March 26th, 2020
Preventing COVID from being a killer in your body is a critical decision we all must make. What does that mean?
In my reading of the data and the various hypotheses to date, the biggest risk for a bad outcome is age and comorbid diseases like metabolic syndrome, diabetes mellitus and hypertension/CV disease. What is the common link to all of these states? Excessive inflammation and a weakened immune response pre infection to kill the virus which allows the virus to replicate rapidly and cause an immune dysfunction called an inflammatory cytokine storm. These are the conditions that inflammation based diseases produce.
Looking at the U of Az Integrative Medicine's prevention handout, we see some excellent recommendations.
1) I see that a strong tilt toward an anti inflammatory diet is critical. See the link under Quicklinks three for details. If you decrease inflammatory and immune suppressing foods like refined carbohydrates and poor quality fats, you stand a strong chance of reducing your risk.
2) Adding supplements like zinc or increasing zinc containing foods are critical for immune function but also have the added benefit of reducing viral replication. (Velthuis et. al. 2010) Talk to your provider about appropriate dosing.
3) Increase omega three fatty acids as small oily fish, or fish oil to add precursors for resolvins, protectins and defensin chemicals for the resolution phase post infection. These are anti-inflammatory prostaglandins that are very powerful.
4) Before you get ill, maintain adequate levels of vitamin D and A for T regulator cell activity. Eat lots of bright red/orange/yellow vegetables and fruits. Get 30 minutes of direct sun a day or consider getting your levels checked and supplement accordingly per your providers recommended doses. Vitamin D and melatonin are known to help reduce NLRP3 inflammasome activity which helps reduce an overactive immune response.
5) If you get sick, your best bet is to stop the Vitamin D and get lots of sleep and continue to eat as healthily as possible as is tolerable. Melatonin which rises at night as we get ready for sleep is critical for innate immune based inflammasome repression and control. Avoid blue light screens at night after the sun goes down. Dim lights in general an hour before bedtime. Try and sleep 8 hours nightly.
6) Increasing your intake of vitamin C as citrus fruit or a supplement can also be beneficial for immune viral attack.
7) Practice daily meditation and prayer for stress reduction. Stress is a nightmare for immune function. See the next passage.