicate in your throat before moving into the lungs, so gargling as simple as it sounds may have a significant impact on reducing the severity of the virus by helping to keep it out of the lungs. A study published in Nature, which is a leading scientific journal, showed that the cells that line our passageways in the nose and the throat are capable of producing a substance to fight off viruses called hypochlorous acid. Bathing those tissues in chloride-based saline rinses (found in a saltwater solution gargle) can produce more of the hypochlorous acid and help diminish the severity and duration of viruses. Nasal irrigation via a saline rinse showed merit in the study as well, and both methods were shown to be effective against the common cold as well as prevent the spread. Another study showed that gargling with tea catechin extracts prevented influenza infection in elderly nursing home residents.
A good habit to get into is to gargle with salt water, tea, or at the very least plain water a few times a day for around 30+ seconds, especially after being out in public. Make sure to spit the solution out after gargling. While there are no guarantees, it will prevent the virus from moving into the lungs; there is research to support the theory. Since gargling is easy and inexpensive, why not try it out?
Practice breathing exercises in advance, if possible. These techniques are fundamental if experiencing shortness of breath as a result of COVID-19 or if you are at increased risk for lung infections.
Article: Which breathing techniques help with COVID-19?
Video: How to breathe if you have a respiratory infection like COVID-19
Video: Breathing techniques for COVID-19 Patients
Video: Guided Wim Hof Method Breathing (Not COVID-19 related just a healthy and beneficial science-backed breathing practice).
Belief and healing go hand in hand. Most people have heard of the placebo effect, which can be a powerful healing tool. The placebo effect is when your mind convinces your body that the treatment you are receiving is the real thing and heals your body accordingly when, in reality, no actual treatment was given. The placebo effect is the undeniable truth of the power of our thoughts and beliefs when it comes to healing our bodies. Use this knowledge to your advantage, and don’t let anyone convince you that your body is not able to eliminate and heal from the virus effectively should you catch it. Focus on taking proper precautions, boosting your immune system, breathe deep, and, most importantly believe that you can and will conquer corona! While you are at it, also believe that the world will heal from this pandemic, that we will come together and help each other through this, and that the ultimate outcome will be a better world for all!
“The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease for ever to be able to do it.” – J.M. Barrie
Part 2: Research, Considerations, and Cautions for Protocol
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that plays several huge roles in immune function. Vitamin C is responsible for building collagen and supporting the epithelial barrier function for protection against pathogens and other environmental stresses. Vitamin C also boosts the activity of immune cells and promotes the growth and spread of lymphocytes, which is a type of immune cell that increases circulating antibodies. Supplementation of Vitamin C appears to be able to both prevent and treat respiratory as well as systematic infections. Vitamin C has also been shown to decrease lung inflammation in more severe cases of respiratory illness.
A deficiency or insufficiency in Vitamin C leads to impaired immunity and higher susceptibility to all forms of infection. Prevention of infection requires daily dietary intake that saturates plasma levels. Treatment of already established infections requires significantly higher doses of Vitamin C to compensate for an increased inflammatory response as well as metabolic demand. The same research paper states that patients with acute respiratory infections have decreased plasma vitamin C levels in comparison to control subjects and that the administration of vitamin C reduces the severity of respiratory infections. Cases of acute lung infections have shown rapid clearance of chest X-rays following the administration of intravenous vitamin C. The elderly are more susceptible to viral infections causing more serious complications like pneumonia. A lower vitamin C level has been observed in elderly people and low vitamin C concentrations in older people has shown to be strongly predictive of all-cause mortality. Vitamin C supplementation in elderly hospitalized patients with acute respiratory infections showed in this double-blind trial to fair significantly better than those taking the placebo.
Several studies are underway to prove the effectiveness of vitamin C against the coronavirus, most notably this study, that completes at the end of September about the use of the ascorbic acid form of vitamin C in patients with COVID-19, as well as a study on vitamin C infusion for the treatment of severe COVID-19 infected pneumonia. Based on the promising results of these studies seriously sick coronavirus patients in New York are being given massive doses of intravenous vitamin C. The patients who are receiving the high dose intravenous vitamin C (IVC) treatments are reported to be doing significantly better than the ones who did not receive the vitamin C.
According to an article in Science Direct, they ask the question if high intravenous doses of vitamin C (IVC) can prevent and treat COVID-19, they reference three previous clinical studies with a total of 146 patients with sepsis who were given high dose IVC infusions. The study reported that vitamin C shortened the stays in ICU by 97.8% and resulted in a significant reduction in the mortality rate. This same article also reported on high-dose IVC being successfully used in the treatment of 50 moderate to severe cases of COVID-19 in China. It showed that the oxygenation index improved in real-time, and all the patients were cured and discharged.
This study published in PubMed on the effectiveness of Vitamin C in preventing and relieving symptoms of virus-induced respiratory infections showed that mega doses of vitamin C given to the test group decreased their cold and flu symptoms 85%, compared to the control group.
Physicians Weekly recently published an article entitled High-Dose IV Vitamin C on ARDS by COVID-19: A Possible Low-Cost Ally with a Wide Margin of Safety. In this article they discuss the preclinical findings on vitamin C’s effects on respiratory distress and shows that vitamin C down-regulates inflammatory genes which inhibits the cytokine storm. The article also states that in regards to safety most studies report no adverse effects to be caused from large doses of vitamin C.
Here is an excellent article with additional rationale for vitamin C treatment of COVID-19 and other viruses as well as another article on the evidence for vitamin C treating complications with COVID-19.
The outright attack that mainstream media and medicine made against Vitamin C and its ability to fight coronavirus or viruses, in general, was downright fraudulent, manipulative and make no mistake about it cost lives. According to Harvard Medical School graduate Dr. W. Gifford-Jones, M.D. people are needlessly dying of coronavirus by not being given high doses of vitamin C.
History has shown vitamin C to work against a variety of illnesses and infections. If you want to see how suppressed information is check out the pioneering work of Dr. Frederick Robert Klenner M.D., who successfully used high dose vitamin C against Polio, viral pneumonia, and many other severe illnesses throughout his career. Two time Nobel Prize-winning scientist Linus Pauling also presented the evidence that high dose vitamin C has benefits against heart disease, cancer, cold, flu and other infections. Instead of being taken seriously, Linus Pauling was called a quack. If mainstream medicine would only start to take the advice of this brilliant man more seriously, I am sure he could go back to his proper title: absolute genius!
