It seems that everywhere I turn these days, people are talking about the coronavirus. It’s on every news channel, its all over the internet, and my work email is inundated with information about it. It is understandable that with all the news people would be a little bit nervous, but on the extreme end I know some clients who are afraid to leave the house. So I wanted to give some of the tricks I am using to stay healthy and resilient during these crazy times. Please keep in mind when reading this that I am not a doctor and my intention in writing this is not to diagnose, cure coronavirus, or give medical advice. I have however, done a lot of research and based on that and prior experience, what I am offering is some possible ways to boost your immunity, and resist viruses.
First let’s start with some general information about the Coronavirus. According to the CDC, Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause respiratory illnesses such as the common cold, and more severe illnesses such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). The coronavirus is spread mainly from person-to-person and the most common symptoms are fever, cough, runny nose, sore throat and trouble breathing. It appears to be a lipid covered virus meaning that it has a lipid layer as a defense mechanism and it more easily attaches to the cells they are attacking. So we want to look at anything that will break down that lipid layer rendering the virus useless as well as ways to prevent it all together.
So with that in mind here is my list of items needed for staying healthy during this time….
Selenium - Some research has been published showing that the areas in which there are the most outbreaks and deaths of the coronavirus, also have extremely low selenium deposits in the soil. Other studies have shown that the areas which have the lowest selenium intake, have a higher HIV rate, and yet the areas that have a high selenium intake have the lowest levels of HIV cases. I bring this study up because HIV is another lipid covered virus so it suggests that there is some connection between low selenium levels and this type of virus. Selenium has also been shown to combat viruses once contracted and create a defense agains them by disintegrating their outer membrane. So load up selenium. I really like this brand but you can also start eating brazil nuts which are also really high in the mineral.
Vitamin C - High levels of vitamin C have been shown to protect against viruses. Research dating as far back as the 1940’s during Polio trials, has shown that when given megadoses, people have effectively inoculated themselves against viral infections or have drastically sped up the recovery times of an acute viral disease. A megadose is measured by two things, the amount it takes to reduce symptoms, and the amount that is tolerated by the body before experiencing a loose stool. Recommended is 1000 milligrams 3 times a day so start with that and if you experience any diarrhea scale back a little. On the other hand, if you start experiencing viral symptoms scale up. I like this brand but look for an ascorbate form of vitamin C because it is more readily absorbed by the body.
Monolaurin - Monolaurin is a byproduct of coconut oil so taking it on its own greatly increases its effectiveness. Studies have show that monolaurin reduces symptoms and incidences of other lipid covered viruses. It apparently is able to break down the barrier making the virus vulnerable to die off. If you eat a lot of coconut oil or coconut you probably have enough of this but during this time you may just want to use something like this to really protect yourself.
Spirulina - Spiriulina is a powerful anti-viral and immune boosting supplement. It has been shown to inhibit other viruses with a similar make-up to coronavirus, so one can make the assumption it would be just as effective for that. I make sure I get enough of it by adding it to my coffee or smoothies every day. If you are going to use it, be sure to do so in the beginning of the day because it can be very energizing. There are a lot of great brands out there, but I love this brand.
Zinc - Some studies have shown that a zinc deficiency increases the risk of pneumonia and that taking zinc can decrease the chance of death when pneumonia is contracted. In most cases when death has happened in patients with coronavirus it is because of pneumonia so it would be wise to also take something that works on preventing that as well. It’s also in almost every over the counter immune boosting medicine, which means it’s probably pretty important in supporting the immune system in general.
Decrease inflammation - According to Joseph McGuire, the coronavirus is dangerous because it causes respiratory illness and in some cases pneumonia. There are certain immune responses that are specifically related to pneumonia so in order to stay healthy during these times it is especially important to target those immune responses. We basically want to prevent inflammation and an anti-inflammation response as much as possible. Some common things that increase inflammation are smoking, alcohol in excess, sugar, gluten, vitamin deficiency, and not getting enough sleep. Things that decrease inflammation that should be taken daily are, curcumin (the compound found in tumeric), zinc, spirulina, resveratrol (found in red wine, red grape seeds, peanuts, and blueberries). Also helpful is to increase your consumption of green leafy veggies and limit processed foods.
Get plenty of sleep - As I mentioned above, not getting enough sleep increases inflammation in our bodies. Sleep is super important to a properly functioning immune system. Our body rebuilds and repairs while we sleep so if we aren’t sleeping enough we are not giving our bodies the chance to be in top fighting condition.
Don’t stress- Stress weakens the system making us more prone to illnesses. I know its not easy to say just relax but I think we all need to just take some deep breaths and try to stay calm. Meditation helps to calm the nervous system so try just sitting in silence and focus on your breaths for a few minutes every day. Doing something that you love also helps to occupy the mind and destress so go for a walk, paint, spend time with friends, or do whatever it is that makes you feel really good. I think the the issue is that people are so afraid that they stay inside and stop doing the things that the enjoy which causes more strain and stress, weakening them even further.
Star Anise - This spice is a powerful dehydrator which makes it effective at drying out the lipid layer of certain viruses so that they can be eradicated. This is why star anise is used to make the base ingredient in Tamiflu which was created to combat the lipid covered virus known as swine flu.
Take care of yourself during this crazy time. Follow all or some of the suggestions above and wash your hands a little more than normal, but take it easy on overdoing it with the antibacterial. Above all else try to stay calm and trust that you are safe and that everything will be ok. Take some extra time to relax and do things that feel good to you. I am wishing you all a healthy and safe season.
Here are some more resources for you if you would like to do a deep dive: