A lot has escalated in the past week since my last email on COVID-19. So here’s some more thoughts and updates based on our current state of affairs. Refer back to my COVID-19 Email Part 1 here for a review of that info. I still stand behind the tips recommended in that email. To summarize, those are:
Be concerned, but don’t panic.
Reduce transmission via physical distancing and good hygiene. We do need to “flatten the curve,” so that our healthcare system is not overrun with more critical cases at one time than it can effectively handle.
Practice healthy nutrition and lifestyle measures to support your immune system.
Consider taking nutrient and herb supplements to support and balance your immune system too.
More About COVID-19
Testing is still not widely available and in many cases is being restricted to specific populations - i.e. severe cases. If you think you or someone you know have symptoms that warrant testing please stay at home, self-isolate. And call your healthcare provider or local public health department for further guidance to determine if you can stay at home, get tested, or require hospitalization. That decision will be based on multiple factors including severity of illness, need for testing, and appropriateness of home for isolation purposes.
How bad is this going to be and how long is it going to last? The sooner we slow the spread, the sooner the tight sheltering and quarantining restrictions can end - so please do take the physical distancing guidelines seriously. Follow my previous recommendations for handwashing, etc. If you do need supplies there are fantastic delivery services available. The virus will most likely be going around for a long time to come. The best thing you can do is to get as healthy as you can so that your body can handle it.
I'm involved with a health-focused non-profit organization called Realize A Healthy California. You can become a member for free! Check out this cool page for lots of Coronavirus 19 links and resources. And submit your email on the website if you want to become a member of the community.
Be Concerned, But Don’t Panic!
Keep in mind that the more stress you generate the weaker your immune system becomes. Decrease your stress level via:
- Consider contacting a therapist if you are in need of further support
Quarantining - what you can be doing:
Use this time to do something that you have been putting off
Spend time self-reflecting
Spend quality time with your family
Clean your house
Reach out via phone or video chat to loved ones, neighbors, those that are more isolated
Supporting Immunity through Nutrition and Lifestyle Measures:
It may be tempting in quarantine to drink alcohol or indulge as a way to relax or pass the time. I do not recommend this.
Now more than ever good self-care is key.
Avoid foods with sugar and refined carbs.
Eat healthy, whole foods.
Exercise (yup, exercise also boosts immunity as well as decreasing stress) (there are some great work out videos on youtube!).
Get out for a walk in nature.
Enhancing Immunity through Nutrient and Herb Supplements:
This is a new virus, but to clarify, it is a part of a group of viruses (coronaviruses) that are older. The FDA has currently NOT approved any drugs or products for the prevention or treatment of COVID-19. So in the following, I'm sharing what I know professionally to work for immune system support and what I’m doing personally to support my health and immune system.
This is not medical advice. It is my own personal protocol. Please contact your own healthcare provider before you start any new nutrient or herbal supplements.
Vitamins and herbs have a lot of research behind them. They have been used for immunity, halting virus uptake and replication, strengthening the lungs, reducing the severity of pneumonia, halting other coronavirsuses, etc. Even though this is a new illness and all the data on what is going to work is not out yet; in my professional opinion, we already have tools from the past that may be able to help us. You can always do a quick search for nutrient and herbal studies on PubMed.
Here’s my personal supplement plan for immunity...
Disclaimer - please consult with your healthcare provider before starting a supplement plan of your own.
IV - I am doing IVs 1 to 2x weekly to keep up my health and immunity. (It is being used in some hospitals in China at 12,000 – 24,000 mg daily for COVID-19 cases) (ref 1)
Oral - 1000mg 3 to 4x daily or to bowel tolerance.
Vitamin D 2000-5000 IU daily.
Vitamin A 20,000IU daily.
Zinc 30mg daily.
- Resveratrol 1000mg daily.
- Biocidin Throat Spray - I love Biocidin because just 2 sprays has been shown to increase your secretory IgA (first line defense for immunity) by 60%. (ref 2)
- MyCommunity by Host Defense (a full spectrum mushroom blend for immunity) - 2 caps 2x daily.
Other herbs that I have taken or rotate through are the following, with some research to back it up.
