On March 4 we posted a blog entitle “There Will Be Other Viruses Ya Know!” While true, the subject of variants and breakthrough infections need to be dealt with first.
What are variants and breakthrough infections? Good questions.
Virus variants are changes in a virus. Some might use the term mutation. I honestly do not know if the terms are synonymous. A variant does not change the way that a virus works, but it changes that way that the virus acts. In the case of COVID19, variant Delta is spreading quicker than the original virus, it is easier to contract. Variant viruses also effect how well vaccines work.
Breakthrough infections are defined as a vaccinated person becoming sick from the same illness that the vaccine was designed to protect them from. The incidents of breakthrough infections are on the rise. The most recent and famous breakthrough case was the death of fully vaccinated former Secretary of State, General Colin Powell.
People are beginning to line up for a 3rd shot. It is likely that the virus will vary a few more times despite or due to the shots. What will the efficacy be? Breakthrough infections are happening.
We certainly do not want to get sick. What to do?
I will review what we take and why we take it. But first lets talk about Antioxidant supplements, Free Radicals and Anti-inflammatory supplements.
The National Institute of Health defines free radicals this way. “In the past decades, accumulated scientific findings confirmed the pathogenic role of free radicals damage in respiratory virus infection.” Free radical allow the SARS CoV 2 virus to cause a chain reaction in our cells as the virus replaces our RNA with its RNA. Antioxidants fight free radicals, slowing down and stopping the chain reaction of the virus.
Inflammation from fluids causes tissue to swell. The lungs and heart do not function efficiently when they are inflamed. Fluid in the lungs clogs the alveoli which restricts the passage of oxygen to the blood. Fluid around the heart puts stress on the pulmonary function. Anti-inflammatory supplements help reduce inflamed body tissues.
To save time and space, here is the list of vitamins and supplements that we take daily. In the morning before leaving the house: Low Dose 81 mg Aspirin, 8000 IU of vitamin D, 360 mg of Vitamin B Complex, 500 mg of vitamin C, Zinc 30 mg to 50 mg, Quercetin 500 mg to 1000 mg. In the evening just before lights out and bed; 10 mg of Melatonin.
Low dose aspirin, according to WebMD, lowers the risk of infection by 29%. For those who test positive for COVID19, low dose aspirin reduces the effect of blood clotting and its effect on the heart and lungs.
Vitamin D is actually not a vitamin at all. It is a hormone that the body naturally produces when exposed to sunlight. Most people are not in the sun enough hours of the day to produce much vitamin D, so supplements are needed. According to a University of Chicago study a full 80% of COVID19 positive patients are vitamin D deficient. We take 8000 International Units per day, but I’ve seen advice to take as little as 800 IUs per day will help. Over 10,000 IUs is too much.
Vitamin B Complex contains vitamins B1, B2, B6 and B12. Vitamin B helps the body create red blood cells. Red blood cells carry oxygen to the body, which boosts our immune systems. We take 360 mg per day.
We take 500 mg of vitamin C per day. Vitamin C is an anti-oxidant which fights free radicals.
Zinc may be the only supplement that is more important than Vitamin D. Zinc is an anti-inflammatory, and reduces blood sugar. But most important in the fight against SARS CoV 2 is its ability to keep the virus from entering cells and its ability to stop the mRNA of COVID19 from replacing your RNA with the virus’ RNA. We take 30 mg of zinc per day.
There is a Zinc caveat however. Our cells do not like to readily absorb zinc. That’s where the Quercetin comes in.
Quercetin by itself is great for the immune system too. The best part is that this plant based pigment derived from fruits, veggies and grains carries zinc into cells with it. Double benefit. Quercetin is both anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant, reduces blood sugar and blood pressure.
Finally, every evening we take 10 mg of melatonin and turn out the lights. 15 minutes later, yours truly is asleep. Immunity and virus recovery require good sleep. Melatonin is a natural hormone that your body creates when it is dark and encourages sleep. As we age we create less melatonin. Supplemental melatonin is the best way to assure a healthy sleep each night.
I know this is a plethora of daily vitamins and supplements, but we’ve been doing this for years and rarely do we get viral infections. That includes the flu. Knock on wood, neither of us has contracted COVID19 despite working in environments that has exposed us both to infected people on multiple occasions.
Be smart, be careful, think and act for yourself. It puts your health back in your hands.