by Michael J Gonzalez, NMD, PhD
OMNS June 4, 2020) Much has been said on how to prevent infection by the Sars-Cov2 coronavirus (COVID-19). Washing hands, using sanitizers, keeping physical distance, wearing a mask are all good primary prevention advice, but it may be said that a virus anywhere is a virus everywhere. The Sars-Cov2 that produces the COVID-19 seems to have certain particularities such as being highly infectious, surviving for long periods of time on different surfaces, and a fairly fast mutation rate, all which enhance the chances of getting infected and it lasting more than usual for a viral infection. Like the flu virus, COVID-19 is transmitted from infected people to others via respiratory fluids.
So what can we do? Most of the individuals that actually get complications when infected by Sars-Cov2 have a compromised immune system, apparently due to two main factors:
Co- morbidities (obesity, diabetes, cancer, heart disease).
Nutrient insufficiencies or deficiencies.
The immune system is one of the most complex systems in our body requiring multiple metabolic steps for its proper functioning. Moreover, its multiple metabolic steps require many enzymes which need numerous cofactors (vitamins and minerals). If these cofactors are not provided in an optimal level, the immune system will not be capable of responding properly to defend us from invading organisms and viruses.
The Sars-Cov2 coronavirus is an RNA virus with spikes on its capsid or protein coat. The virus spike protein utilizes angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) as its cell surface receptor and affects organs such as lung, intestine and heart with high numbers of these receptors.
The most common clinical manifestations of COVID-19 are fever, cough, and dyspnea. Other reported symptoms include sore throat, myalgia, fatigue, headache, and diarrhea. Loss of smell and taste have also been reported as distinctive features of this viral disease. Most of the critical and fatal damage that occurs with this infection is due to the cytokine storm induced by the virus.
The cytokine storm refers to an excessive and uncontrolled release of pro-inflammatory cytokines that significantly upregulate reactive oxidative species that destroy the tissues. In infectious diseases, the cytokine storm usually originates from the infected area, spreading through the bloodstream. Damage has been reported to the alveoli in the lungs where the gas exchange between O2 and CO2 occurs, to the vascular systems that carries O2 through all the body, and to the red blood cells that transport the O2. This explains why respiratory distress and sepsis occurs in a number of COVID-19 patients that increases their need for intensive care and respirators, and risk of death. Scavengers of reactive oxygen species, such as vitamin C and other antioxidants, can play an important role in minimizing the cytokine storm and preventing tissue damage. But in doing so, the level of vitamin C can be rapidly depleted if not replenished.
To prevent tissue damage and lower the risk of death, we must prepare the immune system to function quickly and more effectively! Only by having a prepared and strong immune system will you be able to protect yourself and reduce your infection risk. So here are a few recommendations to optimize your immune system to help you fight more effectively any viral infection. This protocol will not prevent you from becoming infected but will provide your body with necessary cofactors to ameliorate many of the serious complications of the disease.
Orthomolecular COVID-19 Prevention protocol
Follow a diet rich in whole foods high in antioxidants (Citrus fruits, Yogurt, Almonds, Spinach, Garlic and onions, Ginger, Broccoli, Red bell peppers, etc.)
Diet low in sugar and low in simple and refined carbohydrates
Limit processed meals
Eat more vegetables, fruits and nuts.
Hydrate well with water! (Your weight in lb. divided by 16 gives you the number of 8oz cups daily intake)
Sleep 8 hours
Exercise at least 3 times a week
Relaxation: Meditate, Listen to music, Read a book
Recommended supplementation (basic): Take immune-optimizing supplements. There are a number of supplements you can take that will improve your immunity to disease.
Multivitamin and mineral, one daily
Vitamin C 1,000 mg, three times daily, reduce if it causes laxative effect.
Vitamin D 2,000 - 5,000 IU daily depending on body weight, 10,000 IU daily for the first 2 weeks
Zinc 30 mg daily
Magnesium 500 mg daily (in malate, citrate, or chloride form)
Selenium 200 mcg daily (also contained in many multivitamin supplements)
Probiotics >30 billion a day
Quercetin 500 mg daily
NAC (N-Acetyl-Cysteine) 500 mg daily
Melatonin 1-5 mg daily, depending on individual tolerance and need
Other suggested supplements: Echinacea, astragalus, rhodiola, maitake, shitake, ginger, garlic, elderberry, vitamin A, lipoic acid, CoQ10, vitamin E (mixed tocopherols with all four tocotrienols).
A small briefing on Vitamin C as an antiviral
Vitamin C has 11 antiviral mechanisms and should be the first line of defense against any viral disease including COVID-19. Vitamin C has worked against every single virus including influenzas, pneumonia, and even poliomyelitis. COVID-19 is a very serious contagious disease. But contagion to a virus largely depends on the susceptibility of the host. It is well established that low vitamin C levels increase susceptibility to viruses. It must be emphasized that only 200 mg of vitamin C per day resulted in an 80% decrease in deaths among severely ill, hospitalized respiratory disease patients. Drs. Frederick R. Klenner and Robert F. Cathcart successfully treated influenza and pneumonia with very high doses of vitamin C. A coronavirus pandemic can be stopped with the immediate widespread use of high doses of vitamin C. Acute organ failure, especially pulmonary failure (acute respiratory distress syndrome, ARDS) is the main cause of COVID-19 fatality. As mentioned above, significantly increased oxidative stress due to the rapid release of free radicals and cytokines etc. is the hallmark of ARDS which leads to cellular injury, organ failure and death.