“Provided one has the correct level of vitamin, mineral and nutritional input, the body can overcome disease.” – Linus Pauling
Vitamin C Considerations and Cautions:
Did you know most animals make their own vitamin C? We are one of the few mammals that cannot due to a gene mutation we inherited at some point during our evolutionary process. Not only do animals make their own vitamin c (goats are capable of producing over 13,000 milligrams of vitamin C daily) but they make significantly more of it throughout the day when they are sick.
If animals make significantly more of it when they get sick, wouldn’t it also make sense for humans to follow suit and take more when sick?
Unfortunately, both animal’s ability to make vitamin C as well as human’s ability to maintain adequate vitamin C levels decreases with age. So the older the person is, the more critical supplementation with vitamin C becomes.
When it comes to absorbability of vitamin C intravenous infusions have the highest bioavailability rate followed by a liposomal form of vitamin C. Liposomes are phospholipids that help carry vitamin C and result in a more direct intracellular release of the nutrient. There are supplemental forms of liposomal vitamin C available, but due to expense and somewhat limited availability during this crisis, people can also consider making their liposomal vitamin C at home.
Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin, meaning it is not stored in the body and dissipates quickly. Vitamin C is an incredibly safe supplement even in very high doses when an illness is present. The vitamin C dosing suggestions I gave in the protocol are conservative in comparison to what others are recommending in terms of prevention. For example, here is a link where Dr. Richard Cheng discusses optimal daily vitamin C intake. The most common side effect and risk when taking vitamin C is upset stomach and diarrhea. However, the sicker you are, the less likely you are to experience those side effects as those side effects indicate a saturation level of vitamin C. The more your body needs due to illness, the harder those saturation levels are to achieve. Dosing vitamin C to bowel tolerance (aka loose stools) is a great way to figure out how much vitamin C your body can handle. Here is a link with further instructions on bowel tolerance dosing. If your stomach seems to be extra sensitive to vitamin C, you should consider other forms like buffered vitamin C or Ester-C, which are both shown to be gentler on the stomach. For a full list of potential side effects, check out this link. The final statement I would like to make on vitamin C is if I or any of my loved ones did end up in the hospital due to a more severe COVID-19 infection. I would insist that they were given high dose intravenous vitamin C therapy as a supportive treatment.
I believe there is a connection between zinc levels and the severity of the coronavirus. The lower the zinc levels in an individual, the greater the risk for more serious complications and symptoms if the virus is contracted. Although I cannot prove it yet and until they start testing the zinc plasma levels and possibly even red blood cell levels of zinc across a large range of COVID-19 victims, I can at least explain my reasoning with research.
Zinc is the gatekeeper of the immune system and functions in many different levels in the immune system, including innate immunity, adaptive immune response as well as immune regulation. Zinc is not only a building block for Superoxide Dismutase (SOD) the body’s first line of defense against infection, but it also increases the activation of other powerful antioxidants like glutathione-peroxidase and catalase. Also zinc is needed to build a critical yet often overlooked antioxidant and metal-binding cysteine-rich protein called metallothionein. Metallothioneins are emerging modulators in immunity and infection, which play a huge role in scavenging free radicals and combatting oxidative stress.
A huge portion of the immune system is actually in the gut, and although zinc plays several roles in gut health which I will dive into more in a later post. It is now well known that the gut microbiome influences our immune system. Interestingly zinc deficiency alters gut bacteria makeup and function.
Most importantly is zinc’s ability to regulate the immune system, so it doesn’t go into overdrive. Zinc actually helps fight infection by tapping the brakes in immune response. The most dangerous and deadly part of COVID-19 is its ability to produce a cytokine storm, which happens when the body’s response to an infection goes into overdrive. Impaired zinc levels increase pro-inflammatory cytokines within the body. Zinc supplementation influences regulatory T cell (Treg) induction and stabilization beneficially while also reducing the pro-inflammatory cytokine production. If you are deficient in zinc, the duration and risk of lung infection is increased. A zinc deficiency also primes the lung for ventilator-induced injury as zinc deficiency is linked to immune cell dysfunction and increased susceptibility to airway infections.
Zinc has already shown to have both promise and success against a wide variety of viruses. Studies have shown zinc to be effective against the common cold by reducing duration. This study concluded that zinc supplementation in the form of nanoparticles could be a novel, effective, and promising antiviral agent against the H1N1 influenza virus. Another study showed that zinc salts inhibited Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) replication in vitro and also prevented RSV plaque formation when present prior to viral infection. The Oxford Academic Advances in Nutrition, which is an international review journal, did an article on the role of zinc in antiviral immunity. This article summarizes the current science and clinical evidence of zincs use as both a direct antiviral and a stimulant of antiviral immunity based on an abundance of evidence accumulated over the last 50 years on zincs success against a variety of viruses.
Why am I saying there is a link between zinc and the severity of the coronavirus? By looking at patterns of evidence like the fact that the elderly which one of the most at-risk groups for having serious complications with the virus, is frequently shown to be deficient in zinc. The immunocompromised are also hard hit, and I already presented the evidence for zinc and the immune system. Low zinc levels play a factor in a variety of different health conditions, including diabetes and heart disease. Loss of taste and smell is now being reported as a common symptom of COVID-19. This symptom is interesting because the loss of smell and taste is also a sign of zinc deficiency, which would make sense if the person who contracted the virus already had low zinc levels, which became even lower when zinc is being used by the body to fight the virus.
Unfortunately, not enough people are aware that zinc has already been proven to inhibit coronaviruses, and zinc ionophores block the replication the viruses in cell culture. However, this study got a lot of pushback with people saying that zinc can’t get inside the cell without a zinc ionophore.
Chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine, which I am sure everyone has heard about in regards to the coronavirus, are zinc ionophores, and their effectiveness is completely zinc-dependent. Dr. Anthony Cardillo, who is currently one of the medical doctors running a trial on hydroxychloroquine did this interview stating the following: “What we are finding clinically with outpatients is that it really only works in conjunction with zinc. The hydroxychloroquine opens the zinc channel. The zinc goes into the cell. It then blocks the replication of the virus.” He also states in his interview that because people take hydroxychloroquine for other diseases that it should be reserved for very sick patients, or we risk blowing through our supply, which is necessary for treating other diseases. As far as his results with the study so far, Dr. Anthony Cardillo states, “Every patient I have prescribed it to has been very very ill and within 8-12 hours they were basically symptom-free.” He also states again in the interview that the success of hydroxychloroquine only has efficacy when taken with zinc.
So the next question we need to ask ourselves is are there readily available and less dangerous zinc ionophore alternatives to the prescription drugs chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine and the answer is yes there is. Polyphenols, more specifically powerful polyphenols like quercetin and epigallocatechin-gallate (EGCG) are shown in this study to act as zinc ionophores. Both of these polyphenols are found in a variety of foods (EGCG is predominantly found in green tea) and are also available as over the counter supplements.
