(The Top 9-Science Backed Lung Supplements: COVID-19 and More)
How often do you consciously take a breath?
Not much at all — because breathing occurs unconsciously
The respiratory center in the brain controls how many breaths we take along with how much air we inhale and exhale.
Delivering oxygen to the cells of the body’s tissues while removing carbon dioxide, a cellular waste product, is the core function of the respiratory system.
The respiratory system works with the circulatory system distributing immune system oxygen into blood vessels and circulating oxygenated blood to the tissues and cells of the body.
The lungs, nasal cavity, and trachea are the dominant structures of the human respiratory system.
We breathe about 15 times per minute on average.
As air fills our lungs on each inhalation, air exits with every following exhalation.
Air containing oxygen (O2) crosses the lung tissue, entering the bloodstream while traveling to other organs and tissues.
As a requirement for metabolic functions, O2 causes metabolic reactions producing ATP energy.
These reactions eliminate toxic carbon dioxide (CO2) as a by-product.
Carbon dioxide exits the cells, enters the bloodstream, and travels back to the lungs, before expulsion through exhalation.
We divide the respiratory tract into upper and lower respiratory tracts.
While the upper includes nasal cavities, nose, pharynx, sinuses, and upper larynx, the lower includes the lower larynx, the trachea, bronchi, bronchioles, and the alveoli.
Respiratory System Disorders:
- Airway obstructive conditions (asthma, bronchitis, emphysema).
- Infectious, environmental, and other “diseases” (asbestosis, particulate pollutants, pneumonia, tuberculosis).
- Insufficient surfactant (e.g. respiratory distress syndrome in preterm babies).
- Primary cancers (bronchial carcinoma, mesothelioma).
- Pulmonary restrictive conditions (alveolar damage, fibrosis, pleural effusion, sarcoidosis).
- Secondary cancers (cancers originating elsewhere).
- Vascular diseases (pulmonary edema, pulmonary embolism, pulmonary hypertension).
A pulmonologist and respiratory therapist treats disorders of the respiratory system.
We see the use of medical ventilators in the treatment of coronavirus patients experiencing an inability to breathe or breathing insufficiency during the current COVID-19 viral outbreak.
#1 NAC (N-acetyl cysteine)
N-acetyl- cysteine, NAC converts into cysteine, an amino acid in our body. Along with glycine and glutamine, cysteine produces glutathione, our body’s most powerful antioxidant.
Glutathione receives the nickname, “the master antioxidant” because it removes cellular free radicals while activating our detoxification system. NAC contains sulfur, allowing glutathione to operate, as its antioxidant actions protect our DNA, organs, and tissues from cellular damage, inflammation, and toxic substances.
NAC delivers anti-mucolytic actions, which allows the lungs to clear mucus. We have limited NAC evidence for bronchitis, COPD, flu, and sinus infection treatment.
Most recently, researchers believe NAC in the nebulized form can be effective in the treatment of certain coronavirus strains. Other researchers conclude lower glutathione levels might explain negative COVID-19 patient outcomes.
Some biohackers believe taking NAC 30 minutes prior to consuming alcohol can help buffer alcohol’s toxic liver effects. Hospitals worldwide consider NAC an essential medicine as it is more bioavailable to glutathione oral supplements. S-Acetyl-Glutathione, liposomal glutathione, or sublingual glutathione might deliver even greater bioavailability.
One of the most well-researched bioflavonoids, the antioxidant quercetin often receives the title, “the master flavonoid.” Many believe it is one of the top natural antihistamines, which can reduce inflammation and settle mast cells.
Apples, berries, broccoli, capers, cherries, citrus, coffee, grapes, green tea, onions, and red wine are quercetin-containing food sources. General flavonoid health benefits are because of their function as antioxidants protecting against free radicals in the body.
Of recent note, quercetin offers evidence for its effectiveness against previous upper respiratory infections. Researchers believe the effects of quercetin, as a zinc ionophore could make it effective against the coronavirus.
Diamine oxidase (DAO) the key histamine enzyme can receive support using quercetin in individuals with low levels. Quercetin can inhibit or slow down the COMT enzyme, which may be problematic for some, and beneficial to others.
Present in pineapple, bromelain is a potent anti-blood clotting, antihistamine, and anti-inflammatory enzyme extract. Some believe bromelain can inhibit the growth of tumors. Ongoing bromelain studies include arthritis, asthma, bronchitis, burns, cancer, cardiovascular disease, colitis,
Bromelain is a common treatment in Germany for sinusitis, lowering nasal inflammation and breathing difficulties. It activates pro-inflammatory cytokines (IL-1β, IL-6, IFN-γ) during cellular stress while lowering immune cells during stimulation or inflammation.