Astragalus - adaptogenic, anti-inflammatory, has effect on viruses (ref 3,4)
Goldenseal - directly toxic to viruses and bacteria, adaptogenic (ref 5-10)
Oregon Grape root - directly toxic to viruses and bacteria, adaptogenic (ref 5-10)
Echinacea - adaptogenic, anti-inflammatory, reduces URIs (ref 11,12)
Elderberry - adaptogenic, regulates inflammation, has effect on viruses, blocks viral uptake (meta-analysis) (ref 13)
Andrographis - anti-inflammatory, immune boosting (ref 14)
Licorice - immune boosting, has an effect on viruses (ref 15)
Bellar D, Aldret RA, Judge LW (2018) The Effects of a Botanical Blend on Post-Exercise Mucosal Antimicrobial Proteins. J Athl Enhanc 7:5. doi: 10.4172/2324-9080.1000304
Li X, Qu L, Dong Y, et al. A Review of Recent Research Progress on the Astragalus Genus. Molecules. 2014;19(11):18850-18880. doi:10.3390/molecules191118850
Hsieh H-L, Liu S-H, Chen Y-L, Huang C-Y, Wu S-J. Astragaloside IV suppresses inflammatory response via suppression of NF-κB, and MAPK signalling in human bronchial epithelial cells. Arch Physiol Biochem. February 2020:1-10. doi:10.1080/13813455.2020.1727525
Yan Y-Q, Fu Y-J, Wu S, et al. Anti-influenza activity of berberine improves prognosis by reducing viral replication in mice. Phytother Res. 2018;32(12):2560-2567. doi:10.1002/ptr.6196
Kim TS, Kang BY, Cho D, Kim SH. Induction of interleukin-12 production in mouse macrophages by berberine, a benzodioxoloquinolizine alkaloid, deviates CD4+ T cells from a Th2 to a Th1 response. Immunology. 2003;109(3):407-414. doi:10.1046/j.1365-2567.2003.01673.x
Cecil CE, Davis JM, Cech NB, Laster SM. Inhibition of H1N1 influenza A virus growth and induction of inflammatory mediators by the isoquinoline alkaloid berberine and extracts of goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis). Int Immunopharmacol. 2011;11(11):1706-1714. doi:10.1016/j.intimp.2011.06.002
Javadi B, Sahebkar A. Natural products with anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory activities against autoimmune myocarditis. Pharmacol Res. 2017;124:34-42. doi:10.1016/j.phrs.2017.07.022
Jamshaid F, Dai J, Yang LX. New Development of Novel Berberine Derivatives against Bacteria. Mini Rev Med Chem. January 2020. doi:10.2174/1389557520666200103115124
Qin X, Guo BT, Wan B, et al. Regulation of Th1 and Th17 cell differentiation and amelioration of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis by natural product compound berberine. J Immunol Baltim Md 1950. 2010;185(3):1855-1863. doi:10.4049/jimmunol.0903853
Schapowal A, Klein P, Johnston SL. Echinacea reduces the risk of recurrent respiratory tract infections and complications: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Adv Ther. 2015;32(3):187-200. doi:10.1007/s12325-015-0194-4
Vimalanathan S, Schoop R, Suter A, Hudson J. Prevention of influenza virus induced bacterial superinfection by standardized Echinacea purpurea, via regulation of surface receptor expression in human bronchial epithelial cells. Virus Res. 2017;233:51-59. doi:10.1016/j.virusres.2017.03.006
Hawkins J, Baker C, Cherry L, Dunne E. Black elderberry (Sambucus nigra) supplementation effectively treats upper respiratory symptoms: A meta-analysis of randomized, controlled clinical trials. Complement Ther Med. 2019;42:361-365. doi:10.1016/j.ctim.2018.12.004
Gupta S, Mishra KP, Ganju L.Broad-spectrum antiviral properties of andrographolide. Arch Virol. 2017 Mar;162(3):611-623. doi: 10.1007/s00705-016-3166-3. Epub 2016 Nov 28.
Sun ZG, Zhao TT, Lu N, Yang YA, Zhu HL. Research Progress of Glycyrrhizic Acid on Antiviral Activity. Mini Rev Med Chem. 2019;19(10):826-832.doi: 10.2174/1389557519666190119111125.