Long COVID is the term given to a debilitating suite of post-infection symptoms that can last for weeks, months, or years, and can include a variety of symptoms affecting nearly every system in the body. Early antiviral treatment can reduce the risk of developing long-COVID, but that comes with its own set of risks and side effects.
As of January 2023, 11% of people who had COVID are still suffering from some type of long-COVID symptoms, yet there is little agreement among scientists on the best treatment. Since COVID depletes crucial nutrients as the body is using all available resources to fight the virus, replenishing these nutrients can help the body to re-equilibrate.
The Nature’s pHarmacy™ approach will help restore immune competence; these nutrients and lifestyle changes will provide the body what it needs to begin to heal from long COVID.
Nature’s Ascorbate (Vitamin C)
The l-ascorbate form of Vitamin C is a potent natural anti-viral agent. In the body, it stimulates white blood cells to move to where the virus is and actively helps kill the invading organisms. Viruses also induce oxidative stress, and l-ascorbate is a potent antioxidant that helps the body to neutralize the virus-induced free radicals. COVID-19 infection causes acute depletion of antioxidants, as the available stores are used to fight the virus. A significant majority of severe cases have shown deficits in vitamin C leading to increased oxidative stress throughout the body.
Dr. Jaffe has described Long COVID as a “result of chronic scurvy and prolonged metabolic acidosis.” It’s important to provide enough vitamin C to resolve oxidative stress and repair the connective tissues throughout the body. It’s also needed to restore the immune system to optimal functioning.
We recommend using 100% l-ascorbate, fully reduced and buffered with alkalinizing minerals. No two people will need the same amount of vitamin C; the individualized amount can be determined by an Ascorbate Calibration protocol, also known as a C-cleanse. Ask your healthcare practitioner about PERQUE Potent C Guard™ Powder and other fully bioactive products designed and specially offered by Dr. Jaffe and PERQUE.
Quercetin is a flavonoid compound that is anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antiviral on its own, and it also amplifies the actions of vitamin C. Quercetin and vitamin C have synergistic antiviral effects. We recommend taking a product that combines quercetin dihydrate with pomegranate juice powder and OPC, along with L-ascorbate, to activate first-line cells responsible for protection and repair.
This essential neurohormone helps regulate cell division and is important in many systems designed to renew the body. Recent studies have shown that vitamin D has an important role in modulating the immune system, and it also helps the immune system and lungs to produce antimicrobial peptides.
You may have heard of the “cytokine storm” associated with COVID-19. Cytokines are small proteins that can either promote or slow inflammation, depending on type. Vitamin D has a role in preventing the over-expression of inflammatory cytokines, and increasing the expression of anti-inflammatory cytokines, especially in lung tissue. This is important for healing on a molecular level. Vitamin D has been shown to protect against ICU admission and death in COVID-19 patients.
Keeping vitamin D3 levels in the 50-80ng/ml healthy goal range can significantly reduce the risk and severity of illness. Recent studies suggest the importance of vitamin D supplementation to improve immune function.
Magnesium (Mg) is an important mineral that buffers metabolic acids in the body, activates ATP, and maintains the proton gradient upon which the mitochondria depend to produce energy. Magnesium activates hundreds of biological enzymes, protects essential fats in transit, and counteracts toxic minerals. When Mg levels are low, patients can experience fatigue, weakness, loss of appetite, nausea, headaches and other debilitating symptoms. Restoring Mg levels after COVID infection is important and may help relieve symptoms of long COVID, (along with vitamin D.)
A recently published clinical study found that twice-daily oral zinc decreased death, ICU admission rate, and symptom duration in patients with COVID-19. Zinc is crucial for the maintenance of immune function and is a key component of many enzymes and transcription factors. It also has direct antiviral properties, acts as an anti-inflammatory agent and antioxidant, and is crucial for taste and smell.
Supplementation of zinc has been recommended in long COVID.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids such as EPA and DHA
Omega-3 Fatty acids have been hypothesized to be effective in Long COVID due to their ability to reduce chronic inflammation and restore tissue homeostasis in the immune system and brain. The authors suggest additional direct and indirect mechanisms by which omega-3 fatty acids can directly inhibit viral binding to ACE2 receptors, provide antioxidant activity, and improve issues with blood coagulation and brain fog.
Other Vitamins and Minerals
In order to renew and restore resilience, the body also needs additional vitamins and minerals to support functioning and replace depleted stores. We recommend a multivitamin with 40 essential nutrients that are 100% bioavailable, enough to keep your well-hydrated urine sunshine yellow.
For at least three months after recovery, rebuild your essential nutrients and reduce exposure to anti-nutrients. This will help rebuild and restore and reduce the severity of future infections. We also recommend:
- Regular abdominal breathing (5 min twice daily),
- Stretching (5 minutes twice or more a day),
- Walking (especially in a forest, park, or garden),
- Sitting under green dichro light to improve pineal/pituitary functions,
- Choosing organic or biodynamic foods, eating more salads, beans, lentils, grasses, herbs, edible flowers, nuts and sprouts (See “Nature’s pHarmacy™ Principles to Eat By” Parts 1 and 2), and
- Staying adequately hydrated.