Many have been following the news on the novel coronavirus COVID-19 and wondering about the true risk of this virus. The Modern Holistic Health team has been monitoring updates and noticing certain trends in the data that is available. Based on this we anticipate that this virus has the probability to reach pandemic proportions here in the US and we are estimating the timeline for notable community impact to be about 6 weeks from now. While we don’t believe there is cause for alarm with regards to the coronavirus, we do believe that preparation for the probable upcoming disruption to our daily lives is going to be essential.
This fear of a pandemic illness isn’t new. Every few years we seem to hear about a viral epidemic/pandemic scare and some get more coverage than others. While we truly don’t know all the real facts surrounding this current viral strain, it appears to be causing concern. However, this isn’t the first viral pathogen to have caused widespread concern. In 2012 the MERS virus emerged producing over 850 recorded deaths. Before that in 2009 it was the Swine Flu produced over 200,000 fatalities. And from 2002 – 2004 we had SARS virus which caused 600 deaths. This new strain of coronavirus and the media news surrounding it appears to be following a well-established pattern where widespread fear about infections lead to new vaccines that are potentially mandatory.
Knowing this viral outbreak may end up in our own communities causing disruption where schools may close, travel is banned or limited, and emergency rooms and hospitals become packed, along with under staffing due to the front-line healthcare workers becoming infected there are preparation guidelines that we have recommended below that will ease the burden of the disruption and provide added support for your health and prevention of the virus.
We have our top recommendations in this article for you and we share with you where you can order your supplies for you and your family.
An Overview of the Coronavirus (2019 – nCoV)
In December of 2019, the new coronavirus emerged and as of February 25th over 80,598 cases had been confirmed worldwide with over 2700 recorded deaths and over 9200 in critical condition. This particular strain of coronavirus (2019 -nCoV) appears to be spreading rapidly with an incubation rate (with no symptoms) of up to 14 days — that’s 14 days a person who is infected can be spreading the virus before he/she starts noticing symptoms and realizing they are sick.
Timeline: Facts and up to the minute statistics
In January of 2018 a level 4 bio-security lab for study of the world’s most dangerous pathogens was opened in Wuhan, China. This was China’s FIRST level 4 bio-security lab.
In October of 2019 a pandemic ‘preparedness exercise’ practicing for the emergence of a new fictional viral illness was conducted in New York, sponsored by the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, The World Economic Forum, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
January 31, 2020 The WHO declared a global emergency regarding a new outbreak of a viral strain of coronavirus in China
February 24th, 2020 The US tells Americans to begin preparing for coronavirus to spread within the country. Article here.
February 25th, 2020 Concerns grow as coronavirus spreads across Europe and the first case reported in Latin America and The UN’s health agency, WHO, has called for countries to “prepare for a potential pandemic”
March 2nd, 2020: Coronavirus kills 9 people in Washington with 27 confirmed cases
March 3rd, 2020: Number of confirmed cases of coronavirus outside China over 10,000 with new cases in New York and Georgia
For up to the minute fatality and infection statistics by country you can visit the following to sites:
Data as of March 1, 2020
What is a Virus and how does it make us sick?
There are many different types of infections that people come into contact with that can potentially make them sick. When we say ‘potentially’ this means that when a pathogen ( a virus, bacteria, or parasite that doesn’t belong in our bodies) is introduced into out bodies not everyone will get sick from them. This is because their immune system comes to the rescue to identify and eliminate the unwanted visitor. But sometimes our bodies’ immune systems either can’t deal with it fast enough or our immune system is compromised to begin with. Sometimes a pathogen can be so virulent and reproduce so quickly that even with a strong immune system the person can get sick.
But your immune system is your BEST defense against any type of infection and understanding how different bugs attack our bodies and how we can boost our immune function to help defend us against infections can make the difference of ending up in the ER or being able to manage and minimize sickness on our own, with successful outcomes.
First let’s discuss the mechanism of how a virus makes people feel sick and how they differ from other types of infections like bacteria, for example. Different types of pathogens (‘bugs’ that make us sick) work in different ways to create symptoms of illness that alert us that something is inside or on us that doesn’t belong there. Understanding the mechanism of how these different types of pathogens work can guide us in how to use specific supplements that our body can use to help ward off infection and heal faster.
Bacteria: Bacteria are large compared to a virus and can be observed through a light microscope. They can reproduce independently of a host. Many pathogenic bacteria, gram-negative bacteria for example, make us sick because they produce an endotoxin on their cellular surface known as Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) which gets into the body’s circulatory system leading to fever, diarrhea, intestinal inflammation, leaky gut, and a host of other symptoms. Some examples of gram-negative bacteria that we often find in our clients upon testing include H. Pylori, E Coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
Virus: Unlike bacteria,a virus is so small it can’t be seen under a light microscope. If fact, a virus is about 1,000 times smaller than bacteria and can only be seen using an electron microscope. Another stark difference between bacteria and a virus is that a virus can’t reproduce without a host and can only reproduce by attaching themselves to the hosts’ cells. Once attached to the host cells they inject their DNA into the host cell and reprogram the cell to reproduce the virus which once mature, kills the cell and moves on to infect another cell. Sometimes viruses reprogram the cell’s function where the cells start reproducing abnormally where they cells turn into malignant or cancer cells. Different viruses are programmed to attack different types of cells in their host. Some attack liver cells while others attack the respiratory system. While a virus can’t reproduce without a host it can survive on surfaces and objects from seconds to years, depending on the type of virus.
