Coronavirus COVID-19
 Moving from Societal Panic to

Nutritional Self-Empowerment

 

by Rick Fischer C.H.H.C., h.T.M.A.P.
March 12, 2020

At the time of this writing, the world is in a mass hysteria with the spreading coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. Events, venues, and schools are being shut down globally, countries are on lockdown, store shelves are empty, and "social distancing" is the word of the day as the world awaits helplessly with bated breath for a magical vaccine to be developed. Yet, with all the news broadcasts scaring us with the latest statistics, there is an astounding lack of guidance being given which could self-empower the population through nutrition to support their own immune systems.  As Louis Pasteur said, paraphrased, 'It's not the pathogen, but the terrain'. As serious as this crisis is and it will likely continue to be for some time, the population can at least be more empowered to handle this pandemic by supporting their own terrain (their immune resistance) rather than focusing on all the fear and panic externally.  This article, while in no way offering medical advice, offers general considerations that people can adopt that may better their chances of not being infected, or at least give the body a better fighting chance in the event they are. 

 

Nutrition
Of course, common advice is to "eat healthy and nutritiously". There is so much more to nutrition however than simply what one consumes. Most people have low HCL (hydrochloric acid) production which impairs the absorption of nutrients, not to mention nutrient depleted soils, stress, glyphosates, antagonistic effects between nutrients, and the presence of toxic metals which all further affect our nutrient status. Everybody has nutritional imbalances, this being a key aspect of health that blood testing misses (yet which HTMA so clearly sheds light on).  Blood, being homeostatic, typically only shows major deficiencies in the 11th hour of illness, or toxicities during the times of exposure or mobilization. This is stated only to establish the understanding that sometimes targeted nutritional support or supplementation is needed, regardless of how "healthy" one eats. In that regard, here we look at some nutrient considerations for COVID-19.

 

First, let's talk about selenium.  Studies [as referenced] have shown that selenium slows down viral replication and mutation, while selenium deficiency increases viral damage [1] and makes one more susceptible to coronavirus. Dietary selenium deficiency that causes oxidative stress in the host can alter a viral genome so that a normally benign or mildly pathogenic virus can become highly virulent in the deficient host under oxidative stress[2].  It is even proposed that selenium deficiency in regional soils may have contributed to the 2003 SARS outbreak [3]. As explained by Dr. Damien Downing (former editor of the Journal of Nutritional and Environmental Medicine), "Swine flu, bird flu, and SARS, all developed in selenium-deficient China. When patients were given selenium, viral mutation rates dropped and immunity improved.". Selenium supplementation could be an effective choice for the treatment of this novel virus of COVID‐19 [2].   Before just running out to buy selenium though, this previous quote comes with a word of caution as I'll address here shortly.

 

As summed up nicely and a bit more scientifically here [4]: 

Influenza virus-laden sneeze → Healthy, Se-adequate host inhales influenza virus → Virus infects lung epithelium → Induces ROS (inflammation) → Chemoattracts GPx1 → Stimulates host proinflammatory chemokines → Induces dendritic cell activity, including polypeptide C1q [7] → Primes viral antigen-specific T cells → ↑ anti-inflammatory interferon-gamma (IFN-γ) and antibody immunoglobulin G (IgG) neutralization of viral antigen → inhibits virus replication and clears virus from host.

 

For flus in general, something as simple as eating 1 or 2 brazil nuts a day can greatly support your selenium level (though it's also very important not to consume too much as excess selenium can be toxic). If you're taking a supplement, you might consider adding vitamin E since Vitamin E enhances the effectiveness of selenium.  However, COVID-19 is not like other flus, and this is where that word of caution is needed, especially for those on ACE inhibitors.  Unlike other viruses, COVID-19 binds to ACE2 receptors - ACE2 basically provides the entryway for the virus to enter the cell.  The problem is that ACE inhibitors have been shown to increase the number of ACE2 receptors, especially in the lungs. It is not difficult to see the irony that the highest COVID-19 death rates include those with cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and hypertension...conditions for which ACE inhibitor medications are often prescribed! Returning to the discussion of selenium though, selenium tends to act as an ACE inhibitor. So too do some healthy foods.  However, the implication herein is that, while selenium supports the immune system and protects against viral infection in general, those with pre-existing health conditions and who are already on ACE inhibitor medication might need to be more cautious with selenium.  In other words, you don't want to be deficient in this essential nutrient, but you don't want to overdo it either, especially if a person is already on an ACE inhibitor.

