Disclaimer: The following is not medical advice.
When your body is experiencing an infection, the last thing you want to do is fight your immune system. Unfortunately this is what the medical system typically does, with:
Tylenol. Ibuprofen. Prednisone. Antibiotics. Sedatives. Etc.
Temporary infections are largely beneficial to the immune system (studies show the more infectious diseases you contract as a child, the lower your risk of cancer later in life, and that childhood cancer may be linked to reduced exposure to germs), and when the body is supported with proper nutrition, the risk of complications is very low.
Ultimately, the immune system was designed to deal with temporary infections. That is why such a high percentage of individuals who contract various strains of the cold or flu, and even measles, mumps, etc. recover and often experience improved health as a result (some cancer survivors experience flu-like symptoms prior to going into remission, and measles virus has been used as a cancer therapy).
However, when resources (antioxidants, minerals, bioflavonoids, nutrients, etc.) are running low, or when the immune system is burdened by chronic disease and dysfunction, the immune system struggles to overcome and complete this process as programmed.
The best thing you can do to support your immune system is to act preventatively – by having a nutritious diet, exercising, getting enough sleep, breathing fresh air, getting sunlight, and reducing stress.
But when you start to feel a little under the weather, there are some nutrients / supplements which can help tremendously:
Oral Vitamin C (liposomal or buffered).
Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant which is effective for a wide variety of acute and chronic conditions. It has been suggested that the current RDA [recommended daily allowance] for vitamin C is too low and should be increased in order to prevent heart disease, stroke, and cancer. High dose vitamin C has also been suggested as a supplemental treatment for COVID-19.
There is truly an endless amount of research on the benefits of additional vitamin C And I would recommend reading up on it if you haven’t already.
Calcium ascorbate for vitamin C: https://www.amazon.com/NOW-Calcium-Ascorbate-Powder-8-Ounce/dp/B000I4AIUA/
Lypo-Spheric Vitamin C: https://www.amazon.com/Lypo-Spheric-Vitamin-Phospholipids-Encapsulated-Absorption/dp/B0089EYWEE/
Vitamin C can be used in a nebulizer, to help with respiratory / lung symptoms. Use sodium ascorbate or calcium ascorbate. ¼ tsp dissolved in ¼ C distilled or reverse osmosis filtered water. (Most bottled water is filtered by reverse osmosis but check on the label, first.)
NAC (N-Acetyl Cysteine)
NAC is an amino acid derivative and precursor to glutathione. If you cannot tolerate it due to stomach upset (which is typically due to taking it on an empty stomach), or if symptoms do not improve, liposomal glutathione is a good alternative, to use short term.
Here’s a great video on why NAC is so important:
NAC is helpful for a wide variety of ailments, including influenza, ventilator-associated pneumonia, COPD, blood clots, the harmful effects of smoking, likely to be effective for COVID, and so on.
More on Glutathione:
Glutathione is an important antioxidant which helps the body detoxify and remove unwanted waste and toxic by-products.
Study: Endogenous Deficiency of Glutathione as the Most Likely Cause of Serious Manifestations and Death in COVID-19 Patients https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acsinfecdis.0c00288
Study: Efficacy of glutathione therapy in relieving dyspnea associated with COVID-19 pneumonia. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7172740/
NAC. I have used this brand: https://www.amazon.com/Pure-Encapsulations-N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine-Antioxidant-Capsules/dp/B00OA6NLG0/ There’s also a 900mg version of this.
And this brand: https://www.amazon.com/Now-NAC-1000-Tablets-Pack/dp/B084FQXNMS/
Liposomal glutathione: https://www.amazon.com/Pure-Encapsulations-Glutathione-Antioxidants-Detoxification/dp/B00AWB17UO/ (There are less expensive options but I can’t say how effective they are.)
Zinc + Quercetin
Quercetin is a natural plant pigment (or flavonoid) found in fruits and vegetables, like berries and onions. When it comes to COVID, making sure zinc enters cells is critical. Quercetin is a zinc ionophore, which means it does exactly this. This action is one major reason why Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) has been recognized by medical professionals as an effective treatment option – it’s ability to help zinc enter cells.
