Hi I read an article yesterday that said that aspirin can reduce risk of ICU admissions and death, covid-19 researchers say. They were talking about the low dose aspirin that people already take as they age to reduce risk of heart attack. This was kind of cool news. I assume it is due to the effect of aspirin reducing clotting of the blood, and microscopic blood clots have been found in many organs of people who have died of covid 19.
Of course, just taking low dose aspirin is really not sufficient to guarantee a good outcome if you might become infected with covid 19. We know, based on solid research, that a number of other nutrients can be helpful to prevent infections or help prevent serious outcomes of infection. This information has been put out by the Institute for Functional Medicine, IFM, on their COVID information page. Those supplements include:
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:
Acupuncture reduces mortality from influenza. Two independent investigations confirm acupuncture’s efficacy for fighting influenza. One laboratory investigation tested acupuncture as a monotherapy and determined that acupuncture lowers mortality rates, increases serum interferon levels, and improves the phagocytosis of viruses. Another investigation finds acupuncture effective for enhancing the clinical effictiveness of anti-viral drugs. Let’s start with the integrative investigation and we’ll look at the acupuncture monotherapy next.
Researchers from the Taizhou Municipal Hospital combined acupuncture with standard drug therapy. Patients receiving both oseltamivir and acupuncture in a combined treatment protocol had superior patient outcomes compared with patients receiving only oseltamivir.  In an independent laboratory experiment, the researchers proved that acupuncture exerts an antiviral effect by increasing the serum level of interferon (IFN) and improves phagocyte function in rats with influenza virus infections. 
The research team of Lang et al. compared a control group receiving only oseltamivir (an antiviral drug, also known by the brand-name Tamiflu) and a treatment group receiving both acupuncture and oseltamivir. The treatment group patients had significantly shorter recovery times for relieving fever, sore throat, and coughing. The researchers conclude that the addition of acupuncture to an oseltamivir treatment regimen increases the effective rate of oseltamivir for the treatment of influenza. Furthermore, the researchers conclude that acupuncture is both effective and safe; acupuncture did not produce any severe adverse effects.
Following treatment, the average recovery time from fever was 63.80 hours in the drug monotherapy control group and 57.05 hours in the acupuncture plus drug treatment group. On average, acupuncture reduced fevers by 6.75 hours.
The average recovery time from sore throat was 80.35 hours in the control group and 71.25 hours in the treatment group. Acupuncture improved the pharynx pain recovery time by 9.1 hours.
The average recovery time from coughing and other symptoms was 115.20 hours in the drug monotherapy control group and 104.70 hours in the acupuncture plus drug treatment group; acupuncture produced an improvement of 10.5 hours. The recovery time refers to the time it takes to completely relieve symptoms (including body temperature ≤37.4 degrees Celsius) for at least 24 hours from the start of treatment. The results showed that acupuncture significantly increases the total effective rate of oseltamivir and the combined therapy shortens the development course of H1N1 influenza.
Researchers (Lang et al.) used the following study design. A total of 80 patients diagnosed with H1N1 influenza were treated and evaluated They were randomly divided into an acupuncture plus drug treatment group and a drug monotherapy control group, with 40 patients in each group. Inclusion criteria were established and included the following:
H1N1 influenza diagnosis
Body temperature ≥38 degrees Celsius
At least two indicative symptoms (e.g., sore throat, coughing)
Both groups were given identical drug therapy. A total of 75 mg of oseltamivir was administered twice daily, for a total of 5 days as one treatment course. Symptomatic treatment (antipyretic analgesics, antitussives, or expectorants) were also given if necessary.
The treatment group received acupuncture treatment. The following primary acupoints were selected bilaterally for the treatment group:
Additional secondary acupoints were added based on symptom presentation:
High fever: GV14 (Dazhui)
Severe cough: LU6 (Kongzui)
Sore throat: LU10 (Yuji), LU11 (Shaoshang)
The Taizhou Municipal Hospital researchers determined that acupuncture improves outcomes for influenza patients taking oseltamivir. This includes reductions of fevers and symptomatic relief. Overall, the total recovery time improves when acupuncture is added to the drug therapy treatment regimen.
