COVID-19 online conference 2020

There have been some recommendations from Integrative Medicine Researchers this past week. I attended an online conference which gave some interesting insight into the course of the coronavirus infection, the characteristics of a vulnerable segment of the population and recommendations to support those who are more likely to have a severe response to this disease.

This is a new virus so nobody is immune. That is why it is being transmitted so easily in the general population. 90% have a mild form of the disease and can self isolate at home. The segment of the population most at risk to have a serious disease is not just the elderly as initially thought. A significant number of severe cases is now being shown to occur in the younger people 25 to 40 and they do not have any underlying illness.

So how to keep the at-risk population in the 90% range and prevent the cytokine storm which results in respiratory failure? The recommendations are to take short term very high doses of the following nutritional supplements:

Vitamin A 10000 IU or 3 mg for adults or a diet rich in vegetables rich in Vitamin A such as sweet potato, spinach, carrots etc.

Vitamin C 1 to 4000mg per day in divided doses will accelerate many biochemical pathways and will increase the production of T cells which are a key factor in combating the onset of disease.

Vitamin D3 2 to 5000 IU per day will also strengthen the immune system and has been shown to reduce the incidence of influenza in school children in a recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Zinc 15 to 30 mg per day has also a protective effect in preventing viral infections

Probiotics are recommended in high doses (25 billion lactobacillus strains) as a preventive of respiratory viral infection. Research suggests that probiotics are able to decrease the risk or duration of respiratory infection symptoms. However, the antiviral mechanisms of probiotics are unclear. A double-blind trial which was published in the European Journal of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Disease.

NAC or N Acetylcysteine is a medication that is used to loosen thick mucus in individuals with cystic fibrosis or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. It has also been found to increase T cell function (which activates the immune response to disease) and is a factor in the production of the antioxidant glutathione in the liver.

NAC  500 – 1200 mg per day is the recommended dose but health care workers are recommended to take double that dose. Anyone exposed to covid 19 should also take a double dose.

These supplements or taking the appropriate fruit and vegetables which are rich in these particular vitamins and minerals hopefully will help to boost the immune system in the most vulnerable in our community.

The recommendations that have been given to us by the health professionals to self isolate and sterilize our environment and wash our hands thoroughly and often will hopefully decrease the spread of this disease.

If we do contract this virus for which there is no treatment, we are left with the option of strengthening our immune system with our nutrition.

I hope this is useful information. It is nothing new but a reminder that we can promote good health and hopefully prevent infection.