- 8/19/21 Update: After a brief respite this past spring when we saw plummeting COVID cases and fatalities in the U.S. (coinciding with a partially successful vaccination campaign), the emergence and rapid spread of the super-contagious Delta Variant has demonstrated the need for ongoing caution. This column by Dr. J. Stacey Klutts explains how our current vaccines do (and don’t) work to protect us. (TL;DR: Our current vaccines teach our bodies to recognize COVID and create IgG-type antibodies – the ones that allow our immune systems to gain the upper hand and clear COVID infections from our blood. Unfortunately they don’t really help us to make the IgA-type antibodies that we need to coat our mucous membrane and keep the virus from infecting us in the first place. The good news is that the vaccines continue to do an excellent job of preventing serious illness and death.)
- 8/13/21 Update: This CDC update describes current clinical considerations regarding the COVID-19 vaccine, including new recommendations for booster shots for immunocompromised people.
- Coronavirus Update 34 video – describes how the virus works — and how we think we can block it.
- Coronavirus Update 35 video – includes discussion of additional options for treatment and prevention.
- Coronavirus Update 37 video – discusses the ACE2 receptor and concerns regarding certain blood pressure medications — executive summary: based on our best current understanding you should probably stay on your ACE inhibitor or ARB medications.
- Website: COVID-19 Food Safety Information – how to keep yourself as safe as possible while procuring or preparing food.
- Update, 4/16/20: Many of you may know that one of my favorite geeky bioscience podcasts is “Found my Fitness”, by Dr. Rhonda Patrick (PhD). She put out a tour de force Q&A podcast / video on COVID-19 (including treatments and supplements) a couple of days ago. Some of this may be redundant to other things I’ve posted here, but much was new. (Warning: long and detailed.)
- Coronavirus Update 59 video – describes Dr. Seheult’s daily regimen; no new news to speak of with this, but a useful summary of previously mentioned supplements that are likely to be useful to some degree.
- This New York Times article – discusses some signs and symptoms that differentiate mild COVID-19 from more severe cases — and how we can figure out if you or a loved one is sick enough to go to the hospital.
- Coronavirus Update 61 video – explains how severe oxidative stress from COVID-19 can cause blood clots (including heart attacks and strokes.
|Supplement Name||SM Cost||Action(s)||Importance / usefulness for COVID-19||Dose||Notes|
|Vitamin D||$10 / bottle of 100 (5000 IU)||Multifactorial - immune boosting / helps prevent lung damage||Probably crucial. (Mortality has been observed to be highest in groups with widespread Vitamin D deficiency - elderly, obese people, and people with darker skin.)||5,000 IU daily if low / not already supplementing (more if obese).||Listen to Dr. Patrick's podcast for more information.|
|Zinc / copper||$6 / bottle of 30 (15mg / 1mg)||Antiviral when used with zinc ionophores (zinc inside cells can shut down viral replication)||Particularly important if zinc deficient; COVID-19 may also deplete zinc.||Suggest 1 capsule daily for 1 week, then 1 capsule every other day.||Zinc should be balanced with copper to prevent zinc-induced copper deficiency.|
|NAC (n-Acetyl Cysteine)||$5 / bottle of 30||Mucolytic, good for liver, quells cytokine storms, helps with glutathione (essential for Th1 / antiviral responses).||Very.||500-600mg, up to 4 times daily|
|Quercetin||$6 / bottle of 50||Antiviral - Zinc ionophore, helps alleviate cytokine storms. Helps shift immune CD4+ polarization from Th2 dominant to Th1.||Very.||Unclear (typical dose for allergies is 500-1000mg, which seems reasonable for prevention. Dose for treatment of active infection might be 7-8 grams or more.)||Found in many foods, but unclear if high doses in supplements are safe during pregnancy.|
|EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate)||$5 / bottle of 60||Antiviral - Zinc ionophore (allows zinc to penetrate into cells)||Potentially very||Suggest 1 capsule daily||Derived from green tea (has caffeine). Excess may cause nausea, gastric upset. Not recommended for pregnant women. Works synergistically with quercetin.|
|Nattokinase||$13 / bottle of 90||Degrades fibrin, acts as an ACE inhibitor (mitigating lung damage.)||May be lifesaving in advanced disease; can break up blood clots as they form.||1 capsule = 2,000 FUs||Not antiviral but can mitigate damage|
|Serrapeptase||$13 / bottle of 90,|
$6 / bottle of 30.
