THE IMMUNE SYSTEM AND COVID-19
Information collated by Dr Stephen Brooke
WHAT CAN WE DO TO PROTECT OURSELVES FROM COVID-19?
Minimise exposure so we have fewer of the germs to deal with.
Replace fear with optimism and faith.
Don’t listen to too much bad news.
Boost our immune system.
HOW IMPORTANT IS OUR IMMUNE SYSTEM?
It is a complex system of cells and antibody proteins, our vital defence against many threats especially infections.
COVD-19 patients are overcome when their immune system is overwhelmed or is wrongly attacking their own organs especially the blood vessel linings and lung tissues.
HOW MUCH ARE OUR PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICES TELLING US ABOUT SUPPORTING OUR IMMUNE SYSTEM?
Very little, yet there is good evidence that immune system support is important in both resisting becoming infected and in fighting infections, published
There is very good evidence for the role of vitamin C in both these aspects of infection.
www.orthomolecular.org is an invaluable source of up to date information on these matters.
British Society of Ecological (Environmental) Medicine has worked in collaboration with Orthomolecular Medicine to produce guidelines for action.
HOW EFFECTIVE IS VITAMIN C AS A TREATMENT?
Professor Harri Hemilä of the Department of Public Health at the University of Helsinki has been researching the vitamin for over 40 years. He said that high doses could cut off 8% of the average time spent in an ICU and has published research showing it could cut time on a ventilator by 25%.
IS VITAMIN C BEING USED ANYWHERE TO TREAT COVID-19?
IN CHINA March 31st
Dr. Richard Cheng, MD, PhD, a US board-certified specialist, stated that so far, they’ve seen a great deal of success treating coronavirus patients with intravenous vitamin C. According to Cheng, 50 moderate to severe cases of COVID-19 infection were treated with high-dose IVC. Dosing of IVC ranged from 10,000 – 20,000 mg a day for 7-10 days, with 10,000 mg for moderate cases and 20,000 for more severe cases. The first bit of good news was that all patients who received IVC improved and there has been no mortality. Secondly, as compared to the average of a 30-day hospital stay for all COVID-19 patients, those patients who received high dose IVC had a hospital stay about 3-5 days shorter than the other patients.
IN NEW YORK March 31st
According to a recent article by the New York Post, Seriously sick coronavirus patients in New York state’s largest hospital system are being given massive doses of vitamin C — based on promising reports that it’s helped people in hard-hit China, The Post has learned. Dr. Andrew G. Weber, a pulmonologist and critical-care specialist affiliated with two Northwell Health facilities on Long Island, said his intensive-care patients with the coronavirus immediately receive 1,500 milligrams of intravenous vitamin C. Identical amounts of the powerful antioxidant are then readministered three or four times a day, he said. Each dose is more than 16 times the National Institutes of Health’s daily recommended dietary allowance of vitamin C, which is just 90 milligrams for adult men and 75 milligrams for adult women. The regimen is based on experimental treatments administered to people with the coronavirus in Shanghai, China, Weber said.
Dr. Weber told the post that vitamin C is helping a “tremendous amount.” The post also claims that multiple hospitals on Manhattan’s Upper East side are using Vitamin C as a coronavirus treatment throughout the system, but the protocols differ from patients to patient. Apparently, vitamin C is being used to treat hundreds of patients.
The post also mentions the Vitamin C clinical trial listed above: Weber said vitamin C levels in coronavirus patients drop dramatically when they suffer sepsis, an inflammatory response that occurs when their bodies overreact to the infection.
IN SOUTH KOREA
Dr Andrew Saul, editor-in-chief of the Orthomolecular Medicine News Service mentions in an interview on March 17th 2020 being in contact with a South Korean medical doctor who is giving patients and medical staff an injection of 100,000 IUs of vitamin D along with as much as 24,000 mg (24 grams) of IV vitamin C. "He's reporting that these people are getting well in a matter of days," Saul says.
HOW DOES VITAMIN C WORK?
Professor Harri Hemilä (Helsinki) explains, that vitamin C can increase the production of infection-fighting natural killer cells, the vitamin increases production of the immune-boosting compound interferon alpha/beta (an anti-viral cytokine) as well as damping down the damaging inflammation that comes with infection, and it boosts oxygen levels.
