First, I would like to wish all the wonderful women out there a happy and healthy International Women’s Day! Wishing you lots of health, happiness, and love!
Women’s health, especially digestive health is the topic I love to get into but today it is more important to talk about immune system support, supporting the body against viruses and understanding that overdoing it can possibly hurt you.
A lot of patients with chronic digestive problems, inflammatory bowels, and irritable bowels can get in trouble with certain immune system boosting supplements. Simply because their immune system response is already overstimulated, they can be on immune system suppressants or other reasons. But it is now common to take immune system natural support and it is generally a great idea.
You are probably bombarded with ads, emails and social media posts that want to sell you their best supplements for Coronavirus or flu. The truth is not much is known and documented that supports any of the speculations that one supplement would work over another.
I’m asked at least a few times a day about what supplements can I recommend or sell, and I want to stay in full integrity and simply go over the facts.
The facts are: Coronavirus is a virus, and as of now, the medical data is still evolving. What’s pretty clear is that we face an easily transmitted, flu-like virus. It does look more dangerous than the normal seasonal flu, especially to the elderly and people with other health conditions. And it is still spreading. The US appears to be a few weeks behind other countries where the situation is already much worse. But it looks like it’s subsiding in the original place. Where can we get into trouble?
Getting extra stressed out about this is going to make you more susceptible to catch any kind of viral OR bacterial infection right now. Whatever methods you use to de-stress use it now, please. Yoga, meditation, self-hypnosis, whatever works for you.
I see a lot of my peers recommending this vitamin over the other and while we have absolutely no supporting data on what natural option works here as an anti-viral (meaning a product that kills the virus) we do know that supporting the immune system is theoretically a good idea.
I generally recommend a trio of Vitamin D, Vitamin C and Zinc for immune system support and great sleep. And this is where I would draw the line for now unless you are seeing a health care practitioner. I see a lot of posts about several suggested supplements including elderberry syrup and it’s great, but I am not so sure it’s a go-to supplement in this case.
Some older data suggest that it can further increase the chance of the cytokine storm which is more of this viral picture to damage the lung, kidney, and heart vasculature. If you are taking elderberry syrup for flu prevention you can consider holding it for now until more information and this epidemic subsides.
And generally, if you are grabbing immune system supporting supplements please make sure they don’t serve as major immune system boosters to avoid overstimulation of the immune system especially locally in the lungs since this virus affects those the most. Stay tuned as I get more RELIABLE information and the keyword is reliable because I’ve seen so much nonsense in the past few weeks.
References:1. Cell. 2020 Mar 4. pii: S0092-8674(20)30229-4. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2020.02.052. [Epub ahead of print] SARS-CoV-2 Cell Entry Depends on ACE2 and TMPRSS2 and Is Blocked by a Clinically Proven Protease Inhibitor. Hoffmann M1, Kleine-Weber H2, Schroeder S3, Krüger N4, Herrler T5, Erichsen S6, Schiergens TS7, Herrler G8, Wu NH8, Nitsche A9, Müller MA10, Drosten C3, Pöhlmann S11.2. Eur Cytokine Netw. 2001 Apr-Jun;12(2):290-6. The effect of Sambucol, a black elderberry-based, natural product, on the production of human cytokines: I. Inflammatory cytokines. Barak V1, Halperin T, Kalickman I.3. Nutrients. 2017 Nov 3;9(11). pii: E1211. doi: 10.3390/nu9111211. Vitamin C and Immune Function.Carr AC1, Maggini S2.