The wellness team at Alive and Well has been diligently following the developments of COVID-19. We’ve talked to a number of health care practitioners on the topic. We have received a tremendous amount of questions from the community about how to prevent or fight viruses…. this is a brief summary of what we are doing and what we recommend.
While there is still a lot the medical community does not know about COVID-19, these recommendations may help support the spread of viruses, keeping you healthy in this anxious and uncertain time.
If you would like to learn more about the virus and how it attacks our bodies, we found this video to be very helpful. You may find this overview helpful in supporting some of the information we discuss below.
Disclaimer: please note that the following information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
COVID-19 appears to be most impactful to those that already have underlying health concerns. Do your best to take care of your health and support your immune system – now more than ever.
No doubt you’ve heard these suggestions already, but…
- WASH YOUR HANDS. 20-30 seconds at a time. Many times per day.
- Irrigate your nasal passages 2x per day. This helps prevent infection from settling in and multiplying. Neilmed saline nasal rinse kits are good for this purpose.
- Eat unprocessed, whole foods. Organic when you can. Avoid sugar. Good foods to incorporate into your diet:
- Garlic, bone broth, medicinal mushrooms (reishi, shitake, cordyceps, turkey tail), ginger, turmeric, oregano, sage, thyme, mint, Ceylon cinnamon, cumin
- Get plenty of sleep
- Support your cardiovascular system with exercise – a brisk walk or light jog ideally in sunlight
- Having trouble with cardio – get in the sauna 3-5 times per week.
- Avoid alcohol and tobacco
- Try different practices to reduce stress and anxiety
- Breath work
- Fun activities with family
Sauna- 15-20 min 3x/week. Be sure to drink electrolyte rich drinks or take multimineral to replenish any trace minerals you may lose when sweating. Discuss with your doctor if you have any medical conditions that may prohibit you from using a sauna on a regular
A note about histamines and COVID-19. There is new literature supporting the fact that Mast Cell activation and histamine release (i.e. allergies) may contribute to the inflammation associated with COVID-19 infection. With the amount of inflammation being a concern with severity of disease and the amount of allergies (both environmental and food based allergens), we recommend reducing high histamine foods and taking natural anti-histamines to reduce the mast cell/histamine load. (10)
In addition to “The Basics” noted above, these are our recommendations for supporting virus prevention, specific to coronaviruses, in order of importance:
- Avoid exposure
- If exposed, avoid it getting into eyes, nose, mouth, lungs
- Add supplements to prevent virus from docking to cells and replicating
- Add supplements for general immune support
Next-Level Care: Regulating the Cytokine Storm (Docking and Replicating)
This is the collection of our most recommended supplements to support prevention of virus docking and replicating, particularly related to regulating the cytokine response:
- Zinc: 30 mg per day on empty stomach (2)
- Quercitin: 250-500 mg per day (16) (11)
- Melatonin: 0.5 mg per day (15)
- Nitric Oxide: 400 – 500 mg per day (12)
- Resveratrol: 250 mg 2x / day (8)
- Vitamin C: 1,000 mg per day (13, 14)
- Ginkgo: 160 mg per day as a good source of flavonoids including Kaempferol (16)
- Allicin (compound in garlic): 1,500-2,000 mcg 2x / day (4) (16)
- Curcumin: 500 – 1,000 mg / day (16)
We know that taking a lot of supplements can be challenging for a number of reasons, so we’re doing our best to provide focus in order of importance. Read more specific information about supplement recommendations here.
In the end, it is a personal decision and should ideally be based on your own individual body. We always recommend discussing with your doctor. Should you have any questions, or would like additional guidance, please don’t hesitate to call us. 512-580-5775
Next-Level Care: Supporting the Immune System
This is the collection of our most recommended supplements to support the immune system:
- Vitamin D: 2,000 – 5,000 IU per day to reduce the risk of acute respiratory tract infections (1)
- ImmunoPRP colostrum: 8mg PRP 2x/day (3)
- Liver supporting mushrooms (reishi, shitake, cordyceps, turkey tail) (5)
- Glutathione or N-acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC): 500-1,000mg / day to support the immune response to infection (6)
- Collodial Silver (oral or nasal spray): 115mcg 3x / day (10)
Next-Level Care: The Extended List
- Cod Liver Oil (high in Vit A and D)
- Red Algae: 500mg 2x / day (9)
- Astragulus: 250mg (note: avoid if fever is present)
- Oregeno oil: 50mg 2x/day to support a healthy immune system
- Ibuprofen (21)
A Note on Selenium and Elderberry
We previously suggested avoiding selenium and elderberry at this time. This recommendation was based on concerns that these items may have risk of exacerbating the body’s response to the virus in a negative way. Based on additional research, we have decided to keep these items off any of our lists – there seems to be support for them in both directions.
While selenium is believed to be effective against certain viruses such as Ebola and influenza A, it also appears to exhibit inhibitory activity against angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) (17). This inhibition may increase the expression of ACE2, which appears to be the receptors through which SARS-CoV-2 infects host cells (18).
Elderberry extract is considered by many to be an effective defense against influenza (19). One way in which elderberry is thought to help is by increasing inflammatory cytokine response (20). This is generally a positive response in relation to influenza. In the case of COVID-19, however, over-production of cytokines is thought to cause excess inflammation, potentially damaging lung tissue.
Keep in mind that COVID-19 is a novel virus, meaning it is new and therefore lacks extensive research. Until additional research is able to be performed, we are choosing to focus on the other items mentioned above to boost immunity.
While COVID-19 does not appear to be a significant risk for kids, we believe it’s better to be safe than sorry. The options for kids are similar to adults, with lower doses. As always, check with your pediatrician before giving supplements if your child has existing health concerns and/or takes prescription medication.
- Vitamin D: 1,000 IU per day
- Vitamin C: 500mg twice per day chewable
- ImmunoPRP colostrum spray: 4mg PRP 2x/day – keep it in the fridge for improved taste. We call it “ice cream spray” and kids love it
- Zinc lozenges
- D-Hist Jr 1 tablet 2x/day for antihistamine effects
If you have any additional questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to stop-by or get in touch through email or phone 512-580-5775.
Also know that if you choose to limit your outings during this time, we also provide free delivery throughout Austin, San Antonio, Dallas and Houston for both supplements and prescriptions (traditional and compounded). Contact our pharmacy at 512-351-9139