According to the World Health Organization, “Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain known as COVID-19 that has not been previously identified in humans.”
As The Lancet recently outlined, there are some initial findings about COVID-19 including an excessive immune response and respiratory distress known as a cytokine storm, which causes fluid to build up in the lungs. This points to a need to support the lungs and a generalized immune support.
The many unknowns associated with COVID-19 and the lack of a specific anti-viral treatment at this time elevates concern and creates an immediate need to focus on preparedness and immune strengthening.
What follows are some fundamental prevention strategies and immune-boosting recommendations that can be useful for the general population.
Some standard best practices for everyday prevention include regular hand washing, covering your mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing and avoiding large gatherings. The governments of Japan, Germany and South Korea determined a guideline for ‘large gatherings’ as where 1,000 or more people are present.
Additionally, it is ideal to avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness (e.g. coughing and sneezing), when possible. This may present a challenge if someone in your household, workplace or school is ill. Consider implementing guidelines at your workplace or school for respiratory illness such as requiring those individuals to wear an N95 mask to prevent the spread of droplets or telecommuting until the symptoms resolve.
Finally, disinfecting common high touch surfaces is a worthwhile precautionary measure. Some of these surfaces might include doorknobs, countertops, phones and keyboards among others.
When the body does not have antibodies to protect it from a new pathogen as in the case of COVID-19, it has to rely on a non-specific immunity. This means that a new virus can spread rapidly due to a lack of immunity, as we are seeing globally at this time.
Prior to the onset of symptoms, you have the opportunity to engage in focused and deliberate preparation of your immune system. In other words, this is your window for the vital work of preparing your immune system in the event that you would be exposed to COVID-19. Simple preventative measures can quite possibly limit the severity of a future instance.
Dr. Formolo strongly recommends avoiding virus-laden meats, which can place an additional strain on the immune system. Chicken is the worst offender in this category with pork as a close second.
A return to whole foods is a simple approach to begin boosting the vitamins and minerals your immune system requires to function best. That simple adage of ‘eat a rainbow’ is excellent fundamental guidance. Choose an array of fruits and vegetables. Avoid processed foods.
The ‘food as medicine’ approach that Dr. Formolo has studied for the length of his career provides additional specific guidance. One example that he is sharing at this time is the strong recommendation to eat Kiwi fruit. This fruit has anti-viral properties in the form of phytonutrients. Additionally, Kiwi contains significant amounts of Vitamin C, which is strongly associated with bronchial support. Several studies have concluded that Vitamin C provides this outcome including an Italian study in which participants in the Vitamin C study enjoyed reduced asthmatic and other respiratory symptoms. This and other similar findings point to Vitamin C, which is most bio-available in the form of whole foods, to strengthen the lungs. Vitamin C can also attack a virus through direct contact in the throat (e.g. as you eat a Vitamin C-rich whole food). Note that whole foods supply ‘the whole C’ while most over the counter supplements provide only ascorbic acid, which is only a portion of Vitamin C.
An array of ‘food as medicine’ recommendations are available from Dr. Formolo through individual appointments, based on your health history and other key factors.
In the present-day race to boost your immunity, nutritional supplements such as vitamins, minerals and herbs are your best defense. These concentrated extractions from the source (e.g. plants) allow you to quickly and readily supply your immune system with the exact building blocks needed to strengthen your immunity.
Among those key supplements is the most-critical of all as it relates to COVID-19, which is Zinc. This essential mineral has strong antiviral properties. Dr. Formolo cannot recommend this mineral strongly enough as a preventative.
A key messaging point related to Zinc is that not all forms of it are created equal. Taking the most absorbable form, in the correct dosage based on your health history and the timing of it is critical to its effectiveness. Over the counter Zinc is generally a poor performer. A medical grade Zinc is strongly recommended.
Dr. Formolo recommends that his patients pulse a customized group of herbs that specifically target viruses. This long-practiced approach knocks down viruses without allowing the pathogen to build up a tolerance. His patients have had great success with this approach in tackling known viruses in the past and it may provide the same useful defense against COVID-19. Reach out to us for more information about supplements including herb pulsing.
If you are asymptomatic and would like to schedule a 30-minute telephone consultation with Dr. Formolo, we invite you to book an appointment.