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Functional Medicine and The Fight Against COVID-19

nurse holding syringe
April 12, 2020

When it comes to the virus regarded as COVID-19, knowing how it spreads and how to protect against it is key – but, since there are no known treatments for this disease as of yet, it can be helpful to look from a functional medicine point of view to see what natural ways our bodies might fight and protect against the devastating effects of this virus. This respiratory virus presents with symptoms like fever, coughing, and shortness of breath, and is spread through air droplets from person to person.

Not only might a functional approach to this disease aid in decreasing the transmission from one person to another, but it also might help to boost defenses within cells in the body, decrease just how long symptoms are experienced, and decrease the rate of morbidity over the long term.

There are several nutraceutical agents (food and herb based nutrients) that can possibly help to reduce the occurrence of COVID-19 reproduction, particularly at high doses. Links to purchase online are located at the bottom of this post. Let’s take a look at some of the top contenders for potentially decreasing the activation and growth of this virus!

Quercetin: Known for having antioxidant, anti-viral, and anti-inflammatory properties; this flavonoid found within veggies and fruits might decrease one’s risk of developing infection; might also inhibit COVID-19 from reproducing within the body. We currently love Xymogen’s Resveratin Plus product.

Zinc: This mineral (my personal favorite), found in foods and supplements, has a major role in the proper functioning of the immune system. A lack of this essential mineral within the diet can lead to a decrease in the effectiveness of the immune system, so supplementing appropriately when necessary may lead to lymphocytes within the body responding correctly to unwelcome viruses and bacteria, such as COVID-19. Zinc has been shown to lessen complications from diarrhea-related illness but zinc is so important because there are at least 400,000 deaths worldwide that could be prevented with zinc supplementation (and that’s just diarrhea associated illnesses!). We love PepciX and MinRex from Xymogen.

Curcumin: Noted for possibly being able to decrease just how fast COVID-19 reproduces within the body, curcumin is a spice that also has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. The anti-bacterial effects of curcumin can also help to decrease the proliferation of bacteria that cause disease. You can fresh squeeze this or we like Curcuplex-95 from Xymogen.

Selenium: Another essential substance for the body, this mineral must be consumed through food, and is a big antioxidant. Selenium also decreases the oxidative stress build up within the body, which then boosts the immune system and helps to decrease any inflammation. Selenium can be found in eggs, Brazil nuts, and oysters, just to name a few. We get our clinical dosages from MinRex by Xymogen.

Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCG): A plant compound typically found within green tea, EGCG has been able to protect healthcare workers from getting the flu; that’s because this polyphenol protects against damage that can be caused by cell-damaging particles. EGCG is also considered to be an anti-inflammatory agent and promotes immune regulation by activating T-regulatory cells. We get ours from Teavigo, a US Enzymes product!

N-Acetylcysteine (NAC): Part of an amino acid, NAC is found in foods high in protein and is important for giving a boost to a powerful antioxidant within the body. This antioxidant can then fight off damage done to cells, and can increase the health of the immune system at the same time. Studies have shown that ingestion of NAC may also decrease how long one experiences symptoms of illness. A great way to get this is through Xymogen’s NAC.

Resveratrol: This naturally occurring plant compound typically found in red wine is a major antioxidant; not only that, but it also is an anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and has the ability to protect the function of neurons within the body. Resveratrol is also found in peanuts and grapes, albeit at low doses. We love the Resveritin plus product from Xymogen.

Melatonin: A hormone often related to sleep, this molecule also has antioxidant properties – and the ability to possibly modulate how the immune system responds to different viruses. With that being said, melatonin might be useful in supporting COVID-19 and its corresponding symptoms. This is a short term nutrient but we like Melatonin-CR (controlled release) by Xymogen.

Vitamin A: Another fat-soluble micronutrient, Vitamin A has major anti-inflammatory properties, and has the ability to boost the function of the immune system. This vitamin helps to build up defenses within cells to fight various diseases, and also helps repair cells that are damaged – both of which are helpful in the fight against COVID-19. Vitamin A has been used in high doses as a primary treatment of measles but caution is warranted in using high doses for long periods of time or in pregnant women. We like the Biotics Bio-Ae Mulsion Forte.

Elderberry: This herb is known as having anti-viral properties, and is able to help treat infection when caught and used early. Elderberry can be gathered from either the flower or the berry of the plant, and can be a useful tool in building up defenses within the body against viruses as well as helping to rebuild and repair cells.

Vitamin D: This fat-soluble vitamin is able to suppress infection within the body, and is an anti-inflammatory as well. This vitamin plays many other roles, another of which is the overall function of the immune system. Supplementing with Vitamin D may not only help to decrease symptoms from COVID-19, but decrease overall morbidity as well. This may be the cheapest, and most effective thing you can do to support your immune system outside a clean diet, exercise and good sleep! We like the Vitamin D3 by Xymogen.

Palmitoylethanolamide (PEA): A natural pain reliever, PEA also acts as an anti-inflammatory. Studies have shown a reduction in days spent sick as a result of PEA supplementation, which is hopeful news for COVID-19 patients. We like the US Enzymes product, Sunbalance.

Vitamin C: A huge immune booster, Vitamin C helps to increase the defenses of cells within the body, as well as helping to repair and rebuild damaged cells. Studies have also shown that ingesting Vitamin C (through either food sources or supplements) helps to treat and prevent against infections that affect the respiratory system – perfect for helping to fight COVID-19. Bio C 1:1 from Xymogen is wonderful but for an extra kick in the pants we like to go straight to the IV!

This may seem overwhelming, but it’s important to start somewhere. My top three are D, MinRex and NAC! From here you can branch out and the great news is products like EGCG or resveratrol have many other benefits, plus they improve our immune system’s ability to handle the nasties!

Everyone at Dr. Autoimmune is sending love Your way, hoping that you get through this crisis stronger, better and healthier and are ready to tackle the challenges we will face as we integrate back into our world.

To create your online account for ordering with Xymogen, follow this link. Free shipping on orders over $50.00.

To create your online account for ordering with US Enzymes, follow this link.

To create your online account for ordering with Biotics, follow this link.

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