Vitamin C is concentrated in leucocytes, lymphocytes, and macrophages reaching high concentrations in these cells. Vitamin C improves chemotaxis, enhances neutrophil phagocytic capacity and oxidative killing and supports lymphocyte proliferation and function. When your body is stressed by, for example, a serious infection, vitamin C levels drop rapidly because the body is using it up to compensate for the complex effects of the stress. Such patients are actually in a state of acute vitamin deficiency, so delivering high levels is perfectly logical.
WHAT ARE THE PRIORITY INGREDIENTS TO SUPPORT OUR IMMUNE SYSTEM?
Dr Damien Downing President of the British Society of Ecological Medicine recommends:
- Vitamin C: 3,000 milligrams (mg) (3 grams) (or more) daily, in divided doses. You might find it useful to add 5,000 milligrams (5 grams) of pure ascorbic acid powder to 1 to 1.5 litres of water and drink it throughout the day
- Vitamin D3: 2,000 International Units (IU) (50 micrograms) daily. Start with 5,000 IU (125 micrograms)/day for two weeks, then you can reduce to 2,000 IU/d)
- Magnesium: 400 mg daily (in citrate, malate, amino acid chelate, or chloride form)
- Zinc: 20 milligrams (mg) daily (e.g. in citrate, amino acid chelate, gluconate forms), away from cereals and other grains to avoid being bound (and so less absorbed) by phytate
- Selenium: 100 micrograms (mcg) (e.g. in methionine or yeast forms) daily
WHAT FOODS ARE RICHEST IN VITAMIN C?
Kakadu plums, acerola cherries, rose hips (20mg each), chili peppers especially green, guavas, sweet yellow peppers, blackcurrants, thyme, parsley, mustard spinach, kale, kiwis, broccoli, brussels sprouts, lemons, lychees, American Persimmons, papayas, strawberries, oranges.
WHAT SHOULD OUR AUTHORITIES TO BE DOING ABOUT ALL THIS?
Governments and health authorities should:
- publicise emerging data from trials involving nutrients like vitamin C,
- provide public health advice on nutrient intakes for immune support,
- and switch on additional manufacturing capacity
WHAT GUIDANCE IS THERE ON VITAMIN D?
Clinical experience and research by leading vitamin D researchers Professor Michael Holick and Dr Reinhold Vieth have consistently shown levels of 100 mcg (4,000 IU) or more of vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) need to be taken orally to deliver optimal circulating levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D). Optimum levels of 100-150 nmol/L (40-60 ng/ml) have been determined by a group of leading vitamin D researchers that have come together under the banner of Grassroots Health.
It is wise to take Vitamin K2 at the same time as Vitamin D3 in order to enhance its effect and increase its safety.
Clinical experience has shown, short-term, that levels around 10-fold greater than this can be used where bacterial or viral infections have taken hold. These very high intakes should be managed under health professional supervision and should not be maintained for more than a week, before returning to levels of 250 mcg (10,000 IU) or less. High dose vitamin D should be accompanied with regular measurement of circulating 25(OH)D as there can be big differences in amounts required by individuals to optimise circulating levels.
WHAT IS THE ROLE OF ZINC IN COVID-19? (Analysis by Dr Joseph Mercola)
Zinc is one nutrient that plays a very important role in your immune system’s ability to ward off viral infections, and may play a vastly underrated role in the COVID-19 pandemic
Zinc is vital for healthy immune function and a combination of zinc with a zinc ionophore (zinc transport molecule) was in 2010 shown to block viral replication of SARS coronavirus in a cell culture within minutes
Zinc alone is incapable of fully stopping viral replication as it cannot easily enter through the fatty wall of a cell. Getting all the way into the cell is crucial, as this is where the viral replication occurs
The antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine appears to work against COVID-19 by improving zinc uptake into cells. Natural zinc ionophores that improve zinc absorption include quercetin and epigallocatechin-gallate (EGCG)
HOW CAN WE SUPPORT THE IMMUNE SYSTEM OF NHS WORKERS?
Two innovative projects have been set up to support the health of frontline healthcare workers tackling the coronavirus pandemic in the UK. Frontline Immune Support for NHS Staff is raising money to provide packs of immune supportive supplements to help maintain strong and resilient immune systems in frontline staff to reduce their risk of becoming seriously ill given their exposure to high viral loads. The campaign has already had many NHS staff signup to receive the packs. You can still donate to support the campaign and provide more packs. The Jade Screen project is offering free consultations with an experienced Chinese herbal practitioner along with tailored Chinese herbal formula’s to NHS staff. The aim of the project is to support immune system resilience and recovery from covid infection. If either project resonates with you and you would like to lend your support or you know anyone who would benefit from either project please click on the links above for more information.
