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Coping with Covid-19

Covid19 Information from Jeffrey Mark, MD on Vimeo.

 

Many of you have asked me questions about COVID-19 and it is out of my concern for you and your families that I share with you some of the information I have given to stay healthy or at least minimize the effects of the virus. I'll tell you about what we currently know and then offer some suggestions, including the 3 nutrients that you need to optimize your immune system now as there is no cure or vaccine for COVID-19.

Before I get started, just as a common-sense reminder if you have any cold or flu systems including a fever, cough, or malaise/ body aches please call our office and notify us before coming to the office.  In addition to our monitoring of staff for any illnesses and the standard hand sanitizers and Lysol wipes, the exam rooms have now been equipped with air filters capable of at least reducing bacteria and viruses (UV and ionic settings) while cleansing the air of dust and impurities.

Many of you may know from the media that the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic has killed more than 4,575 people and is increasing but putting it into perspective influenza has killed more than 14,000 people and 250,000 people have been hospitalized to date. There is no cure for either and a vaccine for COVID-19 is at least 8 months to over a year away.

Information to date suggests 80% of people infected will have a mild to moderate course of illness. The problem is that both viruses spread very easily and the quoted 2.2% mortality rate for COVID-19  may be higher if you are over the age of 50, have multiple medical problems including asthma, or do not have access to optimal medical care including the possible need for a temporary ventilator to buy time for your immune system. Access to optimal medical care is becoming a problem in Italy and thus all efforts now in the U.S. are to slow the progression of COVID-19 to the point we will continue to have the resources to offer optimal care for those that need it.

Therefore, the key to getting through this pandemic is the prevention and preservation of a healthy immune system. One needs to have a healthy lifestyle, optimized immune system, and follow the sanitary guidelines per the World Health Organization ( 
https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public
).

A healthy lifestyle starts with getting at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night, reduction of stress, and keeping well-nourished.  The immune system changes significantly with less than 6 hours of sleep and we enter a "pro-inflammatory state." We all have stress but excessive stress or panic will raise your cortisol levels.  This can lead to a compromised immune system, gastrointestinal distress, and disorder decreasing nutrition, and affect your parasympathetic system of rest and repair. Waking up every morning with a mindset of intention to be grateful for your family, friends, and neighbors will help you start your day better prepared for the stresses of the day. Eating organic whole foods that nourish the body will help give you the energy you will need. Taking helpful probiotics or eating some fermented foods like miso, sauerkraut, or kimchee will provide healthy bacteria to maintain your microbiome involved in the gastrointestinal tract home to 70% of your immune system.

There are many nutrients or supplements that can boost and optimize your immune system. Three of these are the most powerful and give you the most bang for your buck.

The first is Vitamin D. For at least the short term 5000IU daily on average may boost blood levels to a level of 40-60 units but this varies depending on your gastrointestinal tract for absorption and what other medical conditions you have. If you are over 40, vitamin K2 should be added as long as you are not taking blood thinners or need your blood thin due to atrial fibrillation or stroke in which case you should not take vitamin K in any form with consulting a physician.

The second major nutrient is Vitamin C. The interesting fact is that the IV form of Vitamin C may behave differently from the oral form for which attempted high doses still may not be well absorbed and many complain of the common side effect of diarrhea.  There have been case reports of IV Vitamin C given to people with COVID-19 with benefits. It would be difficult to get IV Vitamin C and most IV clinics that give it are not set up in isolation rooms.  Am alternative is liposomal vitamin C which is embedded in fat molecules of approximately 200 nanometers and gets absorbed directly into the bloodstream through the cheeks and orally therefore not needing the gastrointestinal tract. Levels of Vitamin C are much higher in the bloodstream and are closer to levels with IV Vitamin C.

The third major nutrient is glutathione which is the most powerful antioxidant. Free radicals are molecules that can cause "oxidative stress".  Free radicals are molecules that are unstable and destabilize other molecules rendering the other molecule damaged or nonfunctional.   Antioxidants are substances that protect against free radical damage. Free radicals can damage mitochondria and decrease the energy and production of cells including the immune system.
They can damage cells and DNA directly. They "age" the cell. We make glutathione from nutrients that have sulfa and selenium. There are oral forms of glutathione but most of these do not get absorbed very well from the gastrointestinal tract. Liposomal glutathione goes directly from cheeks in the mouth into the bloodstream just like liposomal vitamin C.

Lastly, direct prevention should be practiced daily with the WHO guidelines found here: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public. Best practices include frequent hand washing (at least 30 seconds or singing the alphabet song with children), maintaining a social distance of at least 6 feet from others, and avoiding touching the eyes, nose, and mouth.

I hope this has been helpful and you are able to implement the preventive practices presented here. Please let me know if you would be interested in a teleconference online for additional questions or an online functional medicine office visit.  I know many of you are already on our liposomal products and we presently do have stock on hand for now but if there are any questions about the Vitamin D, liposomal vitamin C, or liposomal glutathione please call our office or you may use the website www.allfuctionalhealth.com as a resource. I wish you well and to be in continued good health.

 

Author
Jeffrey Mark, M.D. Helping clients with compassionate and comprehensive medical care for over 25 years with 4 board certifications in functional medicine, gastroenterology, internal medicine, and anti-aging/ regenerative medicine . IFMCP, ABIM Gastroenterology, NPAS Internal Medicine, ABAARM.

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