When news of a novel virus outbreak began trickling out of China in November 2019 my interest was immediately piqued. At the time, my eldest son was living and studying at University in Shanghai and I was concerned for his health and safety.
Back in those early months, no-one really knew what the disease was, or how it was going to impact the global population as a whole. Faced with all those unknowns and based on my training, one thing was very apparent.
Despite all the best medical interventions in the world, it is the human immune system that is interacting with a disease. Every treatment, no matter what it is, is an attempt to facilitate the function of that system through the various stages of disease progression.
As this was a novel virus, acquired immunity was not present in the population (apart from a degree cross-immunity from other coronavirus exposure), so the “Innate” immune system was the obvious place to focus attention: Better to defeat the enemy outside the citadel than within.
The following protocol is the one I have developed and followed where needed (no I haven’t become ill during this period, so I haven’t had to follow the acute phase plan). It is based on the best information I have been able to gather over the past 14 months. Note, it does not include specific pharmaceutical products as these are outside the remit of my practice.
Regardless of the presence of disease in the population, I follow this daily general
Note: all supplement doses based on 150 lb adult male.
Vitamin D 4000 iu/ day. The aim is to maintain a serum vitamin D level of >40ng/ml. This is a key level that appears to be strongly correlated with disease prevention and mitigation. Outside of the winter months, synthesis of vitamin D in response to sunlight UV exposure will reduce the need for supplementation.
Zinc 40mg + Ionophore. An “Ionophore” is a chemical that binds to cationic zinc in the bloodstream and transports it into the cells where it is needed. Quercetin, Green Tea Extract (EGCG) and Wormwood are ionophores that are frequently used and are subject to ongoing studies. A Ionic zinc supplement (usually liquid) may negate the need for an ionophore.
Vitamin C 4-6g/ day. When taking doses of vitamin C greater than 1g, it is advisable to use either a buffered compound (Sodium Ascorbate, Ascorbate Palmitate) or as I do, liposomal vitamin C. This will avoid G.I. tract upset. You can purchase liposomal vitamin C, but if you plan on taking it for the foreseeable future, you can make your own- see my instructional video here: https://youtu.be/4gUBwORlvOg
Sleep. 7-8 hours is essential for health and longevity.
In the case where exposure risk is high, such as visiting hospital or in groups of people, I follow these steps:
Zinc lozenges 23mg lozenge immediately prior; repeat every 2 hours as long as risk
Povidone-iodine .5-1% solution; gargle and nasal rinse .5%- 1%
The following compounds have a long history of safe use in the up-regulation of innate immune function in the face of community viral illness. I take these to give a short-term boost to my immune system, especially at the the onset of winter when viral illness tends to be on the ascendant; I do not use them long-term or year-round.
Chaga. The woody, fruiting body of a mycelium species that grows on birch trees. Its stimulation of certain immune cells is well established in the scientific literature. It can be brewed in a tea, or taken in a capsule or liquid extract.
Elderberry. Also known as Sambucus. This is generally prepared as a syrup and is especially good at combating respiratory viruses.
Engystol. An immune-stimulating preparation made by Heel- Germany. This is available online or OTC in some countries, or via registered practitioners in others.
Were I to develop acute phase viral illness, I’d use this protocol below:
Zinc 23mg lozenge; 5-10 in a 24 hour period.
Lactoferrin (from whey protein 20-40 grams). Lactoferrin has been shown to reduce the pro-inflammatory cytokine Interleukin 6 (IL-6) in viral studies. Vitamin C. I’d increase the dose. Vitamin C’s role in the human body is far-ranging. It is rapidly a rapidly used and depleted anti-oxidant and also essential for the repair of collagen- think delicate airway damage due to coughing and inflammation.
Anti IL1, IL4, IL10. These are 3 of the body’s own signally molecules (cytokines). The well-documented cytokine storm is a massive over-expression of the pro-inflammatory pathways in the body. The three cytokines I have on hand counteract and down-regulate the expression of IL-6 and TNF-alpha which are responsible for acute and chronic
inflammation in many disease states.
The preparations I use are produced by Guna Inc. of Milan Italy and have been used in clinical trials (University of Rome, University of Bologna) for the treatment of various inflammatory conditions. They are available to UK residents via my clinic (clinical consultation required- contact me directly).
Usnea. This a preparation of the “Old Man’s Beard” lichen that has been traditionally used among the indigenous peoples of the American NW as an expectorant. It may be useful in clearing inflammatory exudate from the lungs, but there are no studies to date that I am aware of (?).
One of the hallmarks of this current virus is the long recovery time and residual negative effects for a significant number of individuals. Post-viral complications are not rare, and mostly pertain to depletion of the immune system in general (making one prone to subsequent infection and illness from all sources), and to a continued over-expression of pro-inflammatory cytokine pathways. Fatigue and “brain-fog” are common manifestations of this.
The inflammatory component in this situation can be effectively treated with the antiinflammatory cytokine preparations listed above (Anti IL1 etc.).
At this stage, adequate rest and sleep, interspersed with gentle exercise and movement is key. Sunlight exposure where possible is also helpful. Micro-nutritionally dense foods are indicated, but I’d avoid over-stimulation of the immune system with Chaga or Elderberry in this phase. Other possible interventions to help mitigate inflammation might include Turmeric (curcumin) or CBD.
Practitioner only remedies available through this clinic (UK residents) or via licensed practitioners internationally. Contact Guna Inc. (Italy or USA), Heel Inc. (Germany) for more information.
I am not a medical doctor and this is not medical advice. I have a degree in Osteopathic Medicine and am a Registered Osteomyologist and my personal protocol is an interpretation of research related to my field and medicine in general. Please consult your physician before doing anything for prevention or treatment of COVID-19, and please seek the help of a physician immediately if you believe you may have COVID-19.