Our immune system is the key to fighting any viral infection so it makes sense that boosting our immune system is very important at this time. We also know by who is having more serious outcomes with COVID19 that taking control over our health is important lowering our cholesterol and blood sugars. Let’s review some lifestyle changes as well as supplements that you need to be doing right now…
First, let’s talk about lifestyle changes because you all can do this starting today at home.
- Exercise – yes exercise boosts the immune system. In addition, it will help you lose weight and decrease blood sugars.
- Stop smoking or vaping – within one hour of smoking cessation the lungs start to improve!
- Eat more veggies – think of a rainbow of variety with lots of dark leafy greens and cruciferous veggies
- Eat more fruits – the purple ones are the best!
- Decrease starchy foods like potatoes, rice and breads
- Walk outdoors – nature boosts our immune system as well as the vitamin D we get from the sun (see vitamin D below).
- Eat garlic – garlic is a powerhouse with so many great immune boosting properties.
- Limit alcohol – alcohol depletes the immune system
- Zest with orange peel as it has some ACE 2 inhibition action (remember the virus enters thru the ACE2 receptor)
Now let’s tackle supplements. Honestly, there are so many good immune boosting supplements but I don’t want to overwhelm you. I have discussed many of these in prior newsletters but want to add in a few and pull them all together. Keep in mind, these supplements don’t kill the virus but are used as an adjunct to help your own bodies immune system. You do not have to take all of these! The first three are most important and then try to pick at least one anti-viral.
- Vitamin D – during this time most people will need 5000 IU a day. Our goal is a level of at least 60-80. If you are doing the 50,000 boosts we have them back in stock. I do not recommending doing the boost more than every 3-4 months. Vitamin D can get toxic and can contribute to other medical issues if the levels are too high so this is one scenario that more is not necessarily better. Don’t forget our natural vitamin D comes from the sun!
- Vitamin C – 2000mg of vitamin C daily. IV vitamin C has been studied in critical care patients and showed a positive shift in outcomes. More importantly it is being used in China as a defense against COVID19 with promising results. There is currently a clinical trial using high dose IVC for COVID19. My staff is getting a weekly IV vitamin C infusion to try to help keep us healthy during this time. If you are currently our patient and have no symptoms of COVID you are welcome to join us. Unfortunately, we do not have the appropriate protective equipment to be able to treat active infections.
- Zinc – zinc has been shown to lessen the flu symptoms and thought to decrease viral replication. Many people are zinc deficient so adding some zinc to our daily routine may be helpful at this time. Zinc bisglycinate is the best form but hard to find. Zinc Gluconate followed by sulfate form in that order are next. Dosing will vary per the individual but on average 30-60mg for prevention. Doses change if you start getting sick. Do not take more than 150mg a day as adverse reactions can occur.
- Probiotics – gut health is important to the immune system and probiotics help the gut.
- Quercetin: 1000mg twice a day (may help decrease viral growth)
- Vitamin A 10,000-25,000 IU daily. Helps support the respiratory lining. Do not take more than this as toxicity can occur.
- Melatonin: 5-20mg – yes, this can help sleep but can also cause some very vivid and crazy dreams. Melatonin has been thought to reduce inflammation.
- Green Tea Extract: drink 4 cups a day or take capsules 200-225 mg daily. This can keep you awake so back off the dose if that occurs.
- Antivirals – here the list can get long so I am only going to highlight a few key ones that most people are aware of
- Elderberry – elderberry has been demonstrated to reduce the duration of the flu and seems to have some anti-inflammatory properties. Once you get COVID though it is hypothesized that elderberry may not be the best choice because it might increase certain cytokines contributing to a cytokine storm. So at this point I would say take it before but stop it if you get COVID.
- Astragalus – an herb that is thought to improve immune function.
- Garlic pills – can also do fresh
- Mushroom extracts – many varieties have been shown to boost the immune system
- Echinacea – studies are mixed on this preventing risk of getting a virus. There are no studies of using this with coronavirus. If this has worked for you in the past then go ahead and use it as prevention but I would stop it if you get COVID because of some reports this might contribute to the cytokine system.
To your health,