Updated: Apr 11, 2020
I don't know how you feel about this Virus, but it's surely making me feel uneasy since it spread to Europe. On top of that, we have a trip planned to go to Florence mid-March... so I thought I share some of my resources with you, hoping you will find them helpful.
UPDATE: in the meantime, of course I have not gone to Florence but #stayedathome and learned a bit more about this virus, especially that our usual immune-boosting go-to's are not necessarily a good choice if we want to avoid getting SARS-CoV-2.
The molecular bond between the SARS-CoV-2 Spro and the ACE2 receptor in human cells is similar to the binding pattern of the 2003 SARS coronavirus. However, this new coronavirus appears to use different amino acids as the Spike protein binds to the ACE2 receptor. This may explain why the virus “sticks” about 10 times more tightly than the corresponding spike protein of the SARS coronavirus.
The base is still the same though: the most we can do is boosting our immune system during this time and follow hygiene rules. The better our immune system is equipped, the better it will be able to do it's job and increase our chance of having weak symptoms and/or survive this thing.
Here's my updated list of things you can do to protect yourself and boost your immune system:
Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds! Be aware of washing your hands and disinfecting them when being outside but also inside of your home. Travel with disinfectant, clean your doorknobs, mobile phone screen, laptop etc and change your towels to dry frequently. Leave your shoes outside. We now know that the virus is able to survive up to 2 hours on our skin, up to 24 hours on paper or cardboard (home delivery!!), up to 48 hours on plastic and glass surfaces (mind your grocery packaging)
Get a FFP2 mask: this is a tip I got from a dear friend (thank you @MartineMo!) you can wear it up to 8 hours. If you don't wear it, keep it in a ziplock bag and don't touch the outside of the mask.
Cut out sugars to support immune system function - Eating sugar can suppress the action of white blood cells for hours after ingestion.
Vitamin D3 only low dose!!! is strengthening our innate immune system by working as a kind of light switch in your body, turning on or off genes and processes that your body needs to maintain health. We now know that Vitamin D up-regulates ACE2 (angiotensin-converting enzyme) receptors which are the receptors the virus uses to get into our cells. This is why I would only recommend low doses of Vitamin D during this crisis: Supplementation reduces the risk of acute respiratory tract infection, the most benefit is seen in those who are very vitamin D deficient and those not receiving mega-doses. Most people are deficient in Vitamin D, as it is not found in sufficient amounts in most foods, so exposure to sunlight is important and possibly supplementation daily up to max 2000UI. Don't take the monthly cure that they like to sell in the pharmacy, you need to take it every day.
Oregano oil: In addition to fighting off bacteria, some studies have found that oregano and its components may also protect against some viruses. In particular, carvacrol and thymol are two compounds in oregano that have been associated with antiviral properties. Look for capsules or emulsified oregano oil to put directly under your tongue.
Goldenseal root (Hydrastis canadensis) is a powerful herb that boosts the immune system and is even considered a natural antiviral and antibiotic. It's often combined with Echinacea (Echinacea is contraindicated for people with auto-immune disease especially #Hashimoto or #Gravesdisease).
Vitamin C: use natural extract from Acerola or camu camu or buffered Vitamin C.
Zinc: may improve the chance of avoiding respiratory tract infections in the elderly and those who are zinc deficient.
Quercetin: Laboratory and animal studies have shown that quercetin may inhibit a wide variety of viruses, including a coronavirus (SARS-CoV) related to COVID-19. You can find this in supplement form or in certain foods: mainly quince, but also leafy green vegetables, broccoli, red onions, peppers, apples, grapes, black tea, green tea, red wine.
UPDATE: Propolis and Elderberry are great immune boosting remedies, but in the case of SARS-CoV-2, we should avoid taking them. Propolis is the same as Vitamin A and D, it up-regulates our ACE2 receptors. Elderberry has been demonstrated to increase the production of some cytokines. For that reason, elderberry is not recommended for SARS-CoV-2 related symptoms. It may increase the risk of cytokine storm and more severe reaction.
Selenium: is a potent antioxidant and a cofactor of glutathione peroxidase, an important antioxidant enzyme. A deficiency of selenium can alter the immune response and increase the pathogenicity of a virus.
Probiotics: health starts in the gut (or disease begins in the gut). By supporting a healthy microbiome, you strengthen your immune system. Make sure you eat fermented foods (naturally rich in probiotics) and fiber with every meal to optimally support your microbiome. Fermented foods such as kimchi, sauerkraut, dairy-free yogurt, and kefir. The probiotics in these foods help modulate the immune response, lowering the risk of septic shock in response to serious viral infections. Sauerkraut is also a good source of vitamin C.
Tea tree oil: is almost good for anything! You can use it as a natural disinfectant for your hands, add it to cleaning products and home made cosmetics. Diluted with a carrier oil and used topically, Tea Tree Oil's sudorific properties may help to strengthen and stimulate the immune system to increase its ability to fight off infection. It does this by promoting perspiration to eliminate internal bodily toxins.
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Here is a small resume of your immune boosting basics and potential dosage. Please always check with your doctor or medical advisor before starting to take any new medication or supplementation especially if they may interact with already prescribed medication you are taking.