Thankfully, although the use of HCQ has been restricted, Quercetin is widely available as a supplement and is helpful for many other ailments and conditions, such as inflammation, allergies, aluminum toxicity, cancer, gut health, and more.
Or this supplement, which I have used: https://www.amazon.com/Quercetin-Bromelain-Now-Foods-VCaps/dp/B005P0SEA8/
Folate, vitamin B9, is water-soluble vitamin found in high concentrations in leafy green vegetables. Sufficiency is important for a wide variety of organ systems and functions, including DNA repair, synthesis, and methylation. Deficiency in folate can therefore leave your genetic material vulnerable to damage and increase the likelihood of carcinogenesis.
Unfortunately, the form that tends to be included in most supplements is folic acid, which does not impart the same benefits as folate, especially directly from food sources, and excess may even accelerate the growth of some cancers.
Those with MTHFR gene mutations are particularly sensitive to the negative effects of folic acid, therefore it is important to obtain folate from food sources (leafy greens, fresh pressed green juice, oranges, etc.) or make sure you’re taking a supplement with a methylated form (methylfolate).
I highly recommend juicing to obtain folate. My personal favorite green juice is a mixture of the following: spinach, kale, cucumber, apple, lemon, & ginger.
Melatonin is naturally produced by the pineal gland in the brain and is known as the sleep hormone.
Studies on melatonin show that supplementation may help treat COVID. This makes sense because as we age, we produce less and less melatonin, and the elderly are at highest risk of morbidity and mortality. Children, on the other hand, have high melatonin levels and are at very low risk of COVID complications.
If you tend to have difficulty getting enough sleep, low melatonin production may be a factor. I have not personally used melatonin and therefore cannot recommend a specific supplement.
A note about melatonin supplementation: Supplementing with melatonin will down-regulate your own natural production of melatonin. It’s something that should be done short-term, if necessary to support the immune system. Otherwise you can train your pineal gland to produce less, and become dependent on it. It is best to support the pineal gland via a healthy and nutritious diet, reduce exposure to blue light before bed, etc.
As we age, the pineal gland is vulnerable to calcification, which leads to reduced function, and reduced melatonin production. Pineal gland calcification is linked to exposure to fluoride.
Which brings us to:
Those with thyroid disorders or dysfunction may be at a greater risk of COVID. Thyroid hormones, which require iodine for production, modulate the innate and adaptive immune responses to viral infection. Though those with autoimmune thyroid conditions are encouraged to avoid iodine, it is a necessary nutrient for proper functioning of the endocrine system (thyroid, ovaries, etc.).
Unfortunately, iodine deficiency enhances the toxicity of fluoride on thyroid function, and likely contributes to pineal gland calcification as well. Iodine levels detected in urine in the US population have dropped dramatically since the 60s and 70s, likely contributing to the rise of chronic illness and cancers.
While the current recommended intake of iodine for adults is 150 micrograms per day, some have recommended 3mg/day for those with iodine deficiency-related conditions. Note that there is a significant difference between iodine and iodide (iodide is more thyrotoxic and does not provide the same health benefit as iodine).
Side note: As someone who has had an autoimmune thyroid condition, was able to largely reverse it via a nutrient-dense diet, and currently takes iodine, I would recommend questioning the medical system’s take on autoimmune conditions in general. Investigate alternative options and don’t set limits on your ability to heal.
For more information on iodine, I would highly recommend watching the following video presentation: https://youtu.be/seymLq1ofXA
Another nutrient which is important for proper thyroid function and antioxidant defense is selenium. It not only promotes healthy thyroid function but also boosts glutathione peroxidase levels in the body.
Studies from India and China have shown that sufficient levels of selenium may also be protective against COVID.
Nearly half of all Americans do not get enough magnesium in their diet on a daily basis. Magnesium deficiency is linked to a wide variety of conditions and disorders, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, migraine headaches, osteoporosis, and more. Magnesium sufficiency could even prevent strokes.
Studies on the use of magnesium supplementation for COVID-19 patients suggest that it may be a supportive treatment for protecting organs and tissues from damage.
