Modern Holistic Health

Tried and True Cold/Flu Protocols to Keep Stocked at Home

by Ann Hutyra

It’s that time of year again when many experience the winter cold and flu. Lately, we’ve had many reach out to us asking for our protocols. And if you’re one of them, you’re in luck because I am sharing with you our tried and true winter cold and flu protocols that you’ll want to keep in your supplement cabinet just in case you need them. 

When it comes to a cold or flu, we often think that viruses (or bacteria) are the enemy, and all are bad. It’s good to know that not all viruses and bacteria make us sick. In fact, our human bodies are made up of more viruses and bacteria than they are human cells, and without these allies, we would not be alive! But there are some bacteria and viruses that don’t play well with our bodies, and when we are stressed or have depressed immune function (either from chronic illness, mental illness, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, or any other stressors to the body that lower our resiliency) these unwanted guests can make us sick. 

When we are talking about the common cold or flu, these are viral-based and there are many types of strains that typically go around each season. These strains change rapidly due to the evolving survival nature of these viral strains.

Our immune system is a powerful force in our bodies, working hard to protect us from the countless pathogens we come into contact with every day. Though it usually succeeds at keeping us safe and healthy, sometimes even an incredibly robust defense may not be enough against more virulent invaders. If left unchecked by our body’s own immunity defenses, these unwelcome guests can quickly spread throughout the body, sometimes making us severely ill. So it’s important for all of us to take extra care of our immune systems, especially during the high seasons of cold and flu viruses. 

Have you ever wondered why viruses make us feel sick, and how they differ from bacterial infections? It all comes down to their unique mechanisms. For example, certain pathogens cause specific symptoms of illness that alert our bodies when something foreign is present. By understanding these different types of invaders, we can use supplements tailored to help ward off infection and speed up the healing process!

The Difference between a Bacteria and a Virus


While viruses can be invisible to the naked eye, bacteria are large enough that they can be seen through a light microscope. In addition to having the ability of self-replication independent from any host organism, many bacteria produce sickness-causing endotoxins which find their way into our bloodstream and cause a variety of symptoms and conditions ranging from feverishness to severe bloating to loose bowels as well as intestinal irritation. Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) is one such hazardous agent. H Pylori, E Coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa have been found in patients upon testing – with each bringing its own set of dire consequences if left unchecked!


Compared to bacteria, viruses are virtually invisible! These microscopic organisms can only be seen using an electron microscope because they’re 1000x smaller. The ability of viruses to replicate is entirely dependent on a host cell (unlike bacteria which do not need a host cell to replicate) – as soon as it attaches itself onto the cell, its DNA has free reign. As if that weren’t enough, in some cases this process leads cells down the path of abnormal reproduction – such as malignant or cancerous cells. Even more impressive? Each virus specializes in attacking specific types of hosts, so you’ll see different results from each one depending on their function within our bodies. Fascinating stuff indeed! 

The best ways to combat Viral exposure

To combat viral infections we want to first try to prevent them, and we have listed measures to take below. Some prevention methods include hygiene measures you can implement and others include immune essentials that are known to prevent viral replication. 

In the case that you do end up sick with a virus-based cold or flu, certain supplements can prevent its replication in your cells, leading to less severe symptoms and a shorter duration of illness. Finally, there are certain lifestyle modifications and supplements you can add to your arsenal to help boost your immune function so that your body can do its job fighting the illness.

Recommended Supplements

There are supplements that have been scientifically shown to kill viruses or prevent their replication. We recommend a supply of the following supplements to have on hand that you can take as a preventative to boost your immune system, and you can use them in higher doses if you find that you are getting sick. All doses are ADULT doses and should be reduced according to weight and age if giving it to a child.

Vitamin C:

Preventive dose for adults: 3,000 mg (or more) daily – divided into doses for best utilization and absorption for the body. As a general rule, you can increase your dose until you start having watery stools (to bowel tolerance) and then reduce the dose to stop the loose stools – that is the dose your body can handle. Some foods that are rich in vitamin C can be found in this article.

Case HS (2018) Vitamin C questions answered. Orthomolecular Medicine News Service,

Gonzalez MJ, Berdiel MJ, Duconge J (2018) High dose vitamin C and influenza: A case report. J Orthomol Med. June 2018, 33(3).

Gorton HC, Jarvis K (1999) The effectiveness of vitamin C in preventing and relieving the symptoms of virus-induced respiratory infections. J Manip Physiol Ther, 22:8, 530-533.

Hemilä H (2017) Vitamin C and infections. Nutrients. 9(4). pii:E339.

MNS (2009) Vitamin C as an antiviral

Taylor T (2017) Vitamin C material: where to start, what to watch. OMNS,

Yejin Kim, Hyemin Kim, Seyeon Bae et al. (2013) Vitamin C is an essential factor on the antiviral immune responses through the production of interferon-α/β at the initial stage of influenza A virus (H3N2) infection. Immune Netw. 13:70-74.

Vitamin D3:

Vitamin D is an important immune regulator and is known to shorten the course of respiratory tract infections and even help in the prevention of the flu. Because many people have the VDRtaq gene mutation, they are not able to synthesize their own vitamin D. To cover bases, we recommend a combination Vitamin D3/K2 supplement to ensure the body is able to get the benefits and optimally utilize the vitamin D. Vitamin D is a well known immune booster, and alarmingly, most people are severely deficient in Vitamin D, especially in the winter months. 

