What Can You Do To Combat COVID-19?
What Can You Do To COMBAT COVID-19 ? John Bagnulo Trying times to say the least. I think that it goes without saying that many of us will have exposure to this virus at some-point. I am not sure what percentage of our population had exposure to the SARS virus, estimates vary but it was very similar in so many ways. Both the SARS and coronavirus enter cells the same way and cause similar respiratory distress via increasing RAS through excessive pulmonary ACE (angiotensin conversion enzyme) levels. This ACE enzyme/protein is largely responsible for raising our blood pressure by controlling the angiotensin and renin conversion process. We need some of the ACE enzyme present at all times but it must be kept in check, most notably by it’s counterpart ACE2 (more to come on this soon). This is why hypertension, along with COPD and a history of smoking, are the greatest risk factors for severe, life threatening infections. It’s also important to note that it is potentially deadly to take ibuprofen with this virus as it can interfere with the body’s efforts to balance the excessive pulmonary vasoconstriction. In addition to avoiding ibuprofen and not touching your face with your hands in the first place, there are at least a few other things that we know about the route and progression of infection and that can help us keep as much tipped in our favor as possible: 1. Keep your vitamin D3 levels up-ideally with ample, direct sunlight on unprotected skin. If you cannot get good sunlight every second or third day, take 10,000IUs on days where you have zero to low sunlight exposure. Some experts have actually recommended the opposite (not taking any vitamin D) because of how the virus enters/infects cells thru the ACE2 protein, which is increased by vitamin D. While I certainly understand their rationale and have great respect for Chris Masterjohn and some others taking this position, I rely much more on the epidemiology of the SARS outbreak and the etiology of COVID-19 as a disease progression. Although it is true that the ACE2 protein may serve as a shuttle for the virus into healthy cells, there are always ACE2 proteins available for viral entry. Furthermore, even with the lowest possible physiological levels of ACE2 (where an individual would most likely have hypertension) there’s no evidence that it provides disease resistance or immunity to the virus. To the contrary, those with preexisting hypertension fare very poorly. Also on the flip side, those with SARS (again, a very similar virus in many ways) fared better with higher vitamin D levels. Those with vitamin D deficiencies and lower D levels fared the worst. In summary, vitamin D raises ACE2 production. If ACE2 levels are too low then individuals will have higher blood pressure and pulmonary vasoconstriction will only get worse post infection. 2 .Iodine, Selenium, Zinc, and Magnesium. 1000mcg, 200mcg, 15mg, 250mg, respectively. These help with an immune response, blood pressure regulation, and the generation of iodoral to destroy virally infected cells. 3. Elderberry extract. Find without significant added sugar. There are several good brands such as Sambucol that offer low to no added sugar. Elderberry’s alkaloids are highly effective against viral infections such as coronavirus but you may need to limit this to 3 weeks on and then a week or two off so that you do not start to accumulate these alkaloids. We just are not sure about the long term effects of chronic, high concentration elderberry extract. It may be safe and well tolerated but for every action in the body, there’s a distinct reaction and with alkaloids it can be significant. I would recommend using regularly for up to one month and most importantly when flying or around large crowds with recycled air-that just sounds bad. 4. Intermittent and well chosen fasting. Don’t go more than 16 hours and definitely time your fasts so that you get their effective immune protection during times with highest exposure levels. If you are flying don’t eat. If you have to go to a meeting or are visiting a loved one in the hospital, don’t eat for at least the previous 13 hours and give yourself a few hours of additional fast after returning home to your quarantine. Be sure to stay well hydrated during these fasts. 5. Be sure to eat lysine and tryptophan-rich foods daily. No, that doesn’t necessarily mean turkey but does mean animal protein for the most part. Yogurt, raw A2 milk, and goat cheese are good choices. Of course eggs and grass-fed beef are also, but it is really important when dealing with viruses to keep the amino acid arginine in check and balanced by lysine. Tryptophan also helps with ACE2 expression. Go easy on arginine-rich foods that, if abundant in your diet, can make a viral infection more severe as viruses leverage arginine against us in unique ways. Avoid walnuts, peanut butter, and chocolate if possible (I think I just lost a few people with that last one).