The 6 Must-have Supplements and Strategies for Knocking Out Coronavirus Symptoms. Going the Distance Against
As we move into the fall with school back in session, the clock says it’s time to update the original coronavirus supplement list from early 2020, with the latest research updates.
You can find the research study citations and supplement brand recommendations here on the original coronavirus supplement list.
While colds and influenza, or the flu, are seasonal respiratory diseases, starting in the fall and peaking in the winter, it is still unknown whether COVID-19 infections will follow a seasonal pattern.
We see warmer weather lowering coronavirus infections by 20% in at least one study.
We can say with confidence the outbreak is unlikely to end in the fall, and instead, SARS-CoV-2 will continue through the fall with higher case counts.
The good news is we now have research confirmation of what we originally suspected, with simple action steps to lower our risk and improve outcomes.
So let’s win this time, shall we?
Without further ado, “let’s get ready to rumble!”
#1 Vitamin D: (D3/ K2)
And, “still the heavyweight champion of them all.”
Vitamin D3 continues to stand above and beyond them all.
Vitamin D along with magnesium remain two critical micronutrients in which we see insufficiency levels as high as 80% in some demographics.
While vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency are common worldwide across all demographics, some are especially at higher risk for lower levels.
Risk Factors for Lower Vitamin D Levels:
- Darker Skin Individuals (Higher Melanin Levels)
- Diets Lacking Dairy and Fish (Vitamin D Insufficiency Common Across All Diets)
- High Cholesterol Levels (Believed Relationship)
- Hypertension (Likely Related)
- Kidney Diseases (Highly Likely Related)
- Seasonality (Physical Locations Lacking Winter Sun Exposure)
- Staying Indoors and/ or Wearing Sunscreen at All Times
- Type 2 Diabetes
As we implored governments to consider using vitamin D on day one, they met this with ignorantly stubborn resistance.
Despite vitamin D being an essential micronutrient, with high rates of worldwide insufficiency and deficiency levels, we were told there is no evidence it is effective against the coronavirus.
COVID-19 was new, so we had no evidence of anything being effective.
Endless observational studies and research papers continue surfacing, showing the same we have seen with influenza.
As the undeniable reigning champion for optimizing immune defense, we recognize vitamin D to turn off the cytokine storm activation we see with negative coronavirus outcomes.
While the previous research papers were observational studies, the first peer reviewed vitamin D coronavirus study was released last week.
And the results should be stunning to health officials and the reporting media alike.
We can now say with even greater confidence, a vitamin D insufficiency or deficiency is involved in a large share of adverse COVID-19 outcomes.
Just how many?
Let’s look at the first vitamin D trial results.
* Study Design 2–1 (Twice as Many Vitamin D Patients)
* 2% Vitamin D Group Admitted to ICU
* 50% Control Group (No Vitamin D) Admitted to ICU
* 0% Mortality in the (Vitamin D) Group
* 7.69% Mortality in the Control Group (No Vitamin D)
These results mirror our previous studies on both the coronavirus and influenza in determining vitamin D insufficiency and deficiency is a massive factor.
It remains cheap, safe, effective, and a micronutrient we already are in desperate need.
And despite all of this, we will be told this study is inferior quality and we need this study to be replicated prior to consideration.
What has been and will continue to be the cost of waiting?
How much more evidence do we need to produce supporting the serious and widespread advocacy and use of vitamin D as a COVID-19 prevention tool?
Under the five notable trends to watch section at the bottom, you can find the new bradykinin storm-lowering proposal in which vitamin D is being proposed as a coronavirus drug.
So we have some reason to remain hopeful public officials are finally coming around.
Until then, and as we continue sitting on our hands waiting for a vaccine with loads of unknown variables, we should ask ourselves the same question we should ask in the case of the flu shot.
How does a flu shot or coronavirus vaccine correct a deficient or insufficient vitamin D level?
In the Spanish vitamin D study, calcifediol or 25-hydroxyvitamin D was used. An injectable dose of 532mcg, 100,000 IU is used on day 1, with a second dose of 266 mcg, 50,000 IU used on days 3 and 7, and repeated weekly up until fully recovered.