When inflammation triggers excessive proinflammatory cytokines, IL-1β, IL-6, TNF-α, TGF-β, bromelain may lower their production. Delivering a range of actions from protease inhibition to lowering inflammatory COX-2, ERK-2, and PGE-2, bromelain remains an interesting compound.
While bromelain comes from pineapple, consuming pineapple will not deliver the same benefits. Dosage ranges from 80 to 400 mg 2 to 3 times daily. Bromelain might also be effective for increasing diamine oxidase, (DAO) activity.
#4 Stinging Nettle
The ancient medicinal stinging nettle plant grows throughout the world. As with the previous compounds, nettle is a strong antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antihistamine.
Nettle is an effective source of quercetin, already mentioned. Evidence shows nettle as effective for allergies, nasal congestion, and possibly hay fever.
Lowering inflammatory cytokines and reducing inflammatory TNF-a, IL-1, IL-6, and hs-CRP, nettle might be effective for COVID-19. It was previously effective as one of two mannose-binding plant lectins able to treat previous coronaviruses.
Nettle is available in supplements in root and tea forms. As in the previous plants, stinging nettle might be able to assist individuals with low diamine oxidase (DAO) functions.
#5 Olive Leaf Extract
Antimicrobial, anticancer, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, gastroprotective, neuroprotective, pain-relieving olive leaf extract is one serious supplement. The primary value of high polyphenol content olive leaves is their protection actions on oxidation-causing free radicals.
Solid evidence exists for the effects of olive leaf extract on blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, arteriosclerosis, and LDL oxidation. Anti-viral, anti-bacterial oleuropein, the active olive leaf primary compound, lowers inflammatory cytokines, IL-1β, IL-6, and IL-8.
Further evidence supports its ability to open airways and reduce inflammation. Finally, olive leaf extract might lower DNA damage in the endothelial cells, providing substantial lung and cardiovascular protection when under acute stress.
The dosage is being tested at 100 mg oleuropein or 500 to 1,000 mg. Alzheimer’s, cancer, herpes virus, (HSV-1 and HSV-2), and weight loss are newer categories of olive leaf extract studies underway.
Curcumin is the primary active alkaloid in the gold-colored ancient root spice turmeric. Often receiving the title, “Nature’s Anti-inflammatory”, curcumin delivers significant lung protection.
From arthritis to depression to arthritis to pain relief and other health benefits, curcumin has the best evidence of respiratory benefits for allergies, asthma, COPD, and hay fever. This ancient medical plant works by lowering the inflammatory cytokines we know as IL-1, IL-6, THF-Alpha.
Despite being able to kill cancer cells in a petri dish, curcumin is not highly bioavailable in the body. For this reason, it is important to take curcumin with food and select a highly bioavailable type of curcumin.
#7 Green Tea
Containing polyphenols, including flavanols, flavandiols, flavonoids, andphenolic acids; green tea offers us a 30% dry weight potent antioxidant plant. Most green tea polyphenols are flavonols, or catechins.
The most powerful actions of green tea are its anticancer protection for the esophagus, trachea, lungs, breast, prostate, and colon. One study shows non-smokers and smokers experienced over five times and nearly 13 times higher risk of lung cancer compared to control groups consuming just one cup or more of daily green tea.
Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), is the catechin that delivers green tea’s health benefits. There are small numbers of case studies showing liver toxicity from daily doses of EGCG over 800 mg. On average, one cup of green tea contains 50–100 mg of EGCG. Green tea can inhibit or slow down the COMT enzyme, which can be beneficial to some and problematic to others.
#8 Black Seed Oil
Black seed oil or black cumin oil can protect cells from damage, with Islamic historical records showing black seed is, “a cure for every disease (except death).” Pressed from the seeds of Nigella sativa shrub, black seed oil is a plant loaded in thymoquinone, a phytochemical compound we believe to possess anti-cancer properties, along with an array of other benefits.
Lung protective black seed oil is effective for allergies and nasal congestion. With its antioxidant, immunomodulatory, anti-inflammatory, antihistaminic, antiallergic, antitussive, and bronchodilatory actions, black seed is also likely effective for other respiratory disorders, such as asthma.
Used for thousands of years for medicine, food, and even cosmetics, many use black seed oil in the same way as aspirin or ibuprofen. Black seed oil is being researched as a believed COVID-19, coronavirus inhibitor, because of the demonstration of similar effects on previous viral respiratory infections.
The typical black seed oil dose in studies is 500 mg twice a day. Many suggest black seed oil users store it in the refrigerator.