|Degrades fibrin, mucus and other proteins||May be lifesaving in advanced disease; can break up clots as they form.||1 capsule = 40,000 SPUs||Not antiviral but can mitigate damage|
|Natto-Serra (combination pill)||$19 / bottle of 90||As above||As above||1 capsule = 40,000 SPUs Serrapeptase and 2,000 FUs of Nattokinase||As above|
|Lysine with Vitamin C and Echinacea||$10 / bottle of 180||Lysine is a reputed antiviral, Vitamin C boosts immune function (makes neutrophils more potent) while limiting damage to other tissues. Echinacea reputed to have antiviral properties.||Likely useful for antiviral support.|
|Luteolin||N/A (don't currently stock)||Inhibits furins, which are enzymes that allow the virus to bind to cellular receptors.||Unclear, but good theoretical support.||Unclear|
|Omega-3||(Being researched)||May help prevent blood clots.||?||(Being researched)||See article: Dietary intake of marine n‐3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and future risk of venous thromboembolism|
|Vitamin C (high dose, intravenous), possibly also with thiamine.||N/A (don't currently stock)||May improve survival in sepsis / severe disease.||May be particularly important in advanced disease.||Multiple grams daily (above what can be tolerated / absorbed with oral dosing).||Suggest listening to Dr. Patrick's podcast for more information. See also Hydrocortisone, Ascorbic Acid and Thiamine (HAT Therapy) for the Treatment of Sepsis. Focus on Ascorbic Acid|
|Myo-Inositol||N/A (don't currently stock)||Can decrease IL-6, potentially mitigating severe lung disease||Potentially useful in advanced disease (hospitalized patients) to prevent or mitigate SARS.||Unclear||See research paper: Inositol and pulmonary function. Could myo-inositol treatment downregulate inflammation and cytokine release syndrome in SARS-CoV-2?|
|Elderberry||N/A (don't currently stock)||Antiviral? / Immune booster||Immune boosting effects possibly useful to prevent early infection, but may worsen inflammation later on.||?||Avoid using for more than a week. Discontinue if developing signs of breathing difficulty.|
|Drug Name||Availability||SM Cost||Action(s)||Usefulness for COVID-19||Notes|
|Ivermectin||Widespread in pharmacies.||N/A (don't stock)||Slows viral entry into cells by binding to viral spike proteins, inhibiting viral binding to ACE-2 receptors.||Authoritative guidelines are lacking, but the the FLCCC makes a reasonable case for it. A few patients have told me it noticeably helped alleviate their COVID symptoms.|
|Remdesivir||Investigational drug - limited availability.||N/A (don't stock)||Antiviral||Under study; probably helpful.||Investigational drug / compassionate use only by Gilead Health Sciences.|
|Amantadine||Stocked by SM, widely available.||$22 / 100||Antiviral, often used for influenza.||Appears to reduce cytokine storms in people with pneumonia.|
|Angiotensin Receptor Blockers (ARBs) & ACE Inhibitors||Stocked by SM, widely available.||Varies||Blood pressure medicine - might stabilize ACE2 receptors in a way that prevents viral binding and entry into cells.||Controversial / unclear - No antiviral activity, but may slow disease progression.||See YouTube video: Coronavirus Update 37|
|Fluvoxamine||Widely available, not stocked by SM||N/A (don't stock)||Strong antidepressant / anti-anxiety drug||Under study||Depersonalizing effects of fluvoxamine blamed by some for possibly playing a role in the Columbine massacre.|
|Metformin||One of the most available drugs in the world. Stocked by SM.||$7.50 / 200 pills||Anti-diabetic drug; likely improves immune system metabolism.||Noticeable effect size, at least as good as ivermectin for people with metabolic syndrome.|