This week the CDC said that 25% of people with the virus are silent carriers. Meaning they have no symptoms and will not develop them. This has generated plenty of discussion but my first thought was why don’t they develop symptoms? To me that is the big question. The LA Times thought the same thing and asked 2 infectious disease experts from UCLA and USC that question. Their answer was we don’t know. It’s my opinion that it all has to do with your immune system and the physiology of Covid-19. I talked at length in my last email about the benefits of Vitamin D as I have for the last 15 years. Yesterday The Irish Times quoted research that has linked low levels of Vitamin D to the epidemic. They state that 1-in-4 of those over 70 are likely deficient in Vitamin D and that maintaining an adequate level would be of benefit in the fight against the pandemic. More on Vitamin D shortly.
I’m sending you the best article I’ve seen on the virus. It’s lengthy but if you want to know all the details of how the virus gets into our cells, it’s mechanism of action, what we can do to enhance our immune systems, and what we can do if we get it then this is what you’ve been looking for. It’s excellent but technical so I’m going to write a very condensed version of her recommendations. Dr. Berkson’s recommendations mirrored mine that I wrote to you previously plus she adds other very important steps you can take to help yourself and loved ones that you don’t want to be without. I’ll make a few additions that I think are important in this condensed version. I’ll add a bit more on one of her recommendations of mushrooms that is critical to get the most benefit. I will also elaborate a bit more on vitamin C. Click on the link below for her full article.
The condense version.
If you are at risk and who isn’t then supplementing with these can only benefit your immune system.
Likely one of the most important is melatonin due to its ability to block one of the potential routes of entry into your lung cells known as the NLRP3 inflammasome which causes much of the lung damage in this disease.
For prevention she suggests:
Melatonin: 10 to 20 mg time-release for adults before bedtime. Kids make their own. If your child gets ill with a documented case of coronavirus, ask your doctor about adding in 1 mg of melatonin to their mix.
Anti-viral nutrients : As I mentioned in the previous article vitamins A, C, and D are critical.
Many people have insufficient blood levels of vitamin A and C. These nutrients have antiviral abilities and are able to support the immune system when it is under viral attack.
Vitamin C: If you are not ill with the virus but want protection, take 3-5,000 mg/day of vitamin C. At the first sign of an illness, take 1,000 mg/hour until diarrhea develops, then back off for a time period. If and when you get the virus, IV vitamin C has three studies approved for treating COVID-19 mentioned below in the tools for when infected section. Functional doctors have been using high dose vitamin C IV, along with supportive nutrients, successfully for many years. Try to find a vitamin C with bioflavonoids. Personally I want one that is 50/50 vitamin C and bioflavonoids. Let me know if you need help getting one with this ratio. Spread out your intake of C as it has a half-life of 30 minutes. Also vitamin C absorption decreases with increasing amounts taken.
Vitamin D is also very important for fighting infections. Vitamin D is required to activate 1/10 of your genome. This means that these genes are never expressed. Many of them have to do with your immune system as well as moving calcium into your bones. Thousands of studies have been published that document the benefits of Vitamin D. I suggest taking 5,000 international units a day of supplemental Vitamin D. Take it with your fattiest meal of the day or take a sublingual form to make sure you absorb it. You want your blood levels in an optimal range of 50 to 80 not just within normal limits. Blood testing will confirm your levels. We both suggest to not stay on high levels of any of the vitamins recommended. It’s best to work with a physician that knows how to monitor high-dose nutrient anti-viral intake.
Iodine : is essential to fight off infections and for proper immune system functioning. There is no bacteria, virus, parasite or fungus that is known to be resistant to iodine. Dr. David Brownstein is a colleague and dear friend. Dr. Brownstein has written in his amazing book, Iodine: Why You Need It, Why You Can’t Live Without It, that most of our population is low in iodine. She finds 90% of her patients are at or below the low end for iodine. Iodine levels have fallen nearly 60% over the last 40 years. The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for iodine is inadequate to supply enough iodine for all the bodily tissues.