All the effects caused by the attack of Sars-Cov-2 on the body involve depletion of ascorbic acid. When the body no longer has sufficient ascorbic acid due to stress from disease, the body acquires the condition called "induced scurvy" in which it can longer maintain its organs. In scurvy, bleeding from damaged capillaries and organ failure occurs everywhere throughout the body. Depletion of ascorbic acid also results in the failure of the immune system, and disables recuperation of metabolic function, which may lead to severe and lethal pathologies such as ARDS, sepsis and multiple organ failure. A rapid application of high dose intravenous vitamin C can reverse induced scurvy, stop the cytokine storm, and ultimately save the lives of critically ill COVID-19 patients. While Medical authorities are obsessively focusing on searching for a vaccine and/or drug for COVID--19, in vitamin C we have an existing, effective, clinically demonstrated method to treat what coronavirus patients die from: severe acute respiratory syndrome, or pneumonia.
Crisci CD, Ardusso LRF, Mossuz A, Müller L(2020) A Precision Medicine Approach to SARS-CoV-2 Pandemic Management. Curr Treat Options Allergy. 2020 May 8:1-19. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32391242
Jayawardena R, Sooriyaarachchi P, Chourdakis M, et al. (2020) Enhancing immunity in viral infections, with special emphasis on COVID-19: A review. Diabetes Metab Syndr. 14:367-382. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32334392
Hemilä H. (2003) Vitamin C and SARS coronavirus. J Antimicrob Chemother. 52:1049-1050. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/14613951
McCarty MF, DiNicolantonio JJ. (2020) Nutraceuticals have potential for boosting the type 1 interferon response to RNA viruses including influenza and coronavirus. Prog Cardiovasc Dis 2020 Feb 12. doi: 10.1016/j.pcad.2020.02.007. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32061635
Saul AW. (2020) Nutritional treatment of coronavirus. Orthomolecular Medicine News Service. http://orthomolecular.org/resources/omns/v16n06.shtml
Hunt C, Chakravorty NK, Annan G, et al. (1994) The clinical effects of Vitamin C supplementation in elderly hospitalized patients with acute respiratory infections. Int J Vitam Nutr Res 64:212-219. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7814237
Klenner FR. (1971) Observations on the dose and administration of ascorbic acid when employed beyond the range of a vitamin in human pathology. J Applied Nutrition 23: 3,4. http://www.doctoryourself.com/klennerpaper.html http://orthomolecular.org/library/jom/1998/pdf/1998-v13n04-p198.pdf
Klenner FR. (1948) Virus pneumonia and its treatment with vitamin C. J South Med Surg 110:36- https://www.seanet.com/~alexs/ascorbate/194x/klenner-fr-southern_med_surg-1948-v110- n2-p36.htm .
Klenner, FR. (1951) Massive doses of vitamin C and the virus diseases. J South Med and Surg, 113:101-107. https://www.seanet.com/~alexs/ascorbate/195x/klenner-fr-southern_med_surg-1951-v103-n4-p101.htm
All of Dr. Klenner's papers are listed and summarized in:
Smith LH (1991) Clinical Guide to the Use of Vitamin C. Life Sciences Press, Tacoma, WA, 1991. ISBN-13: 978-0943685137. http://www.seanet.com/~alexs/ascorbate/198x/smith-lh-clinical_guide_1988.htm
Cathcart RF. (1981) Vitamin C, titrating to bowel tolerance, anascorbemia, and acute induced scurvy. Med Hypotheses. 7:1359-1376. http://www.doctoryourself.com/titration.html
Cathcart RF. (1993) The third face of vitamin C. J Orthomolecular Med, 7:197-200. http://www.doctoryourself.com/cathcart_thirdface.html
Cathcart RF. (1981) Vitamin C, titrating to bowel tolerance, anascorbemia, and acute induced scurvy. http://www.doctoryourself.com/titration.html
Cathcart RF. (1994) Treatment of infectious diseases with massive doses of vitamin C. http://www.doctoryourself.com/cathcart_C_summary.html
Additional Dr. Cathcart papers are posted at http://www.doctoryourself.com/biblio_cathcart.html
Marik PE, Khangoora V, Rivera R, Hooper MH, Catravas J. (2017) Hydrocortisone, Vitamin C, and Thiamine for the Treatment of Severe Sepsis and Septic Shock: A Retrospective Before-After Study. Chest. 151:1229-1238. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27940189
Fowler III AA, Kim C, Lepler L, et al. (2017) Intravenous vitamin C as adjunctive therapy for enterovirus/rhinovirus induced acute respiratory distress syndrome. World J Crit Care Med. 6:85-90. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28224112
Gonzalez MJ, Berdiel MJ, Duconge J, Levy TE, et al. (2020) High Dose Vitamin C and Influenza: A Case Report. J Orthomolec Med. 33:1-3. https://isom.ca/article/high-dose-vitamin-c-influenza-case-report
Pierce M, Linnebur SA, Pearson SM, Fixen DR (2019) Optimal melatonin dose in older adults: A clinical review of the literature. Sr Care Pharm 34:419-431. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31383052
Nutritional Medicine is Orthomolecular Medicine
Orthomolecular medicine uses safe, effective nutritional therapy to fight illness. For more information: http://www.orthomolecular.org
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