*DISCLAIMER* this is not medical advice. The supplements I will review and studies in this article are all information in relation to a bacteria seen in COVID-19 patients. Nothing has been studied about the actual COVID-19 virus itself. Always consult with your doctor before implementing a new supplement.
I have been an avid advocator for holistic health for about the past two years. Because of my own personal health issues, I always thought to implement an appropriate diet and supplement routine for my body was important. And when I say supplements I do not mean protein or some weird diet pill. I mean good whole herbal extracts, herbs, probiotics and superfoods. This will take time, money and a lot of “listening to your body”, but with building immunity becoming a larger awareness to the world because of the COVID-19 global pandemic, a short, briefed version of how and which supplements have proved to be helpful in immune strength.
But what are we fighting against?
There is no real way to fight against COVID-19. The general public knows that and everyone in western medicine knows that. You can’t fight such a severe, viral infection with one specific agent. What has been studied, however, is the underlying-secondary bacteria infection that can be caused by a weakened system from COVID-19. This bacteria is called Prevotella, which is responsible for aspiration pneumonia. Prevotella is also the same genus found in Cystic Fibrosis patients, which explains the build-up of mucus in the lungs, difficulty breathing, etc. Read more about the links to Prevotella and COVID-19 here.
A lot of the supplements listed here (Zinc, VitaminD3, B Vitamins, Mushrooms) have been listed as some of the top vitamin deficits in COVID-19 patients.
Zinc: A study performed examined the benefits of Zinc and how it can interfere with viral processing. Zinc has also been known to reduce inflammation and plays a huge role in immune function. The main benefit of Zinc in relation to Prevotella and COVID-19 is that zinc provides aid in enzymatic function. What are these enzymes you say? The little things that help you metabolize and digest.
Why is digestion important? To maintain the natural bodily function that is bowel movements. Prevotella is a known gut bacteria that cause toxicity. Gut issues have been some of the first symptoms in some COVID-19 patients. Which explains why you see stool as a complaint in patients. A scientist named Sandeep Chakraborty has explained on his website his belief of the link between the Prevotella genus and what has caused fatalities and hospitalization. The hypothesis here is that the virus (Covid-19) lowers the immune system to invite bacteria that is already present in the body to ‘attack’. This also leads to the explanation of why Z-Paks (Azithromycin antibiotics) have improved outcomes in certain COVID-19 cases. Read more on this link here.
Do you see how all of this is slowly coming full circle?
Vitamin D3: This one is simple. Vitamin D3 is an everyday supplement that every human needs, and most have shown a deficiency, and now with current stay-at-home orders and lockdowns in certain states, humans may be getting less of this vitamin. What do we do here if we don’t have the supplement? Spend time outside.
This picture (article linked) shows how some patients were treated during the 1918 pandemic. This information, as Richard Hobday writes, could be very useful to us now. Hobday writes, “Put simply, medics found that severely ill flu patients nursed outdoors recovered better than those treated indoors. A combination of fresh air and sunlight seems to have prevented deaths among patients; and infections among medical staff. There is scientific support for this. Research shows that outdoor air is a natural disinfectant. Fresh air can kill the flu virus and other harmful germs. Equally, sunlight is germicidal and there is now evidence it can kill the flu virus.”
Additional supplements to consider
B Vitamins, Mushroom Supplements, probiotics (to maintain gut health)
How to use your kitchen as medicine:
While supplements are great and held dear to many, there are so many natural ways to fight against Prevotella and protect your immune system.
Ginger: Whether freshly peeled or bought chopped, you can find this at your local grocery store. A study showed ginger extracts exhibiting antibacterial activities against three tested bacteria, one of these being Prevotella.
Citrus Peel: Orange, lemon, grapefruit, etc. Citrus peel has shown antimicrobial potential against bacterial growth. Specifically, hot extracts over a cold. So throwing in an orange or lemon peel in hot steamed tea is the way to go in the fight against Prevotella.
Green Tea: It is important to note that tea is important to get organic as it can carry heavy metals and toxins without providing the true natural remedies and benefits it is sought after. Additionally, women, it is better to drink decaffeinated tea as caffeine has shown to drastically fluctuate the hormone levels and general health of women. This being said, green tea contains phytochemicals called catechins which involve those antimicrobial and antioxidant properties we’re looking for. The catechins from green tea also enhance Azithromycin (Z-Pak) by inhibiting the function of bacterial efflux pumps. Catechins also show fights against viruses, parasites, and fungi. More here.
Onions: Yes. The ones that make your eyes cry! Onions are not only beneficial for the oral microbiome by inhibiting Prevotella but they contain Quercetin. Quercetin is the highest in the skin of the Onion, so to get the benefits here you can steep the onion skin in a soup or broth to get those phytochemicals from it. Why is this beneficial? Some COVID-19 patients have been treated with anti-malarial medication Chloroquine (currently being studied and maybe the ‘treatment’ you’ve heard in the news lately). Scientists believe that Chloroquine works as a Zinc ionophore. Meaning the Chloroquine pulls the Zinc into the lysosomes of the cell where there, it halts viral replication, ie., fighting the virus. Quercetin AND Catechins from green tea both act as Zinc ionophores. So if you’re taking zinc to inhibit Prevotella, add Quercetins to that mix! Quercetin is about to undergo a trial for COVID-19.
Do we like how I circled back to the beginning of the article where I talked about zinc? Time is a flat circle.
There was a lot of information here, yes. But I hope you take something away from this and implement what you can into a sustainable, viral fighting diet and lifestyle. And if you got through this THANK YOU. You are most likely a part of the advocates fighting to flatten the curve.
Sources: linked on pictures or throughout the reading. Also, @organicolivia on Instagram provided most, if not all of this information and more helpful holistic remedies.