Donald Trump is quoted as saying that drugs like hydroxychloroquine could become “one of the biggest game-changers in the history of medicine.” I would like to counter that statement with saying “The soon-to-be-proven effective and integrative use of vitamin C, zinc and other nutraceuticals in treatment, prevention, and disease management has the potential to be one of the biggest game-changers in human health.”
For even more reasons why zinc is such a big game changer to our health, check out the following research papers:
Zinc is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent: its role in human health
Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of zinc. Zinc-dependent NF-κB signaling
Zinc, aging, and immunosenescence: an overview
Zinc deficiency linked to immune system response, particularly in older adults
The Dynamic Link Between the Integrity of the Immune System and Zinc Status
Zinc and Immune Function: The Biological Basis of Altered Resistance to Infection
Zinc Considerations and Cautions:
Zinc is one of the safer minerals to be consumed in supplemental form. Zinc, unlike most of the other essential trace minerals, does not store in the body, so daily intake of zinc is needed. Zinc is relatively non-toxic, especially if consumed orally (airborne particles are more likely to be toxic). That does not mean zinc toxicity can’t occur, though, and one should be careful about administering high amounts without proper testing of zinc status and working alongside a trained practitioner. High doses of zinc may be necessary to address a deficiency or insufficiency.
One of the dangers of zinc supplementation is that it can lower copper levels in the body. So most sources that mention zinc supplementation say you must also supplement copper. I am telling you right now that is probably one of the most dangerous pieces of advice you could ever be given in regards to both zinc supplementation and your health. Supplemental copper should never be taken without verifying first through blood work your zinc and copper status as well as your ceruloplasmin levels which is a protein needed to make copper bioavailable in your body. If you supplement with copper and have low levels of zinc which is common or don’t have enough ceruloplasmin to make it bioavailable, it will store in your body as a toxic heavy metal wreaking havoc on your brain and health. An imbalanced zinc to copper ratio is an unknown root cause of a variety of health conditions. I am speaking from both personal experiences as well as over a hundred hours of research on the subject. I have a whole blog post series coming out about soon where I will go more in-depth on this issue as well as discuss testing in detail.
To address a few points in this post I want to highlight that we are experiencing a low zinc high copper epidemic. A lot of things lower zinc levels, including stress, alcohol consumption, epigenetic disorders, and eating a lot of foods like grains, nuts, and seeds that contain phytic acid which impedes zinc absorption. Zinc has far too many antagonists like the minerals copper, calcium, and iron. So anytime you take zinc at the same time as those other minerals or eat foods with high levels of those minerals, they are competing with zinc for absorption, and zinc tends to lose out. Unfortunately, a lot of foods that are high in zinc are also high in those other minerals (especially copper), so obtaining enough zinc from the diet is not easy. Copper is very pervasive in our environment and tends to be at high levels in our food. This is due to zinc-deficient soils and copper sulfate being an approved pesticide for even organic produce. Then you have the fact that most houses are fitted with copper pipes (vs. the galvanized zinc-based pipes of our past), and you can start to see why our zinc to copper ratios are becoming imbalanced.
You are probably wondering then what is the safest and best way to assure you get enough zinc on a daily basis. The RDA for zinc is 8 mg for women and 11 mg for men. I can tell you that recommendation is too low for most people, but again most people should get tested to see what their zinc levels are. A more beneficial supplemental range for people that are insufficient in zinc would be between 15-40 mg per day. The upper limit of zinc supplementation established by the food and nutrition board is 40 mg per day. You are probably wondering why I am recommending as part of the protocol up to 100 mg per day. My recommendation to exceed 40 mg per day is only for short term use of treatment, not for prevention. The higher zinc dosages for treatment are based on the protocol where doctors are administering 220 mg of zinc sulfate daily alongside hydroxychloroquine. I do not recommend exceeding 100 mg per day of zinc while symptoms are present without working alongside a qualified practitioner. A lot of people have trouble properly absorbing zinc, which is why high doses are sometimes needed.
Once again, for long term zinc supplementation, blood tests are highly recommended. As far as bioavailability goes, zinc picolinate is the form that is easiest absorbed, followed by zinc bis-glycinate, zinc orotate, and zinc sulfate. With zinc being increasingly hard to find, just supplement with any form that is available if you are not able to find those specific forms. Zinc can cause stomach upset, so it is best taken with food, although it is important to note that foods containing phytic acid or high levels of copper or calcium will impede absorption. You want to go slow when starting zinc supplementation to see how your body reacts. Symptoms like anxiety, insomnia, brain fog, or inability to focus are a sign of copper overload and the copper being released into your bloodstream while supplementing zinc. If you experience any of these symptoms, cut back on the amount of zinc you take per day and go very slow when increasing. For an additional list of cautions, interactions, and potential side effects associated with zinc supplementation check out this link. If using zinc in the form of a nasal spray, you also run the risk of loss of smell.
Quercetin is a powerful polyphenol and a natural plant pigment, also known as a flavonoid. Foods that contain quercetin include leafy vegetables, red onions, peppers, apples, broccoli, grapes, green tea, black tea, and some berries.
Quercetin is shown to have many positive benefits on the immune system including mass cell-stabilizing activity, downregulation of cytokine gene expression and production, scavenging of free radicals and metal ions that affect lipid peroxidation. Quercetin is supportive of vitamin C absorption as well as most importantly providing a zinc transport into cells.
As stated before, quercetin was mentioned in this study to act as a zinc ionophore, which is necessary to get zinc into the cell so it can block the replication of coronavirus. Other interesting studies confirm that quercetin as an antiviral agent inhibits influenza A virus entry. Quercetin is shown to have a range of biological actions, including anti-carcinogenic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-viral properties. Fascinating research has been done on its effect against incredibly dangerous viruses like Ebola and Zika. In this study, they found that quercetin has the ability to protect mice from Ebola even when given as little as 30 minutes prior to infection. The same study also confirmed that quercetin targets the early stages of viral entry, proving that it has potential as a prophylactic (preventative) against Ebola virus infection. Another study done showed that quercetin showed antiviral activity against both African and Asian epidemic strains of Zika by preventing the internalization of virus particles into host cells.