 

In the discussion of selenium (which many people are in fact deficient in), we can go a step further and also consider our exposure to toxic metals such as arsenic (which many people are exposed to through the air, food, and water). Arsenic (and mercury too) is a major biological antagonist to selenium. We see arsenic showing up quite frequently in HTMA testing, and this is why a detox approach that supports the liver and includes a binder (especially when metals are showing up) is important in general, and especially to help support selenium status.

 

When people think of basic immune health in general, thoughts typically revolve around zinc, vitamin C, and vitamin D.   Well, most people are deficient in zinc, with excess copper (www.coppertoxic.com) and/or mercury being just two contributing factors. However there are numerous reasons behind widespread zinc deficiency (I go into all these various reasons in mineralmastery.com).  The point is most people are deficient in zinc, and could use more...though ideally through diet. Not everyone can handle zinc supplements, and depending on a person's mineral profile, even 25mg may be more than a person can handle without reactions.  There is no 'blanket dose' that fits everyone, and this again is why getting your mineral status checked through HTMA before supplementing can be so valuable.  That said, when it comes to viral protection, zinc should be considered first and foremost, as numerous studies have shown zinc's efficacy as a virucidal.  Thus optimizing one's zinc level should at least be considered, and should be part of the basic education provided to the public. 

 

As for Vitamin D, though it is an extremely important vitamin and while I'm not opposed to short-term supplementation in times of sickness, many people are blindly supplementing loads of Vitamin D as if its candy, never being taught the effect of what that pill is doing to their mineral system and longer term health. I explain this in great detail at https://www.mineralsandhealth.com/vitamin_d_danger (an article I would encourage everyone to read and understand), but for the purpose of this post, just keep in mind that it is magnesium that naturally supports your vitamin D level. Studies show that magnesium deficiency impairs calcitriol production (active Vitamin D), while optimizing magnesium alone helps support vitamin D. 

 

Earlier in this article were mentioned three of the highest risk factors for COVID-19 complications - those being cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and hypertension.  Well, magnesium deficiency plays a role in contributing to all three of these issues...should optimizing ones magnesium therefore also not at least be considered in the discussion on how to best protect oneself?  Sadly, the importance of this mineral too is ignored in the education being presented to the public.

 

Low potassium in blood (hypokalemia) is another common thread with COVID-19.  This study [5] from Wenzhou Medical University showed that nearly all COVID-19 patients have hypokalemia, and that potassium supplementation assisted with their recovery. Of course, hypokalemia is never a disease by itself, it's almost always the symptom of some other disorder.  Here again magnesium comes into consideration, since hypomagnesemia is present in over 50% of clinically significant cases of hypokalemia. 

 

Given that COVID-19 is a respiratory disease, and given that (as published by John Hopkins University) Vitamin A deficiency causes pathological alterations in the epithelium of the respiratory tract, would it not make sense to be promoting adequate support for this vital nutrient too?  After all, vitamin A could be a promising option for the treatment of this novel coronavirus and the prevention of lung infection[6]. Our seniors however (especially the ones most affected by COVID-19) are typically on a cocktail of medications, antacids, etc, which further lower stomach acid which impairs the absorption of fat soluble vitamins such as Vitamin A.  (On that note,  those who are taking excessive amounts of Vitamin D supplements further run the risk of Vitamin A deficiency, due to the antagonist D<-->A affect.  The more Vitamin D one supplements, the more Vitamin A they should be taking as a safeguard, and cod liver oil is one option that provides both D and A).   

 

The older population have greater reduced levels of glutathione, impairing not only the body's detox ability but also increasing the risk of numerous health conditions.   When you combine this lack of glutathione with HCL deficiency and Vitamin A deficiency which in turn can affect the lungs, now this (lack of) glutathione is insufficient to tell the body's immune system to stop attacking the lungs with histamine and other immune cells, the perpetual attack of which can progress into pneumonia. Incidentally, selenium plays a key role in supporting glutathione or, more specifically, 98.7 μg/L of Se in plasma or serum are required to optimize GPx activity[6].   