Sufficient magnesium is needed to absorb oral vitamin D3. Use only vitamin D3 in a two-in-one K2 supplement as D3/ K2. Vitamin K2 keeps vitamin D in your bones and out of your arteries, as arteriosclerosis is the leading cause of death worldwide. Expect to hear more about this publicly in the future.
Theoretically, vitamin D can interfere with sleep, so one can take it earlier in the day with fatty meals containing black pepper to increase absorption. In our home-based oral D3/ K2 supplements, it takes up to two weeks to correct insufficient or deficient vitamin D levels. This speaks to the importance of ongoing use and prevention.
Under the traditional vitamin D testing, a vitamin D deficiency is defined as a blood plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 (25(OH) level under 20 ng/mL or 30 ng/mL, with a vitamin D insufficiency believed to be under 50 ng/mL.
As we saw testing influenza vitamin D levels, we are now seeing coronavirus vitamin D levels could be moved in the future to 50 ng/mL for a deficiency with a level under 70 ng/mL as vitamin D insufficient. Many endocrinologists treating diabetes have already adopted this increase.
Find the dosage recommendations in the conclusion section below.
#2 Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)
Vitamin C came out in the studies as the first supported effective coronavirus compound in ICU settings.
The lessons from the great Linus Pauling, erroneously vilified as a “quack”, despite his two Noble Prizes, are vitamin C when taken in saturation doses are extremely protective for infections.
Emerging studies spotlight nitric oxide and its ability to slow the progression of the virus.
To support the ACE2 enzyme, cardiovascular protection, blood pressure, blood circulation, endothelial dysfunction, and overall immune response, vitamin C is critically important.
Some insist ascorbic acid is not a real vitamin C.
“Vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid) is available in many forms, but there is little scientific evidence that any one form is better absorbed or more effective than another.
Most experimental and clinical research uses ascorbic acid or its sodium salt, called sodium ascorbate.
Natural and synthetic L-ascorbic acid are chemically identical and there are no known differences regarding biological activities or bioavailability.”
-The Linus Pauling Institute
Daily divided doses of 8 to 18 grams depending on “bowel tolerance”, as explained by Linus Pauling. When the stomach growls, this is your tolerance. Do not go beyond this number.
The more divided and more often daily dosing is done, the better the results. See infection dosage recommendations below. You can add a pinch of baking soda or use buffered vitamin C if the acidity is of issue. Some suggest those prone to kidney stones, which might actually be due to a B2 deficiency, should be cautious with high vitamin C dosing, as it can promote the formation of oxalates in the urine.
#3 Magnesium (Needed to absorb D3)
As another common micronutrient deficiency/ insufficiency, sufficient magnesium is needed for efficient absorption of oral vitamin D3 and dietary calcium.
Magnesium converts vitamin D into its active form, allowing for the bioavailability of magnesium and calcium.
As in the case of supplemental vitamin K2 keeping vitamin D in the bones, magnesium maintains calcium in the bones where it belongs, also facilitating the prevention of arterial plaque formation.
The RDA for magnesium for females is 310 to 320 mg and males 400 to 420 mg, with the higher number indicated after the age of 30 years old.
As one of the most commonly used and studied supplements in the world, magnesium acts in 300 enzymes in the human body, including cell-to-cell communication and production of ATP, DNA, RNA, and proteins.
These include protein synthesis, muscle and nerve function, blood glucose control, and blood pressure, and immune function.
Within a quality multi-vitamin, the amount of magnesium is insufficient to meet the RDA along with the magnesium-insufficient modern diet.
Magnesium Deficiency/ Insufficiency Risk Factors
- Alcohol (Excessive consumption)
- Excessive Magnesium Loss (sweat and urine from genetic conditions or exercise)
- Fasting: (Especially prolonged fasting)
- Gastrointestinal Conditions: (celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, regional enteritis)
- Lack of Sleep
- Low-Magnesium Diet
- Medications: (antibiotics, bisphosphonates, diuretics, proton pump inhibitors or PPIs)
- Parathyroid disorders and hyperaldosteronism
- Pregnancy and Lactation
- Type 2 diabetes
We absorb roughly 30–40% of the magnesium we intake. Popular amino acid-bound or chelated magnesium supplements, such as magnesium-glycinate and magnesium-malate, typically have 14% elemental magnesium content.