To combat viral infections we want to first try to prevent it 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 with a virus, certain supplements can prevent its replication 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.
Signs and Symptoms of this current coronavirus
According to the WHO, signs, and symptoms in its initial stages include:
- Sore throat
- Dry cough
- Loss of smell
Actionable Items: What we CAN do
While we want to reiterate there is no cause for immediate alarm and we are not overly concerned about this, we find it important to follow the precautionary principle to be prepared for the “what ifs.” while remembering to maintain a positive mindset as countries all over the world navigate the impact of this pandemic. Watching the news updates 24/7 embeds stress that is not beneficial. Many of you reading this may already live very healthy lifestyles and have worked overtime to optimize the immune system which is our strongest line of defense. For those of you who have not been focused on optimizing your immune system, now is a great time to start!
- Get travel in now, you still have about 4 weeks before this will become something to avoid
- Plan to work from home and avoid large public spaces
- Until there is a better understanding of this virus getting some N95 face masks before supplies are gone may be a good idea. This is the only facemask that will filter the small viral particles. Wear this anytime you are outside or around people. This is NOT full-proof and will only help.
- Research suggests that certain supplements are highly beneficial for stimulating the immune system and preventing viral replication. We have listed them below along with research studies supporting their use.
- Covering your mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing (even if you don’t think you are sick) If you are coughing, wearing your mask will help (its not full proof) prevent the spread of the virus, especially when in public places. But please, if you do get sick, use common sense and stay home.
- Avoid close contact with those who have fever or exhibit signs of not feeling well
- Boost your immune system by getting adequate sleep, reducing stress, eating nutrient-dense foods, getting some daily sunshine, avoiding alcoholic beverages, getting daily exercise, and adding specific immune essentials to your daily routine.
- Wash your hands FREQUENTLY, washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
We do suggest that you stock up now on the recommended supplies, including the following immune essentials for immune support.
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.
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 dose to stop the loose stools and 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, http://orthomolecular.org/resources/omns/v14n12.shtml
Gonzalez MJ, Berdiel MJ, Duconge J (2018) High dose vitamin C and influenza: A case report. J Orthomol Med. June 2018, 33(3). https://isom.ca/article/high-dose-vitamin-c-influenza-case-report/
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. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10543583
Hemilä H (2017) Vitamin C and infections. Nutrients. 9(4). pii:E339. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28353648
MNS (2009) Vitamin C as an antiviral http://orthomolecular.org/resources/omns/v05n09.shtml
Taylor T (2017) Vitamin C material: where to start, what to watch. OMNS, http://www.orthomolecular.org/resources/omns/v13n20.shtml
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. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23700397
Vitamin D is an important immune regulator and 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 2,000iu per day up to 10,000iu per day and when sick, up to 50,000 iu per day for 3-4 days, then reducing dose back to 2,000-10,000iu daily.
Cannell JJ, Vieth R, Umhau JC et al. (2006) Epidemic influenza and vitamin D. Epidemiol Infect. 134:1129-1140. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16959053
Cannell JJ, Zasloff M, Garland CF et al. (2008) On the epidemiology of influenza. Virol J. 5:29. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16959053
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. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19237723
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. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28202713
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. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20219962
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. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20208539
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. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10604208
Zinc is known for its ability to prevent the replication of viruses which 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. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10801951
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. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23403290
Mocchegiani E, Muzzioli M. (2000) Therapeutic application of zinc in human immunodeficiency virus against opportunistic infections. J Nutr. 130:1424S-1431S. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10801955
Shankar AH, Prasad AS. (1998) Zinc and immune function: the biological basis of altered resistance to infection. Am J Clin Nutr. 68:447S-463S. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9701160
Substantial research has been conducted that shows that 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, it is 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 using a water purification system in your home like a Berkey Filter or Aqua True counter top RO system.
Beck MA, Levander OA, Handy J. (2003) Selenium deficiency and viral infection. J Nutr. 133:1463S-1467S. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12730444
Hoffmann PR, Berry MJ. (2008) The influence of selenium on immune responses. Mol Nutr Food Res. 52:1273-1280. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18384097
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. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25593145
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 25mg per day. If you have signs of illness/infection you can increase your dose up to 50-75mg per day. This is not recommended for those with thyroid autoimmune disorder like Hashimoto’s disease without first consulting with your health coach or practitioner.
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. (Study). I HIGHLY recommend nebulizing one teaspoon of silver daily in distilled water. Nebulizing is simply taking water and adding products to it (like silver) and then breathing the cold steam produced by the nebulizer into your lungs and sinuses which 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 face mask and you can order additional tubing 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. You’re going to want to keep several large bottles on hand.
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 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2818642/
10 Uses of Colloidal Silver https://www.huffpost.com/entry/9-silver-benefits-and-uses-backed-by-science_b_5797d100e4b0b3e2427d2c65
You can order your preparedness list of supplements below from Fullscript
- Vitamin C: Lipsomal Vit C / SKU: DAV-0200395012
- Vitamin D/K: 5,000 iu / SKU: MET-D5K260, 10,000 iu / SKU: MET-D3K
- Vitamin D for babies and young children: Meta Kids / SKU: MET-DHALQKID
- Vitamin A SKU: VIT360-BL120W
- Selenium SKU: DL-7422100X
- Zinc SKU: DFH-ZNP090
- Colloidal Silver SKU: NIM-96CS23
- Colloidal Silver Nasal Spray SKU: NIM-62CS23
- Iodine SKU: NMA-NM185
ALWAYS looking out for you,
Dr. V and the Modern Holistic Health Team