Updated May 11, 2020.
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It’s my goal to bring you updates on how to stay healthy by strengthening your immune system, as sheltering at home due to the COVID-19 virus continues. Some of the recommendations are repeats and have staying power, and there are a few newer insights. I believe that our whole culture is becoming more aware of their immune systems and how to remain healthy. I hope you feel empowered by the many ways you can stay strong during this pandemic, and personally, I am proud to be in a profession with so many tools to offer!
What the latest research shows
While the medication trials have failed so far, there may be promise in using a combination of the anti-malaria drug, hydroxychloroquine and the antibiotic azithromycin. It seems the effect of these drugs is more potent when combined with Vita C.
Intravenous Vita C is being added as a treatment in some hospitals around the world and now finally in NYC as well. Seriously ill patients in NYC hospitals are getting 1500 mg of antiviral Vita C, 3-4 times daily in conjunction with other treatments. This regimen is based on what became standard protocol in China and Shanghai.
Another nutrition-based therapy being used in U.S. hospitals is inhaled NAC, to thin mucous trapped in the bronchioles. Orally, NAC thins mucous and also strengthens the bronchioles. I recommend it for everyone right now, but especially if you have a history of lung based infections such as bronchitis or pneumonia or are a smoker or worse yet, a vaper.
The use of Vita D for prevention is also getting attention in mainstream medicine to overcome this pandemic. Although Vita D doesn’t kill viruses, it does strengthen the immune system. Almost half the population has genetic mutations whereby they cannot effectively store Vita D. If you have ever been tested and your vita D was found to be less than 30 ng/ml, you can assume you are one of those people and should be taking between 2000-5000 ius Vita D each day. If you are living north of the Mason-Dixon line (the Pennsylvania-Maryland border) or spend most of your days indoors, you can also assume you are low in Vita D.
The potential of botanicals
I am puzzled that no one in the media is talking about the virus-busting immune-supporting cornucopia of botanicals that we have at our fingertips, thanks to Mother Nature. One of the most important aspects of using herbs is that many of them are multifactorial, meaning they have several mechanisms of action. For example, one herb can be antiviral AND anti-inflammatory at the same time. What a bargain for the consumer!
Consider the long track record of anti-bacterial and antiviral herbs such as oregano, olive leaf and garlic. The efficacy of these plants is not anecdotal but supported by traditional double-blind, peer-reviewed studies published in reputable journals.
Another category of botanicals is the immune improving herbs. They include echinacea, andrographis, elderberry, maitake mushroom, shitake mushroom, astragulus, beta glucans, and many others. There is a great deal of misinformation about these botanicals creating the “cytokine storm” or “inflammation run amok” that is the actual cause of death from coronavirus. I will be writing about this soon in detail. Let me just say for now, that these powerful botanicals are completely safe as preventatives. They are, however, not recommended if you already have an active case of the virus, with symptoms. At that point I would stop using these herbs.
Top Protective Supplements Right Now
Here’s the lineup of the top protective nutritional tools that I have learned from most current research:
- Vitamin C: Vita C remains the leading antiviral and immune-supporting intervention. I am recommending a daily minimum of 2000 mg for adults, 250 mg for children, 1000 mg for teens.
- Melatonin: There is exciting research about the powerful antioxidant, melatonin and its impact on the virus. It seems that there is a strong correlation between the escalating morbidity rate from coronavirus and declining melatonin levels, which is a natural effect of aging. This would explain why children and younger people are at far less risk of dying from the virus. Melatonin protects us from the virus by inactivating an inflammatory compound called NLRP3 (which is also decreased by both Vita C and NAC and anything else that boosts nitrous oxide, such as arginine).
- Quercitin: Quercitin is yet another powerful tool. It has a unique protective effect because its structure is shaped to sit on our cell walls and disrupt the docking mechanism of the crown-like prongs (corona) of the virus. It is also a potent antioxidant and antihistamine, so it serves double duty during allergy season. It could be disturbing to think you have the coronavirus, but it’s really allergies!
- Salt: while this is not an herb it’s certainly a mineral and a potent antimicronial. Gargle twice daily with 1/2 teaspoon of salt in 1/2 cup of water.
Additional Support I Am Taking Right Now
Here are the “extras” I have added to my own program since mid-March:
- 2000 mg Vita C (added to the 1500 I already take) I like Stellar C
- 2 Oil of Oregano alternating with Olive Leaf (both are antiviral)
- 750-1500 mg/day NAC
- Elderberry gummies (our dessert after dinner-and boy do they cut sweet cravings)
- 1-2 Bio-Immunozyme Forte, contains echinacea, extra zinc which I alternate with ImmuniTone
- 6 mg melatonin at bedtime
A Final Thought
I couldn’t help but notice the correlation between the population at highest risk for dying from the coronavirus and overall health. If ever there was a time that Americans should stop and take stock of their lifestyle habits and health status, this is it. Hopefully, the silver lining that emerges from this pandemic IS that we will ALL take better care of ourselves, foregoing fast food and being overscheduled in favor of being more gentle consumers: gentle on ourselves and the environment, and kind to all those around us.
BeWell and Be Safe,