#9 Oil of Oregano
Antimicrobial oil of oregano tests as the strongest natural antibiotic and is even in vitro effective against treatment-resistant bacterial strains. Containing thymol, carvacrol, and rosmarinic acid oil of oregano is an effective decongestant and antihistamine.
With its strong antioxidant, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory actions, oil of oregano might be effective for E. Coli, salmonella, Candida albicans, and fungal infections.
In protection against urinary and respiratory infections, oregano oil decreases the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines, IL-1β, IL-6, and TNF-α, while increasing anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10. Lung function can find improvement with oregano oils protection against lung diseases.
Oil of oregano can destroy beneficial bacteria and should be in use for no more than 3 weeks before taking a week off. If one is using the liquid form, it should come pre-diluted before diluting it again in a full glass of water. Oregano oil soft gels are also available.
Melatonin increasingly is becoming one of the hottest supplements and by far the greatest in terms of value for overall health. Protective to all 6 major organs, melatonin is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory.
Producing profound anti-inflammatory actions, melatonin lowers pro-inflammatory cytokines such as IL-1β, IL-2, IL-6, IL-12, TNF-α, and IFN-γ. As we focus on the cytokine storm, we can take note, melatonin blocks NLRP3 inflammasome, the protein speeding up lung infection inflammation-causing ARDS.
Melatonin binds to free radicals, as it blocks nitrogen radicals from nitric oxide through iNOS; NOS2. Finally, as glutathione becomes a focus of attention, melatonin increases the production of crucial antioxidant enzymes, such as γ-glutamylcysteine dismutase, synthetase superoxide, and glutathione peroxidase (GPX).
While many rely on dosages as little as 300 mcg for optimizing sleep, melatonin’s protective actions arise in the 5 to 10 mg range. If one is using it for major organ protection, a dosage of 5 to 10 mg is the target dosage. The hospitals report using dosages of 40 to 50 mg with their COVID-19 patients.
Vitamin D is arguably the hottest supplement to arise from the coronavirus, as researchers believe there is a correlation between low levels of vitamin D and negative outcomes. The evidence seems to support our need for more vitamin D much more than we have previously believed.
As we believe the coronavirus uses the ACE2 enzyme for its host receptor site, the role of vitamin D is under the microscope. Recent studies are leading us to conclude low vitamin D levels cause negative outcomes with the common upper respiratory infection, influenza A.
We can find it takes 2 weeks to correct a vitamin D deficiency, so this makes it an ineffective hospital treatment. Some researchers believe vitamin D levels should be in the 50–70 ng/ml range instead of the 20–50 ng/ml range.
If one is using a vitamin D3 supplement, one needs sufficient magnesium intake to absorb it. Both remain two of the most common micronutrient deficiencies worldwide. For many, this involves taking 5,000 IU of D3. K2 should also be combined to protect against the formation of arterial stiffness.
Top 9 Notables:
Apple cider vinegar , astragalus , elderberry , eucalyptus , ginger , ginseng , medicinal mushrooms: (Chaga, cordyceps, lion’s mane, maitake, reishi, shitake) , omega-3 (algae oil, cod liver oil, fish oil, krill oil, DHA, EPA) .
English ivy, melatonin, resveratrol, thyme, licorice, bee products: (raw honey, manuka honey, pollen, propolis, royal jelly), chlorella, garlic, peppermint, echinacea, red sage, birch leaf, buchu leaf, goldenrod, horsehair, juniper berry, gravel root, nettle leaf, java tea, cinnamon, cassia, Ceylon, turmeric, grape seed, blueberry, berries, greens, Vitamin A, B-complex (B1 thiamin, B2 riboflavin, B3 niacin, B5 pantothenic acid, B6, biotin, B9 folate, B12), vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, calcium, selenium, copper, iron, zinc, algae, seaweed, citrus, vinegar, hydrangea, sambong, potassium-citrate, pumpkin seed, beets, spirulina, dietary fiber, prebiotics, probiotics, parsley, cilantro, protein, pineapple, hibiscus, d-mannose, terminalia chebula fruit extract, red raspberry leaves, plantain leaf, coleus, forskohlii, elecampane root, mullein, wild cherry bark, lobelia, umckaloabo, magnesium, chamomile, marshmallow root, moringa, uva Ursi, grapefruit, bananas, papaya, alpha lipoic acid.
A daily cup of green tea, low dose NAC, and an adequate dose of bioavailable curcumin might be of significant benefit for ongoing lung and respiratory system support. Melatonin at bedtime and daily vitamin D3 taken with magnesium can provide additional benefits for all health optimizers.
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