When you read the label of your magnesium supplement, whether it is magnesium-citrate or another, and you see 1,000 mg per capsule, this means you will only absorb roughly 50 mg of elemental magnesium, which is not nearly sufficient.
The recommendation is to begin counting and covering magnesium intake with a high-quality magnesium supplement.
#4 Two-a-Day Multi-vitamin and Mineral Supplement: (Selenium, Vitamin C, Zinc, and Your Other Micronutrients)
Let’s review all the many 15 vitamins and minerals which continue to surface in COVID-19 immune system support studies.
Vitamins and Minerals Surfacing as Immune-Supportive in COVID-19 Studies (Preferably one with a Methylated B-complex)
- B1 (Thiamine)
- B2 (Riboflavin)
- B3 (Niacin)
- B6 (Pyridoxine)
- B12 (Cyanocobalamin or Methylcobalamin)
- Folate (Folic Acid or Methyl-Folate)
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin E
Taking a high-quality multivitamin and mineral in divided doses allows for roughly 90% absorption of 470 mg of vitamin C with a net intake of over 400 mg, allowing the most minimum needed coverage.
One can also aim for more food-based intake vitamin C and zinc from food throughout the day.
The zinc dosage within a high-quality multivitamin at 25 mg is sufficiently ideal for daily basic coverage needs for the average person, without disturbing gut health and/or copper balance.
Selenium is the other major micronutrient indicated in coronavirus support, and according to the Linus Pauling Institute, should be supplemented at no more than 200 mcg daily.
Getting extra vitamin E from food sources can be helpful above and beyond the amount in the supplement.
Use a high-quality two-a-day multivitamin to provide full-spectrum coverage and increase absorption. Taking one at two separate meals is ideal.
Again, the amount of magnesium provided is far too insufficient, making a separate magnesium supplement necessary.
You can find zinc dose recommendations for active infections in the extras section below.
Those on plant-based diets might need more zinc.
Melatonin continues surfacing as a major Coronavirus killer, because of its apparent ability much as with vitamin D to suppress fatal cytokine storm syndrome (CSS).
Protecting what seems to be all five major bodily organs, melatonin continues grabbing attention and spotlight as a COVID-19 therapy.
While supporting the ACE2 enzyme, melatonin inhibits NLRP3 inflammasomes, and has a profound blood pressure-lowering effect, especially for nocturnal blood pressure, a more relevant diagnostic over daytime blood pressure.
We are finding melatonin to be promising in effectiveness for those with diabetes and obesity.
We hypothesize we need more melatonin as we age, while the protective role of melatonin with chronic disease states, especially type 2 diabetes and obesity, appears to be relevant.
Melatonin was in the original top 5 supplement list, and it remains in this updated list.
One should not take melatonin prior to mid-afternoon if one has insulin issues. Also, if one is predisposed to bipolar disorder, limited rare cases have been reported with prolonged daytime melatonin use.
It should be taken in doses from 300 mcg to 10 mg, 1 to 2 hours before bedtime. Dark rooms and reduction in blue light can also increase melatonin production. ICU’s report using melatonin doses averaging 50 mg.
We have evidence in doses of 10 mg, as well with high dose vitamin C it can increase inflammation in those with specific inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis. A new COVID-19 hypothesis is seen to cite it is this pro-inflammatory reaction, which is driving some adverse COVID-19 outcomes.
#6 Zinc Ionophores (Black Seed Oil, Chinchona Bark, Green Tea, Quercetin, Stinging Nettle): Better than Hydroxychloroquine?
As explained in the article below, hydroxychloroquine has received a ton of attention as a potential coronavirus treatment, and there might be a safer, smarter, better way of going the natural route.