Quercetin has many mechanisms that make it effective against viruses including coronavirus. This includes inhibition of 3C-like protease, prevention from ACE 2 binding, mTOR Modulation, and virus weakening. Here Dr. Chris Centeno, MD discusses if quercetin can help fight off the coronavirus and links to research that ran simulations on the best drugs or supplements to block the coronavirus from entering cells. Quercetin was in the top five. The reports and studies mentioned in this article show that quercetin shows a lot of promise in blocking SARS-CoV-2 from entering and being able to bind to cells.
This PubMed report shows one of the most promising targets for the discovery of treatments for fighting severe acute respiratory syndrome-associated with coronavirus (SARS-CoV) is the 3C-like protease because of its critical role in the virus’ life cycle. The study found that quercetin was identified as an inhibitor of the protease. Another interesting thing I came across when researching quercetin was a paper on Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Epidemiology and Control, which looked to be published around the first SARS outbreak. Under treatment, the paper stated: “Severe acute respiratory syndrome researchers have been paying particular attention to a naturally found substance named quercetin due to the fact that quercetin in conjunction with vitamin C has been found to be an effective aminopeptidase inhibitor. Aminopeptidase is an enzyme that causes the breakdown of collagen thereby permitting the cellular invasion of the RNA virus. By inhibiting aminopeptidase, quercetin can reduce the infectivity of a virus. In fact, a study found quercetin to be quite effective in inhibiting coronaviruses.”
Keep in mind, the U.S. based Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has already approved quercetin as being safe for human consumption. Michel Chrétien’s Montreal lab in Canada is working on creating a trial to prove that quercetin can be used as a broad-spectrum antiviral drug that has the potential to fight a range of viruses including but not limited to COVID-19. However, any trials will take months to become conclusive, and when lives hang in the balance, do we have time to wait? Other zinc ionophores like hydroxychloroquine may have merit in a clinical setting for serious cases when used as prescribed but drugs like hydroxychloroquine are far too dangerous to be used as a preventive (just take a look at the side effects). With the serious situation like COVID-19, why not take a safe FDA approved supplement like quercetin that has substantial research validating its ability to prevent and inhibit severe viruses backing it up?
Quercetin Considerations and Cautions:
Quercetin isn’t the only polyphenol option to act as a zinc ionophore. EGCG is another powerful polyphenol that I will dive into later that was also shown to work in the same study. Another potential alternative is resveratrol, which was shown in this study when taken with zinc to increase total cellular zinc and intracellular zinc status. One could also conclude that a diet rich in polyphenols will help assure zinc gets into the cells where it is needed to fight the virus. Although I agree that is a relatively accurate assessment for how zinc gets into cells (which zinc does as proven by red blood cell and white blood cell nutrient testing) I think in the case of COVID-19, it may be akin to bringing a knife to a gunfight. In some of these studies, very high doses of quercetin were used. Based on that evidence, my recommendation is to use a quercetin supplement for both prevention and treatment. If for some reason, the supplement is not available to you focus on a polyphenol-rich diet.
As far as dosages and cautions go, suggested dosing is 400-500 mg orally 1-3X daily. The biggest issue when taking quercetin supplements is its low bioavailability. Dietary fat has been shown to increase quercetin’s bioavailability, so make sure to take with some healthy fats and that you have a diet sufficient in healthy fats. Quercetin is presumed to be relatively safe, especially when taken orally at those doses. Here is a more comprehensive list of side effects and drug interactions.
N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC) and Glutathione
N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC) is a building block for glutathione, which is commonly referred to as the mother of all antioxidants. Both NAC and glutathione have a long list of incredible health benefits, but in this post, I am just going to focus on why they may be beneficial in the fight against COVID-19.
The first reason for the use of NAC and glutathione is basic immune support. NAC replenishes glutathione levels, and glutathione is a master antioxidant and is an important redox regulator that controls inflammatory processes. Glutathione doesn’t only help to scavenge free radicals, but it also regenerates other important antioxidants like vitamins C and E. Glutathione also blocks the production of most inflammatory cytokines and plays a big role in controlling inflammation. Glutathione plays an anti-inflammatory role in lung diseases as it protects against inflammatory pathologies in the lungs.
Although we have no specific studies on NAC or glutathione yet in regards to COVID-19, this study shows the inhibition of influenza infection by glutathione. Another study shows that only 25% of subjects taking NAC as a supplement developed a symptomatic form of the influenza virus vs. 79% of the placebo group. The same study concluded that supplementation of NAC during the winter provides a significant reduction of influenza, especially in the high-risk elderly individuals. The study also found that NAC didn’t prevent the virus infection but instead significantly reduced the incidence of it being a clinically apparent disease.
Also, according to this study, NAC is shown to protect against H9N2 Swine Influenza Virus-Induced Acute Lung Injury. This study is important because, in severe cases, the coronavirus is shown to be a cause for acute lung injury. This study states that NAC inhibits virus replication and expression of pro-inflammatory molecules in A549 cells infected with highly pathogenic H5N1 influenza a virus and concludes “that antioxidants like NAC represent a potential additional treatment option that could be considered in the case of an influenza A virus pandemic.” A randomized controlled trial published in Medicine showed that N-acetylcysteine (NAC) improves oxidative stress and inflammatory response in patients with community-acquired pneumonia. NAC is anti-inflammatory and able to limit the release of cytokines.
NAC/Glutathione Considerations and Cautions:
Glutathione is recycled in the body but can be severely depleted during times of illness. Oral supplementation of glutathione is not reliable as stomach acids degrade it. Liposomal glutathione is a delivery method shown to be effective at protecting glutathione from breaking down in stomach acid. Liposomal glutathione is best taken on an empty stomach. However, liposomal glutathione is also very expensive, so a majority of people opt to take NAC as a way to build glutathione in their system. It is not recommended to supplement with glutathione if you have a sulfur sensitivity. Glutathione is considered relatively safe with few side effects and drug interactions. NAC is also considered safe, especially when taken orally per dosing instructions. However, there are a few more side effects and drug interactions to be aware of with NAC. NAC is also best taken on an empty stomach.
Melatonin is a hormone your body produces that helps your body regulate your sleep-wake cycles. Melatonin production declines with age, and melatonin supplements are used as a popular sleep aid. What most people aren’t aware of, though, is that melatonin is also a powerful antioxidant and effective in reducing oxidative stress. It does this through direct detoxification of oxygen species and by stimulating antioxidant enzymes while suppressing pro-oxidant enzymes. It also helps to prevent tissue damage and blocks the transcriptional factors of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Melatonin has been reported as a potential adjuvant treatment for COVID-19. This is because melatonin has already shown to be effective in critical care patients by reducing vessel permeability, anxiety, and improving sleep quality.
