Note: This article was written in March of 2020. It was my first attempt to demystify the COVID-19 pandemic for my confused and worried clients. I am publishing this now, in June, as a prequel to several other articles I will be posting. We know so much more now, but everything stated below is still true and relevant. As we move, back into the world and try to resume as much of normal life as possible, it is more important than ever to keep your immune system as robust and efficient as possible.
You have not heard from me in a while, but even with my extreme workload right now, I felt that I needed to address the big topic that is currently blowing up my email…the coronavirus.
Many of you have contacted me, wondering what I think about the situation and what you might do to protect yourself. So, I thought I would write a short article to address your concerns. The first part of this article will be on some of the science of what we know about the virus and its effects. The second part will be focused on how you can be proactive and protect yourself and your families using lifestyle, nutrition, and supplementation. If you do not want to deal with the science stuff, just skip down to part 2 for my suggestions.
What we know about the coronavirus
There has been a lot of speculation and some misinformation about the current pandemic of the new strain of the coronavirus, COVID -19. Let’s talk about what we do know for sure:
- The coronavirus has been around for thousands, if not millions, of years. Most common cold and flu occurrences are due to the coronavirus, as are most viral pneumonia infections. The COVID-19 is a new strain in the general coronavirus category.
- Viruses are not really microbes, like bacteria. Bacteria, yeast, and parasites are fully independent organisms that eat, reproduce, and die just like all entities on this planet. A virus cannot replicate by itself. It hijacks a host cell’s components to replicate itself. It then destroys the original host cell and sends many copies of itself out into the body.
- When the host cell is infected, it sends out signals to the immune system to search out and destroy the infected cells. The most important thing you can do is to have a robust immune system so that this clean up can take place. (This is a form of autophagy or repair)
- The COVID-19 strain of the coronavirus (like its predecessor SARS1) has a special affinity for the ACE2 receptors that line the lungs. This is important because the more ACE2 receptors present, then the more the virus can affect your respiratory tract.
- There has been some research that has shown that the population with the highest density of ACE2 receptors may be Asian males. Smoking will also increase ACE2 density. Both of these factors increase the risk of contracting COVID-19.
- Another population at an increased risk for both the common and novel coronaviruses are people with COPD. Conditions like asthma and emphysema damage the lining of the lung and allow the virus to enter. Actually, any chronic illness that affects the cardiopulmonary system can increase your risk.
- It seems that almost 80% of the people exposed to the virus will contract it, but less than 20% will actually show any symptoms. The fatality rate is between 1 and 3 percent, mostly in at-risk populations.
- The symptoms include those involved in most colds and flu: Sneezing, running nose, fever, sore throat, a dry cough, shortness of breath, and fatigue. (Note: Recent research has shown that one of the earliest and most common symptoms is the recent loss of taste and smell)
How to be proactive about your immune health
It is important to support your immune system all of the time, but it is especially relevant now. As of now, there is no effective conventional treatment for the virus, so working to prevent the virus from causing more than a cold is vital. All aspects of your lifestyle are important:
- Sleep…now is not the time to binge-watch your favorite TV show…go to bed at a reasonable time and get your ZZZs.
- Exercise…get outside and go for a walk…sun and fresh air plus movement support the immune system
- Nutrition…eat your veggies and stay away from the sugar. Sugar competes with Vitamin C in the cell which can suppress the immune system. Also, intermittent fasting that promotes autophagy, may help the immune system clean up any virus or infections within the body.
- Stress resiliency…chronic stress suppresses the immune system. Take a bath, meditate, do some yoga…whatever helps you balance your stress. Oh yeah, turn off the news!
- Supplementation…there are a few supplements that can boost immune function as well as fend off all viruses. My suggested list of basic supplements are:
- Liposomal Vitamin C (more absorbable than pill form) – Vit C is the most important immune booster we have. 1,000 mg in divided doses of 500 mg each.
- Vitamin D3/K2 liquid – Vit D is an immune system support and actively helps search out cells infected with a virus. Optimal vitamin D levels are around 60…so check your level to accurately dose. Most people are fine with 6,000 IU/day
- Herbal Formula Throat Spray – This a powerful anti-viral formula specifically formulated for the respiratory tract…I like “Biocidin” Throat Spray the best.
- Selenium/Zinc Formula – These two minerals help support lung tissue and ACE2 receptors. 250 mcg of Selenium and 15 to 20 mg of Zinc
Please stay tuned for more articles on the Covid-19 Pandemic as I learn more about how to support you during this unprecedented time.