What is a Coronavirus?

The coronavirus or (CoV) is a large family of viruses that cause illnesses ranging from the common cold, to more serious diseases like SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome), MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) and now COVID-19 which is a new strain that has not previously been identified.

Common symptoms of a viral infection include fever, cough, respiratory symptoms, breathing difficulties, or shortness of breath. In more severe cases, the infection could cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure or even death.

Standard recommendations to prevent the spread of infections.

There are very simple actions one can take to prevent the spread of infections on a daily basis, this includes:

  • Regular hand washing with soap and warm water. 
  • Covering one’s mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing, 
  • Avoid doorknobs, handrails and elevator buttons.
  • Avoid touching your face, especially your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Avoid large gatherings.
  • Properly dispose of used tissues.
  • Not sharing dishes, glasses or eating utensils.

Simple recommendations to promote health and well being. 

Maintaining one’s health and well being is the best tool in the fight against illness. Very simple ways to help the body stay healthy include:

  • Drink plenty of clean filtered water.
  • Get a minimum of 7-9 hours of sleep.
  • Open the windows in your home.
  • Spend at least 20 minutes outside each day.
  • Eat fresh, whole, unprocessed foods.
  • Reduce or eliminate sugar and artificial sweeteners.

Nutritional based methods to bolster the immune system.

For decades, vitamins and nutrients, including Vitamin C has been proven to support a healthy immune system. [1]  It does this by maximizing the body’s antioxidant capabilities and natural immunity, while preventing and minimizing the symptoms of a viral attack on the body. In fact, preventing and treating respiratory infections with large amounts of vitamin C is a well established practice.[2] It should come as no surprise then, that high doses of nutrients and vitamin C are being used in research treat viral infections all over the world.

One of the organizations at the leading edge of nutrient-based methods to treat or prevent illness is the International Society of Orthomolecular Medicine. Orthomolecular medicine is the practice of preventing and treating disease by providing the body with optimal amounts of substances which are natural to the body.[3]  In a recent press release, the physicians of the Society for Orthomolecular Medicine urge a nutrient-based method to minimize or even prevent symptoms for future viral infection, including the recent outbreak of COVID-19.

In an effort to provide a widely accessible, yet inexpensive means to help promote health, and protect against viruses such as the Coronovirus, the following supplements are being recommended- Vitamin C [4] , Vitamin D [5], Magnesium [6], Zinc [7], and Selenium [8].  All of these vitamins and minerals have been shown to strengthen the immune system against viruses. For further information, please see the referenced materials below.

The following preventative recommendations are set forth for adults by the physicians of the Orthomolecular Medicine News Service and the International Society for Orthomolecular Medicine . Children should be given reduced proportions based upon his or her body weight.

  • Vitamin C: 3,000 milligrams (or more) daily, in divided doses.
  • Vitamin D3: 2,000 International Units daily. (Start with 5,000 IU/day for two weeks, then reduce to 2,000)
  • Magnesium: 400 mg daily (in citrate, malate, chelate, or chloride form)
  • Zinc: 20 mg daily
  • Selenium: 100 mcg (micrograms) daily

Preventing an illness  is obviously easier than treating an illness, so do all that you can to remain healthy.  That being said, always treat serious illness seriously! Do not hesitate to seek medical attention if you become ill.  Using nutrition based methods to prevent illness, does not replace treatment once a person becomes sick. Vitamin C and supplements can be used right along side medicines when indicated.  If you have any questions, please contact your healthcare provider, to ensure that there are no contraindications for previously prescribed medications.

For further information on the use of Vitamin C and nutritional based methods to prevent illness and combat viruses such as the coronavirus, please visit:  http://orthomolecular.org/subscribe.html

References:

  1. PubMed. Vitamin C and Immune Function, Carr AC, Maggini S., https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29099763
  2. NCIB, Vitamin C and Infections, Hemila, H., 
  3. http://orthomolecular.org/ and http://orthomolecular.org/resources/omns/index.shtml
  4. Vitamin C:

Case HS (2018) Vitamin C questions answered. Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, http://orthomolecular.org/resources/omns/v14n12.shtml.

Gonzalez MJ, Berdiel MJ, Duconge J (2018) High dose vitamin C and influenza: A case report. J Orthomol Med. June, 2018, 33(3). https://isom.ca/article/high-dose-vitamin-c-influenza-case-report.