Vitamin B1 / Thiamine
COVID-19 has been found to be particularly severe in individuals with diabetes or pre-diabetes. If you fall into this category, I would consider supplementing with vitamin B1, especially during times of illness. Thiamine deficiency leads to a decrease in insulin synthesis and secretion and studies have shown that those with type 1 and type 2 diabetes are typically deficient in thiamine. In addition, thiamine deficiency can result in inadequate antibody responses and therefore more severe symptoms during infection.
B1 / Thiamine: https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B07DP6ZX1Q
Vitamin A has previously been known as the “anti-infective” vitamin. There are two forms of vitamin A: Provitamin A from plant based carotenoids and pre-formed vitamin A from animal products.
One potent source of carotenoids (e.g. beta-carotene) is fresh organic carrot juice. Full of nutrients and antioxidants, freshly pressed carrot juice is able to help protect the cardiovascular system and reduce oxidative stress, which may be major contributor to severe COVID disease.
Genetic factors can influence the body’s ability to convert carotenoids to vitamin A in the liver. Intake of pre-formed vitamin A reduces active conversion of carotenoids/provitamin A, since too much pre-formed A can be toxic to the liver, where it is stored. Over time, this contributes to a loss of function and therefore some individuals will likely need to get some pre-formed A for optimal health.
Vitamin A (pre-formed): https://www.amazon.com/Klaire-Labs-Micellized-Vitamin-Liquid/dp/B004JP675O/
A Note on Vitamin D
While vitamin D supplementation is popular amongst the natural health community and it has been found that vitamin D deficiency is common in those hospitalized with COVID-19 compared to healthy controls, the right amount of vitamin D to supplement, however, is something to investigate.
Why? Many people strongly believe in supplementing with very high doses of vitamin D. While vitamin D is absolutely vital for proper functioning of our cells, it can also act as an immune system suppressant. Making sure you have adequate amounts during infection is important, but supplementing with megadoses may inadvertently shut down important actions of your immune system, and could potentially prolong illness.
More specifically, Vitamin D has the ability to inhibit dendritic cells from maturing after they have recognized and taken up invading pathogens, preventing them from presenting the infecting antigen to T cells. Effective T cell response to antigens (presented by dendritic cells) generates immunological memory (cell-mediated immunity). Therefore, for proper functioning of our immune system defenses, it is important to use vitamin D in moderation.
The above is just one example of a mechanism that has been elucidated for vitamin D to suppress the immune system response. There are others and I plan to write a separate article on this subject.
Again, please take caution with regard to acting upon the recommendation to megadose on vitamin D (aka the “Vitamin D Hammer” method). It might be effective at halting symptoms, but not because it is supporting immune system function and the development of immunity, but because it is able to very effectively shut down the immune system.
What happens if your immune system overreacts?
In this case, extra vitamin D may potentially be helpful… However, there is an over the counter product which may help calm the cytokine storm created by COVID-19 and other pathogens.
Dr. Bartlett, from Texas, has been effectively treating his patients with Budesonide, using it in a nebulizer. Budesonide in nebulizer formulation is not available for purchase without a prescription, but the nasal spray form is widely available.
I personally know individuals who have stated that using Budesonide was critical in their recovery from COVID-19.
More information on Budesonide: https://fortune.com/2020/07/24/budesonide-coronavirus-covid-richard-bartlett/
Here is one brand (there are others), Rhinocort: https://www.amazon.com/Budesonide-Non-Drowsy-Prescription-Scent-Free-Alcohol-Free/dp/B016Z9BJY0
Ultimately, what I want to emphasize is that proper nutrition is the key to health – not just long term health, but also recovery from infectious disease. Although I always recommend obtaining sufficient amounts of nutrients from food, taking a whole food multivitamin regularly, can help.
I use Garden of Life and Mary Ruth’s gummies for my kids.
Yes, supporting the immune system is paramount but the medical system does not recognize the value of this nor put it into practice. If you end up in the hospital they will fight and impair your immune system with fever-reducers, steroids, antibiotics, sedatives, etc. It’s the last place you want to be.
If only the medical system acknowledged the vital role of nutrition in health, our world would be a much better place… unfortunately, a healthy person is of no monetary value to the medical system.
I hope this information is helpful.