An explanation for the general ineffectiveness of hydroxychloroquine in the ICU could be because of its unique pharmacokinetics.
It takes the hydroxychloroquine10 days to reach peak blood plasma concentrations, which we can theorize is far too late to have clinical effects after the virus has already replicated.
Hydroxychloroquine is a zinc ionophore or a zinc transporter, which means it can move zinc into the cells to block the replication of viruses, as we also see in an array of other viruses.
You can think of the metaphor of a hammer and a nail, as zinc and zinc ionophore only have value in combination, relying on each other for effectiveness.
A benefit of a natural zinc ionophore, (list below), is there is much more rapid time of peak blood concentration, making natural zinc ionophores potentially superior.
A downside is they eliminated in a few hours contrary to the 19-day hydroxychloroquine half-life elimination time.
This means divided doses throughout the day are needed with natural zinc ionophores.
Natural Zinc Ionophores
- Black Seed Oil
- Cinchona Bark (OTC Leg Cramps product can be used.)
- EGCG (Green Tea) (Caution on daily doses exceeding 800 mg.)
- Stinging Nettle (Often combined with quercetin in supplements.)
No one knows the effective zinc ionophore dosage we need, so we can only guess a 3 to 4-day dosing schedule is a best practice. We need much larger zinc ionophore dosages during an active infection.
5 Notable COVID-19 Trends to Monitor
- Nitric Oxide (NOS3): (More Reasons to Take Extra Vitamin C)
Nitric oxide is a gas made by the enzyme NOS3, which regulates blood circulation and blood pressure, and is being found to slow the progression of the virus. We now believe nitric oxide precursor supplements such as garlic, agmatine, vitamin C, curcumin, which can raise nitric oxide, (NO), levels over 200%, might be effective.
Despite being originally advised in the early days as a top 4 COVID-19 supplement by the esteemed Linus Pauling Institute (LPI), omega-3’s are just recently getting attention in emerging research studies, likely more so for prevention over treatment. Omega-3’s are a common nutrient deficiency in the modern western diet. More research is needed.
3. Prebiotics/ Probiotics:
The gastroprotective human gut microbiome continues being looked at, exploring its role in fighting the coronavirus.
4. Vitamin B-12 and Vitamin E:
These two vitamin micronutrients have been getting attention lately. Vegans on a 100% plant-based diet need to supplement B12 and carefully monitor their B12 levels.
5. Vitamin D and a New Bradykinin Storm Hypothesis:
Vitamin D is now being discussed for use as a COVID-19 drug to halt the progression of the newly believed deadly “bradykinin” storms. Its involvement in the RAS system could lower another compound called REN. If vitamin D proves itself as effective to lower bradykinin storm severity, it could be a cost-effective COVID-19 treatment for mitigating severe outcomes.
Understanding 4 Key Coronavirus Risk Factors
- ACE2 (Blood Pressure and Men):
Men have a higher COVID-19 risk than women, because of our apparently lower ACE2 expression. ACE2 is the protective blood pressure regulating enzyme, and also the coronavirus host receptor site. Independent of gender, we see lower ACE2 expression with aging and chronic disease, especially diabetes, hypertension, and obesity. Monitoring and lowering blood pressure should go without saying.
2. Darker Skin:
Melanin comes with lower vitamin D levels, with corresponding lower ACE2 expression, and will be a likely top 3 major COVID-19 risk factor when all studies are in.
3. Diabetes and Obesity:
This has been the hardest hit demographic, as we see lower vitamin D, magnesium, and melatonin levels here, which could prove to be a major factor.
4. Lower Glutathione (GSH) Levels:
Lower glutathione levels are correlated with negative coronavirus outcomes, as many take NAC, with nebulized NAC as effective against specific coronavirus strains.
5 Coronavirus Extra Action Items
- Blood Pressure Monitor ($19.99 to $69.99)
- Digital Thermometer ($9.99 to $39.99)
- Extra Vitamin C and Zinc
- Fingertip Blood Oxygen Pulse Oximeter ($16.99 to $21.99)
- Get a Full Blood Panel (1 to 2 times annually) (Always know your panel in advance.)