Gorton HC, Jarvis K (1999) The effectiveness of vitamin C in preventing and relieving the symptoms of virus-induced respiratory infections. J Manip Physiol Ther, 22:8, 530-533. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10543583

Hemilä H (2017) Vitamin C and infections. Nutrients. 9(4). pii:E339. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28353648.

Hickey S, Saul AW (2015) Vitamin C: The real story. Basic Health Pub. ISBN-13: 978-1591202233.

Levy TE (2014) The clinical impact of vitamin C. Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, http://orthomolecular.org/resources/omns/v10n14.shtml

OMNS (2007) Vitamin C: a highly effective treatment for colds. http://orthomolecular.org/resources/omns/v03n05.shtml.

OMNS (2009) Vitamin C as an antiviral http://orthomolecular.org/resources/omns/v05n09.shtml.

Taylor T (2017) Vitamin C material: where to start, what to watch. OMNS, http://www.orthomolecular.org/resources/omns/v13n20.shtml.

Yejin Kim, Hyemin Kim, Seyeon Bae et al. (2013) Vitamin C is an essential factor on the anti-viral immune responses through the production of interferon-α/β at the initial stage of influenza A virus (H3N2) infection. Immune Netw. 13:70-74. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23700397.

  1. Vitamin D:

Cannell JJ, Vieth R, Umhau JC et al. (2006) Epidemic influenza and vitamin D. Epidemiol Infect. 134:1129-1140. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16959053.

Cannell JJ, Zasloff M, Garland CF et al. (2008) On the epidemiology of influenza. Virol J. 5:29. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16959053.

Ginde AA, Mansbach JM, Camargo CA Jr. (2009) Association between serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D level and upper respiratory tract infection in the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Arch Intern Med. 169:384-390. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19237723.

Martineau AR, Jolliffe DA, Hooper RL et al. (2017) Vitamin D supplementation to prevent acute respiratory tract infections: systematic review and meta-analysis of individual participant data. BMJ. 356:i6583. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28202713.

Urashima M, Segawa T, Okazaki M et al. (2010) Randomized trial of vitamin D supplementation to prevent seasonal influenza A in schoolchildren. Am J Clin Nutr. 91:1255-60. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20219962.

von Essen MR, Kongsbak M, Schjerling P et al. (2010) Vitamin D controls T cell antigen receptor signaling and activation of human T cells. Nat Immunol. 11:344-349. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20208539.

  1. Magnesium:

Dean C (2017) Magnesium. OMNS, http://www.orthomolecular.org/resources/omns/v13n22.shtml

Dean C. (2017) The Magnesium Miracle. 2nd Ed., Ballantine Books. ISBN-13: 978-0399594441.

Levy TE (2019) Magnesium: Reversing Disease. Medfox Pub. ISBN-13: 978-0998312408

  1. Zinc:

Fraker PJ, King LE, Laakko T, Vollmer TL. (2000) The dynamic link between the integrity of the immune system and zinc status. J Nutr. 130:1399S-406S. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10801951.

Liu MJ, Bao S, Gálvez-Peralta M, et al. (2013) ZIP8 regulates host defense through zinc-mediated inhibition of NF-кB. Cell Rep. 3:386-400. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23403290.

Mocchegiani E, Muzzioli M. (2000) Therapeutic application of zinc in human immunodeficiency virus against opportunistic infections. J Nutr. 130:1424S-1431S. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10801955.

Shankar AH, Prasad AS. (1998) Zinc and immune function: the biological basis of altered resistance to infection. Am J Clin Nutr. 68:447S-463S. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9701160.

  1. Selenium:

Beck MA, Levander OA, Handy J. (2003) Selenium deficiency and viral infection. J Nutr. 133:1463S-1467S. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12730444.

Hoffmann PR, Berry MJ. (2008) The influence of selenium on immune responses. Mol Nutr Food Res. 52:1273-1280. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18384097.

Steinbrenner H, Al-Quraishy S, Dkhil MA et al. (2015) Dietary selenium in adjuvant therapy of viral and bacterial infections. Adv Nutr. 6:73-82. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25593145.

  1. Klenner FR. The treatment of poliomyelitis and other virus diseases with vitamin C. J South Med Surg 1949, 111:210-214. http://www.doctoryourself.com/klennerpaper.html.
  2. Cathcart RF. The method of determining proper doses of vitamin C for treatment of diseases by titrating to bowel tolerance. Australian Nurses J 1980, 9(4):9-13. http://www.doctoryourself.com/titration.html