For protection: taking half of a 12.5 mg iodine caplet twice a week makes sense. At the first sign of illness, increase to 25 mg of iodine for 4 days and then reduce the dose to ½ of 12.5 mg caplet three times a week. Please keep in mind that iodine can cause adverse effects; it is best used under the guidance of an iodine-knowledgeable doctor.
Zinc: Zinc is powerful anti-viral mineral. Zinc is part of the zinc finger proteins that help the body stop growth (replication) of invading viruses. Zinc has been tested and shown to have anti-viral activity against a number of viruses, even Ebola, though it’s not specifically been tested on COVID-19. Sufficient zinc stores inside cells are needed to help successfully fight viruses. Zinc has been shown to help shorten the duration of the common cold. if taken early in the course of the illness. The common cold virus is a member of the corona family. Taking about 25 mg/d of zinc for most people, with a small amount of copper like 2 to 3 mg in a backup multi-mineral, is immune supportive. Zinc’s highest amount in the body is in the brain where zinc “allows” many hormone signals and neuronal actions to protect the brain. Zinc during a viral outbreak helps protect brain tissue from some of the collateral damage. Personally I like Zinc acetate lozenges from Life Extension Foundation. I discussed this in my previous article.They’re inexpensive. Get them from LEF.org or my office.
Mushrooms: Mushrooms contain, in their cell walls, natural polysaccharides called beta-glucans. These substances increase host immune defense by several mechanisms, such as activating a part of the immune system called the complement system, enhancing macrophages (a protective traveling white blood cell that does cellular surveillance), and boosting natural killer cell function. Ill patients, more at risk of the virus, along with the elderly, often have “lower killer cell activity” and thus more viral vulnerability. Getting mushroom supplements is smart. Add them to your diet, too. Paul Stamets is one of the foremost experts in the world on mushrooms and their benefits. He says the mycelia from where the mushroom comes from is by far more potent than the mushroom itself. I recommend his product from Host Defense called Stamets 7. There are others that I mentioned previously that are mycelia based.
In her article she discusses many of the strategies we already know and I talked about previously like social distance of 6 feet or more, exercise, decreasing stress, getting enough fruits and vegetables and high quality protein in your diet. Avoiding sugar as it’s known to depress the immune system as does stress. Also avoid NSAIDs like advil and ibuprophen as they are known to depress the immune system and have other potentially negative effects.
If You Get COVID-19
If you become ill with a viral infection, she suggests these viral protocols that have been used for viruses in functional medicine clinics for many years:
- IV Vitamin C if you can get it. Intravenous vitamin C is already being employed (successfully in a number of cases) in China against COVID-19. You can go to a functional medicine doctor or some cities have walk-in IV rooms where they have doctors on site. This looks like one of the best options to start right away. If you can’t get IV vitamin C, try Vitamin C to bowel tolerance as described earlier in this article.
- Melatonin (30 mg time-release – at this time is my best guesstimate) before bed for one week, you may feel groggy during the day, but you need to sleep anyway and this will give you deep healing sleep; then reduce to 20 mg the next several weeks.
- Vitamin D3 (50,000 U) for four days. After the four days, resume your previous dosing.
- Vitamin A Palmitate (100,000 IU) for 4 days, then reduce to 50,000 IUs for 4 days, and then down to 25,000 IU.
- Zinc (30 mg 4/day) divided into two dosages; this will probably cause a little nausea. Go down to 30 mg each day until at 30 mg. While doing this protocol make sure you have a multi-mineral on board with a bit of copper in it.
- It is best to work with a holistic doctor who can monitor your levels as both vitamin A and D can become toxic.
- Ozone whole blood irradiation is a powerful tool against viruses (and everything else). Hydrogen peroxide IVs are helpful, too. I have not used these, but Dr. Brownstein swears by them.
- Consider clearing nasal passages with a Neti pot (with purified water).
- Consider Afrin nasal spray (3 sprays in each nostril, 3 days at a time, and then 3 days off). This could potentially keep your sinuses clear and prevent the symptoms from spreading to your lungs.
Yours in good health,
Dr. Charles Hough
FDA Disclaimer . The statements made regarding these products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The efficacy of these products has not been confirmed by FDA -approved research. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.