*Buffered or liposomal vitamin C shows greater bioavailability and zinc picolinate shows greater zinc bioavailability. Hospitals use 225 mg of zinc sulfate.
*Use the blood pressure monitor and thermometer to know your numbers.
*Use the oximeter to discover a possible active infection prior to symptoms, allowing for earlier and thus more likely effective actions.
The Truth About Masks and Social Distancing
Regrettably, the mask is a highly politicized coronavirus issue.
Some say, “masks don’t work.”
We need to make distinctions when people are making these types of claims.
While it is true cloth masks are visibly porous, invariably the N95 respirator masks provide a significantly higher level of protection to the user.
We can make the argument cloth masks give one a false sense of security, especially indoors, and that if one wants to increase their security, in absence of distancing, they can invest in N95 respirator masks.
Some have suggested leaving used masks outdoors in the sun for 3-days as a recycling method.
This might be a cost-effective approach, with no studies to support its effectiveness, but it makes sense.
Wash your hands, and this is an ongoing obvious action item regardless of an outbreak or not.
Our skin is our largest organ and also our primary external protective barrier.
We have a bone, gut, and skin microbiome, which all run through our skin.
Lathering up in antibacterial lotions and soaps regularly instead of just soap and water might be a terrible idea in lowering our defenses.
Last, social distancing is yes a major “PITA”, however, we should at a very minimum keep distance with our loved ones who remain at high risk.
If you need to have meals with them, consider outdoor BBQs and picnics.
Make sure they are on vitamin D3 and the other items on this list.
Vitamin D for Coronavirus Symptoms: David Grimes, MD
David Grimes, MD -Regarding the 1st Controlled Vitamin D Study:
“In this study, the proof is in the pudding. The dose given was obviously very effective, and it is the dose that now should be used as a standard of admission to the hospital with Covid-19.
A report in the Lancet September 8th is that an RCT of azithromycin (included for all in the Spanish vitamin D RCT), which was undertaken in Brazil, showed no benefit from the addition of azithromycin to standard care. Unfortunately, vitamin D was not used in the Brazil study and death occurred in 42% and 40% of those given or not given azithromycin. It is a disappointment that the Brazil team chose to investigate azithromycin and not vitamin D.”
Conclusions on Coronavirus Supplements and Coronavirus Vaccine:
We should consider the reality viruses persist, and we cannot stop a virus.
Instead, we can protect ourselves with health, as this won’t be the last outbreak with human history experiencing them endlessly through time.
What is the best method of keeping someone out of your house?
No, not a gun, because if you have to use it, they are already inside.
The answer is simple, and that’s locking the door.
We can use the same prevention metaphor here with virus protection.
The Bubonic Plague, Black Death of 1347 is still with us producing 10 to 15 cases annually in the USA.
There are four strains of the influenza virus, of which three affect humans.
Some historians believe influenza originated in China in 6,000 B.C., with an introduction to the west in 1510.
The Spanish Flu, or influenza type A, H1N1, was disastrous, and when the healthiest part of the population experienced high adverse virus outcomes.
Notwithstanding, it is reasonable to assume the coronavirus will be with us for the long haul.
The Vitamin D Society recommends what amounts to a daily intake of 6,400 IU vitamin D on average adjusting for variables causing the need for more vitamin D.
My daily intake as a biohacker and health sciences researcher is 10,000 IU from my two-a-day multivitamin and vitamin D3/ K2 supplement. (I have lower ACE2 expression, so remember we are not all the same.)
In the past when I got sick, and it’s been a long time, I’d go to 40,000 IU of vitamin D3/ K2 daily for three days within the first hour of having symptoms, along with 200 mg of zinc in divided doses, lots of matcha green tea, vitamin C every hour, and 40 mg of extended-release melatonin at bedtime.
Even if a proven safe coronavirus vaccine arrives, just like with influenza, and the flu shot, a coronavirus vaccine will never fix a vitamin D deficiency or insufficiency.
Think about this one for just a second as we end this note…
What’s your favorite coronavirus supplement?
Your Friend in Health