There is a significant amount of data that shows melatonin limits virus-related diseases and that its immune response regulation has been repeatedly demonstrated in respiratory disorders that are induced by infections. There is currently a clinical trial testing the efficacy of melatonin in the prophylaxis of COVID-19 among healthcare workers. I want to bring special attention to this research paper asking can melatonin reduce the severity of COVID-19 pandemic? The paper which presents significant evidence as to why melatonin has a high chance of being effective against the virus brings up the question of waiting on clinical trials to prove it is effective before using it based on the evidence that it probably will be and concludes the following:
“Considering the fact that melatonin is known as a safe, inexpensive, readily-available OTC product, how would we justify to millions of people, who did not benefit from it at the time of a deadly crisis, that they and their relatives (who may not be alive anymore) were not timely informed of the potential benefits of melatonin? Thus, we believe that one should immediately conduct comprehensive retrospective studies comparing disease progression among patients who were or were not self-administering melatonin during the course of their disease. Although such data is not readily available yet, it is still possible to collect. The retrospective studies should be supplemented with a prospective one following the incidences and severity of post-infection complications in patients receiving and not-receiving melatonin. However, in addition to these above-mentioned conventional research strategies, we propose to immediately inform doctors, nurses, healthcare providers, and the general public of the potential benefits of melatonin. Extraordinary situations require out-of-the-box modes of operating. The lack of timely action is, in and of itself, an action.”
I wanted to quote this concluding statement directly from the research paper because I think this statement speaks to what is going on in the COVID-19 crises with regards to more than just the need to get the information out about melatonin. As the same can be said for other safe, inexpensive, over-the-counter supplements like all the ones, I mention in this post. How can we possibly justify not getting this information out to the public and not using the different research-backed supplemental strategies on patients who are at risk of losing their lives during such a deadly pandemic? I will say it again; we don’t have the luxury of time to wait on trials. We need to start using safe and research-backed supplemental treatment strategies now, both on their own and as supporting factors for more mainstream critical care treatments.
Melatonin Considerations and Cautions:
Melatonin has a reputation for being a very safe supplement for most people when taken correctly. Although the typical recommended dose is 1-3 mg, much higher doses have shown to be safe. Although I would not recommend going past the 10 mg mark without being under the care of a trained practitioner. The biggest side effect of melatonin is drowsiness, so it is recommended to be taken within 2 hours of bedtime and not before driving or operating heavy machinery. Children tend to have much higher levels of melatonin than adults and seniors, which is another reason why it is hypothesized that children are not as hard hit by the virus. The older you are, the more melatonin your body probably needs, as it is less likely to be making it on its own. Some people think that melatonin supplementation is problematic because it creates a dependency. That has not been proven however, cycling off of it a couple of days a week may be a benefit for regular users. For a full list of side effects and drug interactions with melatonin, please visit this link.
Green Tea and Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCG)
Green tea has long been a health food superstar, but in this case, we will be looking into it specifically for its use as a viral protective agent. Epigallocatechin Gallate, commonly known as EGCG is the most powerful polyphenol (also referred to as tannin or catechin) found in green tea that is responsible for a wide range of green tea’s health benefits.
As discussed previously one of the key reasons green tea, more specifically, EGCG could be beneficial against COVID-19 is the study that showed EGCG to work as a zinc ionophore which transports zinc into the cell where it can inhibit coronavirus and block replication. However, the benefits don’t stop there. This study addresses compounds derived from EGCG as a novel approach to the prevention of viral infections and discusses the antiviral mechanism of action of EGCG and says it is known to have antiviral activities that fight against a wide range of DNA and RNA viruses. The same paper states that it most likely inhibits early stages of infections, such as attachment, entry, and membrane fusion by interfering with viral membrane proteins. The study concluded that “ECGC was found to be the most potent and universal virus inhibitor among the natural catechins”.
Another research study on the anti-infective properties of EGCG concludes: “for most of the enveloped viruses, like HCV, HIV, HSV and influenza, ECGC has been shown to alter or damage the virus particles and so prevent viral entry. Therefore, it is hypothesized that the primary target of EGCG is the viral membrane while the host cell membrane appears to be unaffected. Other catechins do not have such a strong ability to bind to viral membranes.” Here is another research paper dedicated entirely to the evaluation of green tea extract as a safe personal hygiene against viral infections. The paper concluded that “green tea extract based antiviral agents could be formulated as a safe and environmentally friendly personal hygiene against viral infections.” Yet, another study I already mentioned showed that gargling with tea catechin extracts prevented influenza infection in elderly nursing home residents.
Finally, this study showed that “theaflavins (polyphenols) extracted from black tea were able to neutralize bovine coronavirus and rotavirus infections.” Meaning you may want to throw some black tea into the mix as well, as this study specifically showed higher success with black tea than green. However, that does not negate all the other studies that show the incredible benefits of green tea and EGCG when it comes to the prevention and treatment of viral infections.
EGCG Update 6/25/21:
Since I first wrote this article, many more exciting finds have been made regarding EGCG’s antiviral activity and its use case as a preventative and potential treatment for COVID-19 and other viruses. Most exciting is this research from an recent study, by Dr. Singh of the Washington State University, Spokane WA along with his co-collaborators from Industry, Dr.Purushotham Reddy Koppula (Regeneron Pharmaceuticals), an independent researcher, colleagues from Cornell and Amity University in India on EGCG as a potential therapeutic agent for symptomatic and asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) infection (Chourasia M and Koppula PR et al).
Based on a prior comparative study whose findings concluded that 18 key cytokines were differentially dysregulated in symptomatic COVID-19 patients vs the asymptomatic, the authors of the current study when subjected these 18 cytokines to gene ontology studies, also found that the elevated levels of these 18 cytokines found in COVID-19 patients mimicked the same clinical signs as other degenerative diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease and other autoimmune inflammatory disease . Intriguingly, it was found that the array of cytokines dysregulated in covid were also recognized as rheumatoid arthritis in gene ontology. This finding shows that although there is no association or correlation between the two diseases, there are many commonalities between covid and rheumatoid arthritis.
These similarity findings are important discoveries when it comes to the actual treatment of COVID-19 and explains why so many of the drugs related to rheumatoid arthritis have shown to lower COVID-19 mortality. Since rheumatoid arthritis is a disease of hyperinflammation caused by pro-inflammatory cytokines, previous pre-clinical work done on rodent models by several researchers worldwide had shown the efficacy of EGCG in combating production of inflammatory cytokines and improve the disease pathobiology.
