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A Functional Approach to COVID-19

A Functional Approach to COVID-19

A Functional Approach to COVID-19

The coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic is forcing us to reevaluate so much of our lives, to focus on those we love, and what is most important. As an act of self-preservation and as an act of service to all our friends, neighbours, co-workers, and fellow West Australians it is imperative that we now, more than ever, focus on our personal health and well-being. [1]

What is Coronavirus

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

According to the World Health organisation (WHO), most people infected with the virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment.

However, some will become seriously ill and require medical attention. Older people and those with underlying medical conditions like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, or cancer are more likely to develop serious illness

According to the WHO, the best way to prevent and slow down transmission is to be well informed about the disease and how the virus spreads. Protect yourself and others from infection by staying at least 1 metre apart from others, wearing a properly fitted mask, and washing your hands frequently. [2]

The virus can spread from an infected persons mouth or nose in small liquid particles when they cough, sneeze, speak, sing or breathe. These particles range from larger respiratory droplets to smaller aerosols. It is important to practice respiratory etiquette, for example by coughing into a flexed elbow, and to stay home and self-isolate until you recover if you feel unwell.

A Functional Approach to COVID-19

Research on specific botanical and nutraceutical agents indicates they may have a role in the pre-exposure and early phase of COVID-19 based on their ability to improve the immune response to, and recovery from viral illnesses. The Institute for Functional Medicine have listed the beneficial botanical and nutraceutical agents we have listed them below: For more information on personalised recommendations, please consult your functional practitioner directly. [5]

Curcumin

500-1,000 mg, 2x daily

Benefits: Curcumin has been shown to reduce inflammation and decrease viral activity for COVID-19.

  • Enhances immune systems
  • Decreases viral growth
  • Reduces Symptoms

Quercetin

Regular: 1,000 mg orally, 2x daily

Phytosome: 500 mg, 2x daily

Benefits: Quercetin is found in fruits and vegetables and has a wide range of benefits, including decreasing viral growth.

  • Enhances immune systems
  • Decreases viral growth
  • Reduces Symptoms

Zinc

30-60 mg orally daily, in divided doses

Benefits: A large body of research shows that zinc has strong anti-viral properties against many viruses.

  • Enhances immune systems
  • Decreases viral growth
  • Reduces Symptoms

N-Acetylcysteine (NAC)

600-900 mg, 2x daily

Benefits: N-acetylcysteine promotes the production of glutathione, a potent antioxidant that supports immune function. It also reduces the severity of the flu.

  • Enhances immune systems
  • Reduces Symptoms

Vitamin D

5,000 IU orally, daily

Benefits: Vitamin D enhances immune system function, reduces viral growth, and can reduce upper respiratory infections

  • Enhances immune systems
  • Decreases viral growth
  • Reduces Symptoms

Vitamin A

10,000-25,000 IU, daily

Benefits: Vitamin A is anti-inflammatory, enhances immune function, and supports the lining of the respiratory tract.

  • Enhances immune systems
  • Reduces Symptoms

Vitamin C

1-3 g orally, daily

Benefits: Vitamin C contributes to immune defence by supporting various cellular functions of the immune system. Vitamin C has been used in hospital ICUs to treat COVID-19 infection.

  • Enhances immune systems
  • Decreases viral growth
  • Reduces Symptoms

Elderberry

500 mg orally, daily

Benefits: Elderberry is packed with vitamin C, dietary fibre, and antioxidants. It has been used extensively in the prevention of influenza

  • Enhances immune systems
  • Decreases viral growth

Green tea or Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCG)

4 cups daily (green tea)

225 mg orally, daily (EGCG)

Benefits: In addition to reducing inflammation, green tea enhances the immune system and targets one of the processes involved in COVID-19 replication

  • Enhances immune systems
  • Decreases viral growth
  • Reduces Symptoms

Resveratrol

100-150 mg orally, 2x daily

Benefits: Resveratrol, a natural compound found in red grapes, has many beneficial health effects and has been shown in the lab to attack a relative of the COVID-19 virus.

  • Enhances immune systems
  • Decreases viral growth

Medicinal mushrooms such as reishi, maitake, shiitake, turkey tail, and cordyceps

Dosing instructions should be individualised to validated methods and research on specific mushroom genus and species

Benefits: Medicinal mushrooms have been shown to support the immune system while having antioxidant and antiviral effects.

  • Enhances immune systems
  • Decreases viral growth

Beta glucans

250-500 mg daily

Benefits: Beta glucans are both anti-inflammatory and enhance immune function while specifically benefitting those with upper respiratory tract infections caused by viruses.

  • Enhances immune systems
  • Decreases viral growth
  • Reduces Symptoms

Liquorice root (standardised to glycyrrhizin)

200-400 mg daily in divided doses (short-term use <4 weeks)

Benefits: Liquorice is commonly found in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) formulations and supports immune system function and reduces viral growth.

  • Enhances immune systems
  • Decreases viral growth
  • Reduces Symptoms

These recommendations should be followed under the supervision and guidance of a qualified healthcare professional. [5]

COVID-19 affects different people in different ways. Most infected people will develop mild illness and recover without hospitalisation.

Most common symptoms of Covid:

  • fever
  • cough
  • tiredness
  • loss of taste or smell

Less common symptoms of Covid:

  • sore throat
  • headache
  • aches and pains
  • diarrhoea
  • a rash on skin, or discolouration of fingers or toes
  • red or irritated eyes

Serious symptoms of Covid:

  • difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • loss of speech or mobility, or confusion
  • chest pain

Seek immediate medical attention if you have serious symptoms. Always call before visiting your doctor or health facility.

People with mild symptoms who are otherwise healthy should manage their symptoms at home.

On average it takes 5–6 days from when someone is infected with the virus for symptoms to show, however it can take up to 14 days. [2]

Image: taken straight from the Australian Government [3]

Emerging variants may pose challenge to existing COVID vaccines, render it ineffective

With new emerging variants comes new challenges, the coronavirus strain is continuously mutating and the same vaccine may not be effective on all the mutant variants.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), “Emerging data consistently show a decline in vaccine effectiveness against SARS-CoV2 infection and COVID-19 with time since vaccination, and more significant decline in older adults.”

Ongoing Immune Support against COVID-19

Continuing to support your immune system, your gut and overall health is as important in the current environment as ever.  Our functional Medicine approach always to balance your biochemistry, ensure your gut health is optimal and that your brain and body are functioning at high level.  This in turn supports your immune system along with the other immune boosting supplements mentioned above.

Jarrod Cooper – ND

Jarrod Cooper – ND

Jarrod Cooper - ND is the founder of Advanced Functional Medicine Australia. He is a Naturopathic Doctor with extensive functional medicine training from leading practitioners in the USA and worldwide.

He is leading the way with advancements of functional medicine, clinically implementing worldwide best practices in Functional Medicine throughout Australia.

Jarrod consults in person from Perth, Western Australia and also online via Telehealth throughout Australia and worldwide.

If you are looking for personalised treatment, we highly recommend contacting Jarrod Cooper’s Advanced Functional Medicine clinic in Australia.

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