If you get sick with COVID how bad will it be? Support your immune system.
By now we have all heard about “herd” immunity. They are saying that as many as 60-70% of us will ultimately have this infection before it will slow down. So, you may get sick and it is easy to have a plan to help yourself have a mild case and avoid some of the serious problems that can result.
How can you lessen the severity of an infection? Begin planning and preventing now. That is the most important thing.
There are two categories of support that are important: things to take to support your immune system all the time to prevent infection, and things to take if you get an infection, no matter what virus or bacterium might be involved. Remember, there are still a lot of viruses which are not COVID-19 out there that can give you a “cold”. You should be prepared for those too.
- I’m recommending people take something with EpiCor in it for immune support. There are several supplements out there that contain it. It is also good to have larch arabinogalactan with it for better effect. Together they make the immune system more responsive to all kinds of things.
- I like elderberry extract (sambucol). There are lots of brands out there. It also helps fight viral infections and it is very pleasant to take. 500 mg is recommended. Stop this one if you get diagnosed with COVID.
- Vitamin D-3 of course is essential. 4000 to 5000 IU per day is a good dose for most people.
- Vitamin C is very important, and a liposomal form is best for supporting immune function. A high dose like 1 to 3 grams daily is best. There has been a good deal of research recently showing that high dose Vitamin C is very helpful for our recent situation.
- Another thing to keep in mind is that lowering inflammation is key if you get sick, and glutathione is a nutrient that helps detoxify the body and lessen inflammation. Again, a liposomal form is best. Liposomes are tiny fat globules that carry the nutrient into a cell more effectively. Glutathione also helps thin secretions in the lungs, so in an infection things can flow better.
- A very high quality multivitamin is key, to support all aspects of health.
- Melatonin is known to support sleep, but is also a potent anti-inflammatory so it can help prevent the serious inflammation that can accompany COVID infections. 5 to 20 mg is a good dose at bedtime.
- There are a number of therapeutic mushrooms that are known to be strong immune modulators. I take a supplement that contains 5 different mushrooms to work synergistically. Be sure to get one that is very good quality. There is a company in Canada that is excellent, called Real Mushrooms. That is my brand.
- Antiviral and immune supporting Chinese herbal formulas can be super powerful to be used at the very first sign of a respiratory infection. We have lots of research from China about which formulas have been most successful at different stages of a viral infection. I am stocking several Chinese herb formulas for various manifestations of infections.
- Zinc is critical to support the immune system in viral infections, and I think eating oysters is a great way to get this, as well as other vegetables that contain it. You can also find zinc lozenges. 30-60 mg daily is good.
- Green Tea is a wonderful anti-inflammatory and immune support nutrient. You can drink 4 cups daily. I drink green tea iced tea all day every day at work so it is easy to get this done.
- Quercitin is also a wonderful nutrient that is found in many fruits and vegetables. It is anti-viral, and you may know it as a help for allergies. It is the ingredient in rose hips that we see often in Vitamin C. We recommend 1000 mg twice daily.
- Custom Chinese herb formulas can also be made up just for you, in case you get sick. For these, I need to see your tongue and get a clear evaluation, so I am using video consultations to make the assessment of what you need. Call at the first sign of an infection of any kind and I will have herbs for you the same day. I will leave them for you to pick up outside in my mailbox.
I have supplements that meet all of the above criteria here at my clinic. You can also find things like these at local health food stores as well. And at my Fullscript online dispensary you can find my Favorites for Immune Support:
Please do call to schedule a video consultation if you need it. My patient management system can support that. Also let me know if you have more questions about the above suggestions.
Most of these suggestions are sourced from the Institute for Functional Medicine and are based on up to date research.
Please call to make an appointment for a nutritional consultation if you’d like more personalized suggestions.