The research then shows via the gene ontology studies and in silico molecular docking studies using EGCG against COVID-19 papain like protease protein (PLPro) also showed inhibitory activity. This is because the PLPro is critical to the virus in maintaining the stealth nature of the viral infection by evading the host cell immune machinery thus making the asymptomatic patients not exhibit the symptoms and facilitates the assembly of the repliosome, which is like a copy machine that helps make copies of its own viral RNA, once it has infected the host cells. It also demonstrated how EGCG binds to the ligand-binding residues of PLpro, that are critical for that binding interaction.
So why is this so huge, you ask? Because in conclusion, it shows that EGCG’s ability to inhibit very critical pathways of the virus makes a strong case that EGCG could be the potential prophylactic drug of choice for COVID-19 infected asymptomatic and or symptomatic individuals, which may help resolve issues in regards to virus replication, curbing cell death, and resolving the inflammatory triggers by maintaining hypo-inflammatory state. Furthermore, the antiviral and anti-inflammatory of EGCG beneficial effect could be advantageous being its natural therapeutic class and intervention is just not limited to symptomatic but may also improve asymptomatic condition with minimal side effects and a host of benefits!
Green Tea/EGCG Cautions and Considerations:
Drinking green tea or black tea is considered very safe in most regards and should be drunk early in the day due to its caffeine content. You can drink it hot or iced, and don’t forget to gargle with it. Matcha, which is ground up green tea leaves into a powder, has an even higher EGCG content. Green tea also contains a higher concentration of theanine, which is calming and helps counteract some of caffeine’s jittery effects. In a lot of these studies, however, tea extracts at much higher dosages were used and should be considered as a stronger preventative measure and potential treatment for COVID-19. Although green tea extract and EGCG are considered relatively safe long term use of doses equal to or above 800 mg of EGCG per day has shown to significantly increase serum transaminases, which could lead to rare cases of liver injury. So it is best to stay below that dose and only use green tea extracts for short term prevention or treatment (especially if quercetin is not available to you) and the rest of the time stick to drinking matcha or regular green tea. Here is more information on potential side effects and interactions.
Herbs and Spices
There are a lot of different herbs and spices that have merit when it comes to viral protection and treatment. To not overwhelm I am only going to focus on these three specific ones due to their strong properties and the fact that they go well together. The first one is curcumin commonly found in spices like turmeric. The second one is ginger and third one is cinnamon. Let’s start with curcumin, which is well known for its anti-inflammatory properties. This research study concludes that: “The extensive antiviral effects of curcumin against different viral pathogens nominate this compound as an antiviral drug candidate to develop new antivirals from natural resources against sensitive viruses especially by developing different curcumin derivatives.” Another research study shows that curcumin inhibits influenza virus infection. The study concludes that curcumin inhibits virus-cell attachment, which inhibits the influenza virus from propagating and has promising potential as an anti-influenza drug. My final note about curcumin has to do directly with the cytokine storm, which once again is what makes COVID-19 so dangerous. This research study mentions curcumin’s suppression of cytokine release and cytokine storm and discusses it as a potential therapy for patients with Ebola and other severe viral infections.
Ginger, another powerful herb, has been shown to have antiviral activity as well. Fresh ginger specifically has been shown to have anti-viral activity against Human Respiratory Syncytial Virus as it inhibited plaque formation and viral attachment. The Journal of Plant Medicines has a great article on Ginger’s Antiviral Properties that have been proven by research. Last but not least, I would like to mention cinnamon as another potential herbal anti-viral. A research paper on cinnamon against H7H3 influenza A virus stated that the antiviral activity of cinnamon bark extract showed that it was effective against the influenza virus and that it showed significant antiviral activity in comparison with the controls. This article mentions Dr. Milton Schiffenbauer and his study which compared cinnamon with other botanical extracts (onion, garlic, cloves, peppermint, cocoa and saffron) and found that cinnamon was effective in deactivating viruses in select organisms vs. the other extracts which showed no antiviral effect.
Herbal Considerations and Cautions:
The bioavailability of curcumin is low (intravenous curcumin was used in the study where it was shown to suppress cytokine release). Liposomal curcumin could be considered as an alternative option for increased bioavailability. Another option to increase bioavailability is to consume turmeric (an herb very high in curcumin) with a form of fat and a little black pepper. Piperine, which is found in black pepper, increased the bioavailability of curcumin by 2,000% when dosed orally. Turmeric has a long history of safe use in food; however, when using high doses for treatment, there are additional special precautions and warnings to take into consideration.
Fresh ginger is best, but all forms of ginger hold some merit. Ginger can be chopped up and added to food, used to make ginger tea, or combined with turmeric for a delicious golden milk latte. Ginger is very safe when consumed fresh in a beverage. Here is a link to learn more about dosages, side effects, and interactions. Cinnamon is great and safe for sprinkling on desserts and adding to different beverages like the golden milk latte, however, don’t overdo it as large amounts of cinnamon taken for long periods can cause side effects.
Vitamin D is what mobilizes our immune cells. Without adequate levels of vitamin D our immune cells do not respond properly to threats. Vitamin D does not necessarily have a direct effect on viruses; it has an effect on our ability to fight viruses off. A large study led by Queen Mary University of London showed substantial evidence that vitamin D supplements are effective in preventing respiratory diseases. The study concluded that vitamin D supplementation was both safe and did protect against acute respiratory tract infection overall and that those who were confirmed deficient received the biggest benefit. Researchers from the Irish Longitudinal Study on Aging (TILDA) at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland, stated that vitamin D could help fight off COVID-19. The study found that the vitamin plays a critical role in preventing respiratory infections, boosting the immune system’s response and reducing the use of antibiotics.
Another paper provides evidence that vitamin D supplementation could reduce the risk of influenza and COVID-19 infections and deaths. A lot of evidence suggests that a vitamin D deficiency could be linked to several chronic diseases and that a deficiency is common in the US population, especially in minority groups. In the international journal of Molecular Sciences, they evaluate several studies and discuss the use of vitamin D in its use as prevention or therapy against influenza. In the paper, they state that the studies clearly show vitamin D’s importance in immune response and that not only is maintaining serum levels of vitamin D important but that micronutrients should really be considered as essential factors for improving our health and fighting against diseases.
Although vitamin D is important and gets more attention in medicine and mainstream media, we need to understand that vitamin D does not work alone. Vitamin D is very dependent on vitamin C for conversion into its usable form in the body. Magnesium is needed for the activation of vitamin D so it can be used in the body. Zinc is also needed to help communicate with vitamin D that it is time to start slowing down the immune response. Here is a good paper on the pivotal role of vitamin D, vitamin C, and zinc in the three main immune interactive clusters, which are physical barriers, innate immunity and adaptive immunity in regards to the common cold. The paper concludes that the influence of some nutrients and botanicals can significantly influence several components of immunity and that vitamin D, vitamin C, and zinc all have pivotal roles in the three main immunoreactive clusters in terms of prevention and treatment.
