In response to the amount of disinformation circulating Nutritional Therapist, Sarah Mallinson has has provided a practical review of the information available, its mechanics and natural supports:
Corona viruses are a group that are made from RNA instead of DNA that typically produce respiratory and gastrointestinal illness. Information from China suggests the current COVID-19 strain will cause only minimal symptoms in 80% of those infected and will not require medical help, 15% may become moderately ill with cough and shortness of breath and 5% will require intensive care. There may be or may not be a fever.
This strain can easily spread between people with coughs or sneezes and the incubation period from exposure to illness is 2 to 14 days, 5 days on average. Gradual symptoms of infection are likely to be fatigue, aches and pains and sore throat, which may last for 5 days and this, is classed as phase 1. For 80% of people this is the only phase and they should then recover.
The remaining 20% may enter phase two which begins with a cough, shortness of breath and possible symptoms of pneumonia. These individuals may remain contagious even after symptoms finalise.
Quarantines can delay the spread of infection but there are also things you can do to help support your health and minimize risk.
How the virus works
Viruses, in order to succeed need to enter a human cell, replicate themselves and damage the cell and escape to infect surrounding cells. COVID-19 enters cells by attaching to a specific protein on our cells surface (ACE-2). Scientists confirm that the replication of this virus is the same as the distribution of protein ACE-2 in the lungs.
The virus, once in the cell then takes over other proteins and produces further enzymes to enable progression.
There is some evidence to show that restoring ACE-2 function can reduce severity of pneumonia in other similar viruses and the conditions that are associated with mortality from the virus – including advanced ageing, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease and smoking, are all associated with reduced baseline ACE-2 activity.
The virus may be able to evade the initial immune system response, we don’t know if stimulating immunity will provide protection however; a weakened immune system will probably contribute to the severity of the condition.
ACE-2 function can be improved with regular aerobic exercise and a plant-based whole food diet. The following may also help:
Ensure you are eating enough Protein as deficiency impairs innate immunity
Appropriate Vitamin D levels are essential so if you do not know your level, get it checked and supplement accordingly.
Zinc and Vitamin A are also crucial, but in excess can impair function, so do not over supplement.
Adequate sleep in also vital as serotonin (our good mood neurotransmitter) is converted to melatonin to help us sleep and Melatonin helps control the inflammatory process also supports anti-viral activity.
Probiotics can support your microbiome that can support immunity. Live yogurt, fermented foods, kefir, kombucha etc may all be beneficial.
If you are taking supplements to boost your immune system and you start with symptoms of the virus, stop taking them and move to anti-inflammatorys including turmeric, quercetin, bromelin etc
If you are taking medications, please do not use supplements without GP or Nutritional Therapist advice.
Soap is a great anti-corona virus product as it destroys the protective shielding of the virus, but not anti-bacterial soap as this does not have the same effect.
Cleaning on hard surfaces: 70% alcohol, 0.5% hydrogen peroxide, 0.1% bleach (hypochlorus acid) can kill most viruses (including corona virus), with 30 seconds of contact.
I am a Nutritional Therapist based in Macclesfield, Cheshire. I work with people with a wide variety of symptoms and conditions.