FURTHER INFORMATION ON COVID-19 AND IMMUNE SUPPORT
NATURAL TREATMENTS FOR COVID-19
ALLIANCE FOR NATURAL HEALTH
APRIL 23RD 2020
- ●Vitamin D3 - cholecalciferol
- ●Vitamin C
- ●Hydrogen peroxide
- ●Ozone therapy
- ●Hyperbaric oxygen
- ●Priority 1 - saving lives?
Vitamin C doesn’t only prevent scurvy, it’s also a potent modulator of both the innate and adaptive immune system and has a capacity to treat and shorten periods of infection with a wide range of pathogens, including respiratory viruses. This isn’t new information. We’ve known about its importance as an antiviral agent since 1949 when Dr Fred Klenner published a report entitled, ‘The Treatment of Poliomyelitis and Other Virus Diseases with Vitamin C’. Poliomyelitis is also a highly contagious disease caused by a virus that rendered many disabled for life, which makes these results all the more remarkable.
Linus Pauling, winner of two Nobel prizes and potentially the greatest chemist of the last century, claimed that vitamin C could cure infections, cancer and heart disease. He died having been labelled a quack, yet, many clinicians have gone on to successfully validate these claims. Studies on high dose vitamin C use have been published in the literature for over 50 years. Dr Thomas Levy and Dr Jeanne Drisko (also medical director ANH-USA) are two of the foremost clinicians at the forefront of vitamin C therapy.
Yet publicity about vitamin C treatment for Covid-19 patients — whether high dose oral or intravenous (IV), the latter licensed for medical use in many countries — is being classed as fake information by mainstream media and healthcare authorities. This despite it having been shown time and again to significantly reduce disease progression, time spent in hospital and improve recovery rates without permanent adverse effects.
Why? As unpalatable as this is, the simple reason is that vitamin C is cheap, it can’t be patented and there’s no profit in it for the drug companies.
The way vitamin C fights infection is fairly simple: infections and toxins cause inflammation and oxidative stress in the body. Electrons from vitamin C are then used by cells that have lost their electrons through the oxidation process, which in turn neutralises the free radical damage from harmful infectious agents. In nutritional doses, vitamin C acts as an antioxidant and can be taken safely to bowel tolerance (in divided doses until you get a loose bowel). When your body is fighting an infection you may find that you can absorb a lot more vitamin C than normal before hitting bowel tolerance.
In the case of SARS-CoV-2, the virus causes iron to be released from the haemoglobin in red blood cells which causes hypoxia as it reduces the oxygen-carrying capacity of red blood cells. This causes a lot of free iron ions to be freely circulating in the blood because the virus needs iron to replicate. However, these iron ions also create a lot of oxidative damage as well. This is how coronavirus then becomes a blood disease and why treatments like IV-C can deliver such beneficial results as they’re delivered directly into the bloodstream.
High dose IV vitamin C (over 20 grams and up to 100 grams a day in daily or pulsed doses), unlike nutritional doses, becomes a pro-oxidant through producing hydrogen peroxide, and with the iron ions (the Fenton Reaction) become an effective killer of viruses and cancer tumours. Think of how hydrogen peroxide bubbles when you apply it to a cut. With vitamin C, the Fenton’s Reaction makes it among the most powerful reactive oxidising agents known to science. Viruses can’t withstand that reaction, which is why clinicians using it now during this pandemic are seeing rapid success with full recovery.
Unlike most mammals, humans cannot make vitamin C. When illness strikes our stores are rapidly depleted and the need for vitamin C increases exponentially. Oral supplementation with vitamin C has shown an ability to both prevent and treat respiratory and systemic infections, but a number of clinical studies are currently looking at the role of vitamin C in tackling Covid-19. Emerging data from China have shown success in treating patients, reducing severity of disease progression along with ICU and hospital stays. The Chinese medical authorities are also supplementing frontline staff to support their immune systems thanks to Dutch-based nutritional raw material manufacturer, DSM, which shipped 50 tonnes of vitamin C to Wuhan Province from its Jiangshan plant.