Vitamin D Considerations and Cautions:
Vitamin D (not technically a vitamin but instead a prohormone) is one of the few essential nutrients our body does have the ability to make. Sunshine is crucial for creating and maintaining adequate vitamin D levels within the body through UVB radiation. Unfortunately, many factors cause people not to get enough sun and, in turn, don’t allow the body to create sufficient levels of vitamin D needed. Those factors include our avid use of sunscreen, darker skin pigmentation due to melanin content in the skin that acts as a natural sunscreen, spending a majority of our time inside, and living in the northern hemisphere where sufficient levels of UVB radiation are not produced year-round. Although some people suspect warmer weather to be the reason viruses are less active during the summer and more active during the winter, it may correlate more to vitamin D levels. Age is also a big factor in lower vitamin D levels as people over 50 lose some of their ability to synthesize vitamin D from sunlight, and a person over the age of 70 produces 30% less of the vitamin from the same level of sun exposure as opposed to a young person. However, it is not just the elderly that need to be concerned with low levels of vitamin D as a majority of people who test vitamin D levels show a mild to moderate deficiency.
I highly recommend everyone to test their vitamin D levels to assess if a supplement is needed (usually is) and how high of doses. Since testing is not an option for a lot of people at the moment, I would say it is beneficial and safe to average around 2,000 international units (IU) of vitamin D a day from supplements and is best supplemented in the form of D3. The RDA has a recommended dose of vitamin D being 600-800 IU, but anything less than 2,000 IU won’t do much to address an insufficiency, and more may be needed.
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble lipid vitamin, meaning it must be taken with fat for it to be properly absorbed by the body and also stores in the body for much longer, meaning further cautions are needed when supplementing. Vitamin D toxicity is rare but can be caused by supplements of 60,000 IU a day for several months, which causes a dangerous buildup of calcium in the blood. One of the main health risks when taking vitamin D supplements is not taking it with vitamin K2. It is K2 that helps assure vitamin D puts calcium in the bones where it belongs versus allowing it to build up in the arteries where it can cause heart disease. I take a supplement with 5,000 IU’s of D and 100 mcg’s of K2 every 2-3 days, although I used to take it every day when I first discovered my deficiency through blood work. People with low levels may want to start with a higher dose for a few weeks and then work their way down to a lower dose for maintenance. For a more in-depth list of vitamin D risks, interactions, and side effects check out this link. Please understand, though, that a lot of the side effects are associated with activated prescription vitamin D vs. supplemental.
Selenium, an essential trace mineral, is also critical to immune system function as it boosts the immune system by slowing the speed that pathogens replicate. Research is showing that people deficient in selenium are at increased risk for having a greater inflammatory response with viral exposure. A fascinating research paper was written on how selenium deficiency influences the evolution of some viral infectious diseases and discusses the link between areas with selenium-deficient soil, as well as nutrient deficiencies and the spread of infectious disease. Here is a study mentioned in Science Daily that shows selenium deficiency causes flu virus to mutate into more dangerous forms. Based on that study, the possibility was brought forward that a selenium deficiency could cause increased virus mutations and perhaps even new viral strains. Selenium may be the key to keeping viruses from becoming their more dangerous forms. Selenium, for example, has been shown to slow the progression of HIV to AIDS and reduce the viral load in patients with the infection. Another important reason for selenium supplementation is the important role it plays in conjunction to zinc in regards to immune response. Finally, as mentioned earlier, both glutathione and metallothionein are powerful antioxidants needed to control infection as well as remove toxins and harmful heavy metals from the body. Selenium plays an intermediary role between these two powerful antioxidant systems.
Selenium Considerations and cautions:
People with adequate selenium in their diet may not need to supplement. Brazil nuts are one food that has a very high level of selenium and could be considered as an alternative to supplementation. Ideally, though, one would get proper testing to determine selenium values in the body. Since that may not be possible, 100-200 micrograms supplemented daily, seem to be a well-tolerated dose while the RDA is around 40-70 micrograms per day. For supplemental selenium, I recommend the selenomethionine form. Since selenium supplements tend to come in 200 microgram doses, you could consider taking every other day if you are concerned about too high of levels. The safe upper limit for selenium is 400 micrograms per day, and anything above that would be considered an overdose. Supplemental selenium comes with risks and side effects if too much is taken and can be toxic. Selenium is a supplement to use with proper cautions.
Magnesium is another mineral that a majority of people have insufficient levels of and is responsible for hundreds of enzymatic processes in the body, including immune response. The elderly, alcoholics, and diabetics are all at higher risk for a magnesium deficiency. Magnesium is essential for cell stability and repair, DNA and RNA synthesis, and is crucial for maintaining antioxidant status within the cell. Magnesium plays several roles in immune response, but the enzymatic process it creates is necessary for vitamin D’s metabolism. People with adequate magnesium levels need less vitamin D supplementation to achieve sufficient vitamin D levels. Magnesium’s leading role in the fight against COVID-19, however, may be that it decreases inflammatory cytokine production. Once again, the potential for a cytokine storm is one of the main risk factors in severe cases of COVID-19.
Magnesium Considerations and Cautions:
Magnesium is a mineral that a majority of the population would benefit from supplementing. It is one of the safer minerals to supplement, as the body eliminates excess through urine. Magnesium plays a huge role in stress management, and high levels of stress cause magnesium to be depleted quicker from the body. Most people would benefit using a supplemental dose of 200-400 mg per day as magnesium comes with a vast list of health benefits. The best time to supplement is at night as it can help with sleep and is best taken on an empty stomach. Although both calcium and magnesium work together in regards to bone health in the correct ratio, they should not be taken at the same time as they compete with each other for absorption. Magnesium’s biggest downfall is that certain forms like magnesium oxide, magnesium sulfate, and magnesium citrate act like laxatives. Although some people consider that to be a benefit, the laxative effect can also be problematic for many causing upset stomach and diarrhea if taken in excess. Here is a list of the different forms of magnesium, so you can figure out which form is best for you. Check this link out for a more comprehensive list of magnesium cautions, side effects, and interactions.
I feel it necessary to mention here and bring attention to the people and videos that had a significant impact or served as validation for some of my research findings.