You can read more about the importance of Vitamin D and how much I personally take on a daily basis in my article. Many recommendations on vitamin D doses range from 2,000 IU per day up to 10,000 IU per day and when sick, up to 50,000 IU per day for 3-4 days, then reducing the dose back to 2,000-10,000 IU daily.

Cannell JJ, Vieth R, Umhau JC et al. (2006) Epidemic influenza and vitamin D. Epidemiol Infect. 134:1129-1140.

Cannell JJ, Zasloff M, Garland CF et al. (2008) On the epidemiology of influenza. Virol J. 5:29.

Ginde AA, Mansbach JM, Camargo CA Jr. (2009) Association between serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D level and upper respiratory tract infection in the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Arch Intern Med. 169:384-390.

Martineau AR, Jolliffe DA, Hooper RL et al. (2017) Vitamin D supplementation to prevent acute respiratory tract infections: systematic review and meta-analysis of individual participant data. BMJ. 356:i6583.

Urashima M, Segawa T, Okazaki M et al. (2010) Randomized trial of vitamin D supplementation to prevent seasonal influenza A in schoolchildren. Am J Clin Nutr. 91:1255-60.

von Essen MR, Kongsbak M, Schjerling P et al. (2010) Vitamin D controls T cell antigen receptor signaling and activation of human T cells. Nat Immunol. 11:344-349.

Vitamin A:

Vitamin A, much like vitamin D, has amazing immune-boosting properties, and it also has antiviral properties as well. Vitamin A protects the mucus membranes and lining in your upper respiratory system. Beef liver supplements contain the best source of vitamin A, and you can safely take up to 25,000 IU daily.

Proc Nutr Soc. 1999 Aug;58(3):719-27. Vitamin A and immunity to viral, bacterial and protozoan infections.


Zinc is known for its ability to prevent the replication of viruses. It can shorten the course of a viral infection and also help in preventing the virus from hijacking the cell in the first place if taken prophylactically. We recommend 20-50mg per day.

Fraker PJ, King LE, Laakko T, Vollmer TL. (2000) The dynamic link between the integrity of the immune system and zinc status. J Nutr. 130:1399S-406S.

Liu MJ, Bao S, Gálvez-Peralta M, et al. (2013) ZIP8 regulates host defense through zinc-mediated inhibition of NF-кB. Cell Rep. 3:386-400.

Mocchegiani E, Muzzioli M. (2000) Therapeutic application of zinc in human immunodeficiency virus against opportunistic infections. J Nutr. 130:1424S-1431S.

Shankar AH, Prasad AS. (1998) Zinc and immune function: the biological basis of altered resistance to infection. Am J Clin Nutr. 68:447S-463S.


Substantial research has been conducted that shows that individuals with selenium deficiencies suffer far more serious viral infections than those that have adequate levels of selenium in their bodies. Viruses can mutate much faster in selenium-deficient people, leading to longer lasting and more severe infections. Some studies have also shown that selenium prevents viruses from mutating into highly virulent (destructive) forms that lead to chronic disease states. Take 200mcg per day

Not only does selenium help prevent severe viral infections, but it is also needed for approximately 79 different chemical reactions in the body including, thyroid hormone production (specifically the T3 thyroid hormone) and even brain chemistry production. Most people are deficient in selenium so adding this important mineral to your daily routine can help you in more ways than one. Remember that municipal water systems that fortify their water with fluoride can cause a deficiency in selenium by blocking the cellular receptor sites where selenium needs to enter the cell, so consider using a non-fluoride toothpaste and using a water purification system in your home like the AquaTru countertop RO system.

Beck MA, Levander OA, Handy J. (2003) Selenium deficiency and viral infection. J Nutr. 133:1463S-1467S.

Hoffmann PR, Berry MJ. (2008) The influence of selenium on immune responses. Mol Nutr Food Res. 52:1273-1280.

Steinbrenner H, Al-Quraishy S, Dkhil MA et al. (2015) Dietary selenium in adjuvant therapy of viral and bacterial infections. Adv Nutr. 6:73-82.


Iodine is necessary for several functions in the body including thyroid function and immune function, yet many people are deficient in iodine. Iodine comes from food sources but can also be taken in supplement form at a dose of 25 mcg per day. If you have signs of illness/infection you can increase your dose up to 50-75 mcg per day. This is not recommended for those with thyroid autoimmune disorders like Hashimoto’s disease without first consulting with your health coach or practitioner.

Colloidal Silver:

Colloidal Silver has many uses when it comes to various infections and is also effective against viruses. Silver has been shown to destroy the SARS coronavirus and MRSA when taken internally and nebulized. I HIGHLY recommend nebulizing one teaspoon of silver daily in distilled water. Nebulizing is simply taking distilled water and adding products to it (like silver) and then breathing the cold steam produced by the nebulizer into your lungs and sinuses. It not only enters the lungs but is an effective way to get the benefits of the silver systemically. 

You can nebulize as a preventative and also if you realize you have been exposed and are feeling ill. We recommend and personally use the Wave Medical compact nebulizer from Amazon that includes both a children’s and adult’s face mask. You can order additional tubing and masks for other family members in the household (don’t share your tubing and masks). Some states require a prescription to buy a nebulizer. Our recommended Colloidal silver is listed below for you to easily order from our Full Script online pharmacy. 

J Nanobiotechnology. 2010; 8: 1. Published online 2010 Jan 20. doi: 10.1186/1477-3155-8-1 Mode of antiviral action of silver nanoparticles against HIV-1

10 Uses of Colloidal Silver

Keep your home stocked with our Winter Essentials Bundle – HERE

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