Archives for April 2020 | Integrative functional medicine blog

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What supplements to take for Covid-19

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There is a lot of confusion and uncertainty regarding all this covid-19 stuff and what if any supplements you should be taking. One person says one thing and another person says another.

Before we know it we aren’t doing anything because we just get so overwhelmed with information. ie. Analysis paralysis.

Before we go over what you can do to help boost your system. Lets take a really quick look who is at most risk from Covid 19 according to the CDC.

“Older adults and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions”
  1. Over 65
  2. Ace inhibitors
  3. Using home or long term care facility
  4. Other high risk conditions including Chronic lung disease, serious heart conditions, Immunocomrpmised including cancer treatment.
  5. Diabetes, renal failure or liver disease.
  6. Others listed include poorly controlled HIV, Aids, prolonged corticosteroid use, or immune weakening meds.

So to help you guys out I have broken it down as best as I can in the simplest form possible to try and pass along some great info from some researchers and really smart people in the functional / alternative medicine world without going too overboard.

I have read so many articles and watched so many webinars that at this point im getting information overload and almost coming to the conclusion that you should just do something. And I guess that is true. Doing something is obviously better than doing nothing

And before we get started on all of this stuff let me warn you I might geek out a bit and get a little technical for those of you that like that stuff but at the end Ill break it down and simplify things on what you can do.

Remember, these are general guidelines and not specific medical advice.

First. Let me start with fevers are good. Obvisouyly we dont want to let them get out of control and cause damage but we also dont want to suppress them. Fevers are our bodies natural defense mechanism in helping to “burn” off the virus and it actually slows down the replication of virus’s. So there is generally no need to use ibupofen or other fever reducers. Generally tempted baths and wet wash clothes and good enough to bring the fever down a bit. And it you do use a fever reducer, maybe think about not using a full dose and use just enough to bring the fever down a little but not all the way.

So lets get going what I think are currently some of the top things you can do to help minimize your risk of getting and side effects of the Covbid 19 virus.

#1 For the majority of the population Covid 19 is not a big deal. Many of us wont even know if we have it or not. The biggest issue for most people is having some sort of comorbidity (ie illness) And being on Ace inhibitors for blood pressure is one of those. Covid 19 enters the cells through the ACE receptors. So if you are on ACE inhibitors you have more receptors and the virus has more of potential to get into your cells and do it quicker. Increasing the potential ability for it to overwhelm your system and cause a “cytokine storm”

Now, if you are other wise healthy this doesn’t mean it will be an issue but you should be more cautious and do as many things as you can to help boost your overall helath.

Zinc - it has been shown to have a direct inhibition of rhino viral receptor binding and replication. Basically it helps to prevent the virus from binding to the mucous membranes in the nasal cavity and to inhibit the replication of the virus if it does. Common dosages are from 5-30mg. Sometimes higher.

Vitamin D - ohhhh, Let me count the ways I love you vitamin D.
Just about one of the best things you can do for overall health, specifically the immune system. It is a great Modulator. Basically it balances things out. It will lower your risk of Lower respiratory infections, decrease autoimmunity, helps regulate cytokine production - which may part of the reason for the severity of cover 19 in some patients - we will talk about this a little later or I may do another blog. A minimum level for boosting immune system is a blood level of 40. Supplementing with 1-2000 IU is generally safe. I routinely go up to 5-10K in patients that I have tested levels. Some patients are nervous about going to labs right now. Which I can assure you is very safe. #1 - they are going to be cleaning everything like crazy. #2 - most people that thing they might have it are going to the ER or hospital, not the labs to get tested. #3 - the test is done by a doctor and they swab the back of your nasal cavity. If you still dont like the idea we have a lab option that you can do at home. All you do it prick your finger, put a little blood on a special piece of paper and 1-2 weeks later you know your vit D levels.

Vit C - This one is a no brainer and there have been all kinds of articles on the effectiveness of this one. They are even doing this all over the country and in hospitals. Interesting that when there isn’t some “magic drug” to cure or treat something we turn to things that in the past many people said had no effect. I recommend using 1-3g per day and even up to tolerance - ie you get diarrhea, and then back off a bit. This one has been flying off the shelves and is on back order. So if you want any of this call us to get put on the wait list. Our favorite right now is the liposomal vit C. You can take higher doses without getting intestinal upset.

Vit A - This is actually used and recommended by the WHO for measles at 200,000 Iu per day for 2 days and 100,000 for infants.

So far those are the basic recommendations.
Some more specific ones based on research and anecdotal evidence from many practitioners include the use of some of the following.

  1. Elderberry - Although this has gotten a lot of press and some doctors saying dont take this because it might cause the cytokine storm associated with the cover 19 virus. There is no evidence in this actually happening. In fact there are properties of elderberry that may help reduce this. At most elderberry might increase cytokine production from 1.3 to 1.6 times normal. A cytokine storm typically occurs a at 6000 times normal.
So to be safe I have been recommending if you are going to take elderberry, take it in conjunction with other things that help to balance out some of its effects and it allows you to take lower doses. This is how I use most all of our supplements. I dont use large doses of 1 thing. I like mixtures of things so you can use lower doses to minimize potential side effects while boosting certain properties when they are combined.

For example. Other ingredients that may show promise in helping to deal with cover 19 include
Angiographis. This is often used for cold and flus. It has also been shown to be helpful in relieving and reducing symptoms of upper respiratory tract infections. It can shorten the duration of coughs, sore thoats and sick days. Its also an anti-inflammatory which could help decrease the potential of cytokine storm and the activity of phospholipase a2 - we will talk about this one later.

Astragalus - Another plant that has been show to be helpful for respiratory tract infections. It helps modulate the immune response and is involved in the expression of proteins involved in immune function

A particularly helpful supplement that we like to use is Immunitone Plus and WGP first line
Links are provided.

Quercetin is another helpful immune modulator. There is actually a good amount of research with quercetin being helpful against influenza (the flu), and SARS. It is also and anti finlammatory and can help increase glutathione levels.

Without getting too long winded Im going to just list some things that can be helpful because I want to talk a little bit about phospholipase a2 and its role in all this as well.

Transfer factor
Stinging nettle

Phospholipase a2, also known as PLA2. What is it and what does it have to do with code 19.
PLA2 belongs to a superfamily of enzymes that is very PRO inflammatory. And this could be part of the reason for the pathogenicity of Covid 19. What this enzyme does is it hydrolyzes fatty acids. Fatty acids are the building blocks of fat in our bodies from the very cell membranes of your cells all the way to the fatty acids that make up the myelin sheath of your nerves. This marker has also been show to be elevated in MS and Alzheimers patients.

One theory is that Covid 19 increases PLA2 with essentially breaks those fat molecules down and turns them into a detergent, or soap like substance in the body which further degrades substances in your body creating an inflammatory cascade. Possibly triggering a Cytokine storm.

In order to reduce this, here are some things that you can do or take to help reduce PLA2 production.

Omegas - fish oil
CDP Choline - Cytidine 5-diphospho-choline - precursor to phospholipid formation
Vitamin E - or even better alpha tocotrienol
Vitamin C

Other things that can increase PLA2
Candida, yeast
Digestion issues

So if you have any of those issues its prob a good idea to get those taken care of in addition to possibly taking a few of the above mentioned supplements during this uncertain time.

And for those of you that dont know, we have been and are still doing on line appointments for those that prefer not to come into our office.

Until next time, wash your hands, be safe and dont go crazy listening to all the news.
Im Dr. Craig Mortensen.
Be Healthy, Be happy.

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