 

Excess tissue calcification, further increases viral susceptability in general, while factors that reduce tissue calcium concentrations (such as zinc, and Vitamins A, B6, and C) should aid in viral resistance[7]...and this leads into the next section...on stress. 


Stress 
The panic and fear promoted in the news and the herd mentality of scenes of people rushing to buy every last roll of toilet paper in sight only adds to the outbreak by way of stress-induced immune suppression.  Stress is a major antagonist to both magnesium and zinc, with lowered magnesium leading to lowered Vitamin D levels, calcification, cardiovascular disease; and lowered zinc as mentioned above impairing the immune response.  Stress also contributes to increased tissue calcification, increased toxic metal retention, lowered selenium, all these factors of which further increase the risk for viral contraction.  And yet, how much of this messaging is taught to the public even as basic self-health empowerment?  Rather, the dominant message seems to be fear-based, leaving the individual to feel helpless save for self-isolation.  Feeling helpless further increases stress.  A quote here from Dr. Bruce Lipton:

 

"As presented in The Biology of Belief, stress is responsible for up to 90% of illness...

When an individual is in stress, the release of stress hormones (e.g., cortisol) shuts

down the immune system to conserve the body’s energy for running away from

the perceived stressor... Stress hormones are so effective at compromising the

immune system, that physicians therapeutically provide recipients of organ transplants

with stress hormones to prevent their immune system from rejecting the foreign implant.  

The conclusion is clear: The fear of the coronavirus is more deadly than the virus itself!"

~Dr. Bruce Lipton

 

So let's all take a moment to stop, breathe, meditate on healthy supportive thoughts internally (rather than the external global panic and chaos), and do what we can to support and strengthen our inner terrain.  That's just a healthy thing to do regardless of whether we're facing a pandemic or not.  The pandemic is real.  COVID-19 is real, and yes people are dying and will continue to do so.  But we are not helpless creatures reliant solely on self-isolation and the hope for a future vaccine.  What alone will that self-isolation cost in terms of heightened rates of depression, anxiety, abuse, and suicide? 

 

We have a responsibility to ourselves to optimize our own health defenses, and supporting the body's own immune system through intelligent nutrition should just be basic common sense.  Very rarely is this ever taught, especially when the mass focus is placed externally on some vaccine or "magic pill".  When the focus is external, it shifts the responsibility away from learning about and taking optimal care of oneself.   

 

There are simple nutritional things people can do to at least strengthen their bodies.  To outright dismiss this nutritional connection is both ignorant and negligent. 


Other Tips
Of course, beyond nutrition, there are all the other proactive steps one can take as well, these ones largely already being talked about out there, and absolutely important. 

  • frequent hand-washing with soap for about 20 seconds
  • avoiding touching your face, especially eyes, mouth and nose.
  • paying electronically instead of handling cash.
  • not standing in the air space of someone openly coughing and sneezing
  • social distancing to flatten the curve
  • Vitamin C to support immune health (ok, this one belongs up there with nutrition but we'll include it here)...at around 2000mg-3000mg per day or to bowel tolerance, ideally a mix of liposomal (for absorption benefit) and whole food C (lower potency but contains all the needed the cofactors).
  • cutting out sugars!! Sugar impairs your immune response, and lessons the effectiveness of Vitamin C.  When your blood sugar level is too high (>120), there is a huge reduction in the body's ability to destroy viruses and bacteria. 
  • spraying down your mail or delivery packages with hydrogen peroxide
  • gargle/swallow a little colloidal silver...yes...it actually has helped people!
  • make sure surfaces are always properly wiped down with sanitizing wipes.  A full list of disinfecting agents can be found here: https://www.epa.gov/pesticide-registration/list-n-disinfectants-use-against-sars-cov-2
  • And please...follow any and all additional specific guidance as given by your local health authority

Be good to yourselves and stay safe! 

 

 

 

References

1] https://www.zrtlab.com/blog/archive/preventing-and-protecting-against-coronavirus-is-selenium-the-answer/    
2] https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/jmv.25707
3] https://www.lifeextension.com/protocols/infections/2019-novel-coronavirus-sars-cov2-covid-19

4] https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs12011-011-8977-1

5] https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.02.27.20028530v1
6] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4377864/ 
7] https://traceelements.com/Docs/News Nov-Dec 89.pdf

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