After having a big COVID scare back in March of 2020, and two more this year when people in my immediate circle tested positive, it’s finally my turn to take a ride with the ‘Rona for real. Yup, big blue line on the T in my quicktest recently.
Being sick sucks anytime it happens. Fortunately for me, having been vaccinated and kept my immune system strong, I hope I can steer clear of any hospital emergency rooms or dire consequences of SARS-CoV-2. I got sick a few days ago and think I’m through the worst of it now. I have friends & family members who’ve not be so fortunate. Some have not survived.
There are plenty of debunked myths out there still circulating about COVID (and for my conspiracy-minded friends, the link I provide there is the Mayo clinic, not to agencies like the CDC or the WHO). I am not one to propagate bad science or pseudoscientific superstitions — nor do I give any medical advice, as I am not a doctor and don’t play one on the internet. But I think it might be helpful to share what I am doing with my own body based on my own research and my own discussions with medical professionals. Please, you go talk to your own doctors about your own needs before doing what I do, okay? Okay.
That said, as a result of the pandemic, I’ve gotten pretty serious about a certain basic immunological regimen that I believe has contributed to my health standard over the last few years. In my present state, it should go without saying that it doesn’t work 100% — and I don’t think anything does, do you? Though I do believe that the fact that I’ve been dosing a lot of L-Lysine lately is contributing to my fairly rapid recovery, and being as exposed as I’ve been as often as I have over the last two years and only finally getting COVID for the first time now is a testament to my health & my health regimen below.Daily, and spread across 1-3 meals:
- multi-vitamin, I usually go for these from Costco, which were recommended by my Naturopath and cost less than a quarter per day. But multivitamins are generally cheap and plentiful, and good general coverage for the deficiencies and inconsistencies in our diets.
- B-complex, because a vegan diet tends to be particularly low in B vitamins and my multivitamin doesn’t boost it quite enough. I go with these, also super cheap from Costco at less than a nickel each, and containing some electrolytes and extra Vitamin C too.
- Vitamin D3, additional 1000 to 4000 IU (depending on my recent sunlight exposure, less in summer more in winter, etc.). Usually these, also from Costco. The 25mcg / 1000 IU ones are $.02 each and I prefer these over the higher dosages because I can spread them out over the day and adjust my intake in smaller increments. People often point out that the body needs Vitamin K to aid in the absorption of Vitamin D, and though this it is not present in the multi-vitamin I take (nor is it in most multi-vitamins from what I understand), I do generally eat a lot of Vitamin K rich foods, so I personally don’t take K daily along with D as it is often recommended.
- Arginine, which started taking recently based on some specific advice from a doctor I’m working with on a specific issue. I don’t plan to continue taking this supplement more than a few months.
- multi-vitamin (same)
- Vitamin C, additional 1000-4000 IU because metadata analysis of dozens of studies covering thousands of common cold episodes demonstrated regular supplementation with vitamin C correlating with a modest but consistent reduction in duration of cold symptoms and I grew up believing in it so it may still have some supplementary placebo affect in my case.
- Vitamin D3, 5000 IU along with Vitamin K2, in this Costco-friendly form and “I ain’t messin’ around here” dose.
- L-Lysine, 1000 IU (and DROP the Arginine that argues with it) for its general anti-viral properties and suspected specific COVID-related benefits. Though there is much more study to be done here, one very interesting paper on L-Lysine & COVID can be found here with the concluding statement Lysine and Lys-ester can prevent SARS-CoV-2 and IAV infection, particularly in the entry stage. In contrast to that, Arg-ester can potently boost infection of both viruses. It would therefore be beneficial to consider the nutrient intake of COVID-19 and flu patients. We recommend the inclusion of lysine supplementation in addition to a reduced arginine intake for the prevention and treatment of SARS-CoV-2 and IAV infections.
- Zinc, which I usually keep handy as Cold-eze or other lozenge form
- Vitamin C, which I typically have dissolved warm water like in one of those Emergen-C packets, Airborne tablets, or similar
- L-Lysine, first a 4000 IU wallop, then 1000 IU 2x daily on an empty stomach
- Quinine, which is easy to find in the form of tonic water (it only contains a little, but a little is all that is needed). It’s considered a “zinc ionophore” as in the study above, and I find that this also often helps settle my stomach and take the sick taste out of my mouth.
- It’s important to drop all caffeine, alcohol, and any Arginine-rich foods as these can promote viral spread, bacterial replication, and/or weaken the body’s defenses more generally.
Oh and also if it’s a simple intestinal discomfort issue, as in I just think I maybe ate something that tasted funny, then a couple drops of GSE in water goes down the hatch real fast. As I’ve learned in my world travels, this stuff is a great prevention for those food poisoning episodes we’d all rather not have.
In addition to all this, if it’s handy or if someone offers, yeah okay sure I’ll have some echinecia, garlic, or other non-caffeinated herbs. But I don’t travel with these, and though they don’t hurt I don’t put much faith in them these days. I studied Chinese medicine a bit in my shiatsu training way back when (pulse & tongue assessments, five element theory, herbs, etc.). I think there’s plenty of there there, medicinally, but the quality of anything I can get my hands on is so variable and the supply chain and storage conditions so untraceable that I just don’t trust the stuff anymore, even when the theory is seems sound.
How about you? Any studies you’ve seen that I should know about? Other things that I might want to try in my recovery or immune defenses going forward? The comments are here for you! …But I’m going back to bed. Rest makes more difference than anything.