In another investigation, Nanjing University of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) researchers investigated the effect of acupuncture and moxibustion on rats infected with influenza virus. They found that both acupuncture and moxibustion decrease the mortality rate and increase the average survival time. In addition, they document that both TCM therapies significantly increase the serum level of IFN and improve phagocytosis of viruses.
Interferon (IFN) plays a major role in defective neutrophil recruitment and influenza virus killing.  The researchers conclude that both acupuncture and moxibustion are effective for the treatment of influenza. Notably, acupuncture produced superior outcomes over moxibustion therapy.
Three groups were compared. The first group received acupuncture. The second group received moxibustion. The third group was a control. For the acupuncture treatment group, a needle was inserted into one single point (Dazhui, GV14) and was manipulated with the twisting technique with a frequency of 30–50 times per minute. For the moxibustion treatment group, 10–15 mg of moxa cigar cuttings were applied upon the acupoint Guanyuan (CV4). A total of 4 cuttings were used in one treatment session. The above treatments were conducted daily, for 3 consecutive days in total. The control group received no treatment.
The mortality rate of the acupuncture treatment group was 63.5% and was 78.6% for the moxibustion group. The control group mortality rate was 96.4%. In addition, overall survival times improves in the acupuncture and moxibustion groups.
The aforementioned independent investigations indicate that acupuncture reduces mortality from influenza and acupuncture is an important treatment option for the treatment of influenza. Acupuncture improves the serum level of IFN and improves phagocytosis of viruses. Patients are encouraged to contact local licensed acupuncturists to consult about treatment options.
References  Lang BX, Jin LQ, Liu SN, Liu XR. Clinical observation on the effect of acupuncture combined with conventional therapy on influenza H1N1 [J]. Chinese Archives of Traditional Chinese Medicine, 2011, 29(2):411-412.  Chou YF, Cao YM, Wang JL, Yang ZM, Qiu ML. Protective effect of acupuncture on mice infected with influenza virus [J]. China Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Pharmacy, 1990(2):16-18.  Wenjing Li, Bruno Moltedo, Thomas M. Moran. Type I Interferon Induction during Influenza Virus Infection Increases Susceptibility to Secondary Streptococcus pneumoniae Infection by Negative Regulation of T Cells [J]. Journal of Virology, Oct 2012, 86 (22) 12304-12312.
Acupuncture for Stress to be your best self. Everyone is feeling very stressed right now. And we know from research that stress suppresses the immune system. So it is more important than ever that we practice all the stress management techniques that we have. Acupuncture is one of those.
Consider scheduling an acupuncture treatment to help your nervous system settle, enhance the function of your Qi in being able to defend you from infection and keep your Qi strong to get through this challenging time. If you’ve had acupuncture before, you know very well how rested and refreshed you can feel after a treatment and for days after.
Chinese herbs can also be very helpful in strengthening our Qi, balancing whatever might be out of balance, and optimizing our health. In professional Chinese medicine we can treat the “constitutional disharmony” that underlies all your health issues. That can very much help keep you healthy in the face of current situations.
At our office we are keeping our waiting room free of patients, repeatedly sanitizing all surfaces during the course of the day, asking patients to wash hands as they enter the clinic and as they enter their homes. We are sanitizing every surface such as credit card machine and all door handles, as we always do. We want you to feel safe in attending your appointment.
If you are an older person or in poor health, we are recommending that you stay home and do not come to the clinic.
At your appointment we can make recommendations about how to support your immune system with nutrition and supplements and other lifestyle supports.
Science tells us that this virus will be with us for quite a long time and that we must all make changes for the long haul. We are doing our best to support you during this time.