The first person I would like to mention is Dr. Roger Seheult, MD, who runs the YouTube channel MedCram – Medical Lectures Explained CLEARLY. Although I have not watched all of his videos, the ones I have watched had a significant impact on my research and findings. I had been preaching the importance of zinc testing and zinc supplementation to friends and family long before this coronavirus took hold. It was one of my primary recommendations before I even had a chance to study it further in relation to the coronavirus, and because of that was sent Dr. Seheult’s video on the chloroquine and zinc treatment combo, which he made well before it got more mainstream attention.
Once I decided to dive into writing this post, I started to research zinc ionophore alternatives to hydroxychloroquine. When I discovered quercetin, I decided to do a google search to see who else was discussing it concerning COVID-19, which was not a lot of people at the time. During my search, I came across Dr. Seheult’s video, where he had already discussed quercetin as a potential hydroxychloroquine alternative. His video on the potential immune-boosting benefits of forest bathing is what inspired me to include it in the protocol. For anyone unsure of taking my protocol suggestions because I am not a medical doctor. Dr. Seheult recently released a video showing his daily prevention protocol based on his research and experience that has a lot of similarities to mine. Keep in mind Dr. Seheult also actively treats COVID-19 patients in his practice.
The second person I would like to give a mention to is the YouTuber, Prince Ea. I have been a longtime fan of his channel due to videos he has done, like those addressing the environment, school system and also did a motivational take on the COVID-19 pandemic called Before You Catch the Virus.
Like me, Prince Ea is not a medical professional or an expert, but he did spend a lot of time researching what would be potentially effective against the virus and used his research and influence to release a video called How to Survive Coronavirus (2020). My blog post and recommendations were well underway when that video was released, but I was able to cross-reference his research and use it as another form of validation, as he provided a lot of the same recommendations. I highly recommend checking his video out for even more ideas.
Finally, I would like to mention Dr. Andrew Saul, Ph.D. with DoctorYourself.com and editor-in-chief of orthomolecular.org. Dr. Saul has long been a proponent of vitamin C use and was shouting it from the rooftops when COVID-19 first started making headlines. This caused his content to be suppressed from all social media platforms and a lot of his videos to be removed from YouTube. I found tremendous value in his work and websites when doing my research, so I wanted to make sure I give him and the resources he provides proper credit.
The following are a few other sources I found worth mentioning that had similar findings in regards to supplemental treatments for the fight against COVID-19.
A paper published on individual risk management strategy and potential therapeutic options for the COVID-19 pandemic mentions the use of vitamin D, vitamin C, selenium and zinc as potential therapeutic options.
This critical care COVID-19 management protocol published by Eastern Virginia Medical School mentions the use of vitamin C, quercetin, zinc, melatonin and vitamin D3 in treatment.
This study on Coronavirus (COVID-19), first indication of efficacy of Gene-Eden-VIR/Novirin in SARS-CoV-2 infections. Gene-Eden-VIR/Novirin is a patented herbal broad-spectrum antiviral that includes active ingredients like green tea extract, quercetin, cinnamon, and selenium. The study, which I have to mention, was done by the inventor of the formula and states the “We showed that Gene-Eden-VIR/Novirin ingredients exert a variety of antiviral effects on betacoronaviruses, and SARS-CoV, including inhibition of cell entry and infection, inhibition of replication, inhibition of the viral proteases, enhancing the antiviral immune response, and reducing virulent quasispecies formation. We regard the evidence presented in this paper as first indication of efficacy.”
Having a strong immune system is critical in both the prevention and treatment of any virus. The protocol provided was designed to assist in building the immune system. The research and reasoning are provided to educate people on a topic that has not been taught to a majority of Americans. My main goal for writing this is to help people to feel more empowered and in control of their health.
I want to say that our current medical system deserves a huge amount of credit for the lives they have saved via advanced procedures, treatments, and prescription drugs. The medical personal fighting on the front lines for us against this virus are nothing short of heroes and have my utmost respect.
However, I feel we need to question why a majority of our medical professionals are discounting the use of supplemental treatments and why most mainstream media outlets are so adamant about spinning a narrative that supplements are ineffective and dangerous. Could it be because pharmaceutical companies and their deep pockets play way too large a role in our medical system and have influence over a majority of our media outlets?
Supplements, including essential vitamins and minerals, are inexpensive in comparison to prescription drugs. Supplements, which are hard to patent don’t have large amounts of money behind them that prescription drugs do for research and promotion. Pharmaceutical companies play a big role in how our current medical system is trained to treat patients. The spread of information about the effectiveness of supplements has the potential to hurt big pharma’s bottom line. Do you think because of this, pharmaceutical companies may have a motive and be using their large amounts of money and power to influence the narrative about supplements being spread through our media sources?
I believe I have provided substantial research and evidence showing the beneficial role supplements can play in our health care model. Although prescription drugs certainly have practical use in our healthcare system, the reliance on them can be diminished by integrating the use of supplements. There is one thing that has never made sense to me, and that is the fact that the use of completely foreign chemicals being introduced into our bodies in the form of prescription drugs seems to be widely accepted by society. In contrast, the idea of a nutrient already made by or deemed to be essential to the body is regarded as pseudoscience, forgetting the fact that it was actual science that determined the necessary role nutrients play within our body, to begin with.
Some people may argue this by saying we don’t need these vitamins and minerals because we get enough of them from food. My response to that is, have they seen what the average American diet looks like? Our soils are depleted, our stress levels are high, our toxic load is unprecedented, and a lot of things, including age and genetic factors, affect the bioavailability of these nutrients. While we may no longer experience the major deficiencies of the past that lead to things like scurvy or rickets that does not prove we have sufficient enough levels of nutrients for optimal health. The only way to determine that is through testing using functional ranges. Right now the only nutrient test commonly performed by our medical system is the vitamin D test, which, once again, most people who receive the test show to be deficient or insufficient in vitamin D.
If one good thing could come out of this pandemic, it would be the spread of the truth. The truth is most forms of disease stem from or are worsened by nutrient imbalances, and aging is a breakdown of your body’s ability to create, process, and assimilate essential nutrients. This fundamental understanding could not only change our healthcare model but the health of the entire planet.
We need to be asking if there are more ways we can start integrating the parts that make our medical system so great for acute care with more research and testing on supplementation, which has a better chance of being effective for preventative care?
I believe we can if we continue to educate ourselves, insist on being told the truth by no longer allowing the suppression of information, and come together to spread this information and demand the changes needed to protect our health and the health of our loved ones for many generations to come.
Please stay tuned for more information and ideas on how to implement this on a grander scale and do your part by helping to make sure this information gets out there, so we can fight this virus and get our lives back!
Thanks for reading.
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Excellent info. Thank you for compiling all this important research and giving us the tools to help ourselves and loved ones.