Written by Denise Tam, Holistic Nutritionist
Much research points to the benefits of early treatment of C*vid as well as nutrients for the prevention and enhanced efficacy of vaccines.
There are many nutrients to help mitigate the effects of C*vid which is what we are aiming for. We know that C*vid is highly transmissible and these nutrients are to help your body with the prevention of a serious case of C*vid or to ease your body through the process of healing.
Below are recommendations based on current scientific research and categorized into three main categories:
- Viral Load
We know that our own immunity is the best when it comes to fighting foreign invaders and there are many nutrients that are needed to have our immune system running optimally.
Vitamin C - a common nutrient needed for the functioning of many of our cells
Zinc - an important nutrient for immune health and healing
Vitamin D3 - healthy levels of Vitamin D3 have been associated with a healthy immune response. Low D3 levels have been associated with more severe cases of Covid-19.
Reference: Pre-infection 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 levels and association with severity of COVID-19 illness
When it comes to SARS-CoV-2, we know that underlying chronic inflammation increases the severity of the case. Managing inflammation is crucial for both prevention and early treatment.
NAC - is a powerful antioxidant with a strong anti-inflammatory function, particularly in the respiratory tract. NAC has been used in clinical practice for many years and now with Covid, it has some promising results particularly in early treatment.
Reference : N-Acetylcysteine to Combat COVID-19: An Evidence Review.
Vitamin D3 - Apart from just supporting our immune system, Vitamin D3 also acts an anti-inflammatory.
Lowering Viral Load
The probability of infection is high particularly with the new variants like Omicron but keeping viral load low is important to help prevent further transmission and to minimise the more serious effects of c*vid.
Green Tea - The polyphenol, EGCG in green tea has been shown to inhibit virus uptake in cells. However it’s important to note that this doesn’t become very effective if EGCG is taken after infection.
Reference : Epigallocatechin gallate from green tea effectively blocks infection of SARS-CoV-2 and new variants by inhibiting spike binding to ACE2 receptor
Zinc / Quercetin - Higher levels of zinc in our cells have been shown to decrease the viral load, which basically means having less of the virus in our cells. However the problem is that zinc does not normally enter our cells, it stays in our bloodstream so we need a zinc ionophore like quercetin, a bioflavonoid, to assist with this process.
Reference: Zn2+ Inhibits Coronavirus and Arterivirus RNA Polymerase Activity In Vitro and Zinc Ionophores Block the Replication of These Viruses in Cell Culture
Read more about zinc and quercetin in The Research Behind Immunity Nutrients Specific to Covid-19