Coronavirus Update #3

As California, Oregon, Washington and Illinois are all under lock down mandates, doctors from China have flown to Italy to help with the crisis.  The Chinese doctors are shocked how lassez-faire the Italian “lock down” is and are raising the alarm to Italian officials that they are not doing nearly enough.  The severe lack of personal protective equipment for healthcare workers all over our country is putting our front line workers and their families at risk, and we are woefully undersupplied with hospital beds.

That is why I am imploring you to take this very seriously.  Practice an abundance of caution.  Act as if you have been exposed to SARS-CoV-2 and you are doing your part to prevent its spread.  We desperately need to flatten the curve, and in a state of 40 million, our hospitals and staff will be overwhelmed in short order, as New York is sadly experiencing already.

I feel it is my duty to do my part in helping stem this tide and keep all of you who are reading this as healthy as possible.  Covid-19 is often mild in healthy people, and that’s how we can do our part to not overwhelm our health care system.  For California, the term lock down means “shelter in place” or “stay at home,” which means you shouldn’t be out unless you’re getting food, gas, medical care or other essentials or you work in a critical sector.  Note: going out for a walk or exercise is allowed (and encouraged), but please keep your distance from others if you do so.

Here are the latest developments in caring for Covid-19 at home.  New information about whether you should use Ibuprofen and other NSAIDs to treat the fever is emerging.  This is preliminary data and we need more studies, but it appears that you should NOT use Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), NOR aspirin to treat the fever of Covid-19 as it interferes with key prostaglandins in the immune response to make antibodies.  Aspirin was shown to increase the death rate in the 1918 Spanish Flu and is known to immediately cause lung toxicity which may then predispose a person to secondary bacterial infection.  The better choice is Naproxen (Aleve) which has been shown to have some antiviral activity, without the interference of the prostaglandin cascade.  For more details on NSAIDs, see this article from the Canadian Pharmacists Association.

In drug trials, the Japanese antiviral Favipiravir has shown significant promise in a small cohort of 35 patients.  In a separate trial the anti-HIV medications, Lopinavir/Ritonavir were shown to be no better than placebo.  In my last newsletter, I mentioned the malaria/lupus medication Hydroxychloroquine/Plaquenil as a potential medication to help fight Covid-19.  I want to clarify, that that medication has not yet been approved as a treatment by the FDA, and that the reason it helps is because it is an ionophore for zinc. Better than the medication with side effects, the nutraceutical Quercetin is also a zinc ionophore.  Please see my 3/16 update here.

There is emerging evidence about the importance of Melatonin in fighting the SARS-2 virus.  Melatonin is a well known biological agent that influences many bodily functions.  Melatonin is best known for its role in circadian rhythms and is used as a popular sleep aid.  But research is finding that melatonin may have far more widespread applications.  Melatonin has been found to inhibit the action of an inflammasome known as NLRP3 – one of the primary inflammasomes involved in the exaggerated immune response seen in critical Coronavirus cases. Melatonin’s ability to suppress the activation of NLRP3 has been found to:

• Counteract severe inflammatory responses
• Lower production of proinflammatory cytokines
• Lower infiltration of immune cells into lungs
• Reduce lung tissue injury

Melatonin’s role in suppressing the inflammatory response is likely one of the reasons children under the age of 9 rarely present with severe symptoms when infected with Coronavirus.  This is because young children can have up to 10 times the peak melatonin levels of older adults.  I recommend you take 3-5 mg nightly and increase to 10-20 mg (5mg in the morning and 15mg at night) should you be fighting an illness that has the symptoms of Covid-19.

In my first newsletter, which you can review here, I mentioned Vitamin C.  Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a powerful antioxidant.  Vitamin C has long been known to boost immune function, but early studies are finding that high dose vitamin C might actually be able to reverse the effects of the Coronavirus.  High doses of vitamin C is speculated to mitigate the massive inflammation and subsequent respiratory failure seen in Coronavirus infection by:

• Suppressing the dramatic inflammatory response in the lungs
• Preventing the accumulation of immune cells in the lungs
• Minimizing the release of cytokines
• Slowing down the reproduction and spread of the virus within the body
• Giving the immune system a much-needed boost

Essentially, the focus of this nutraceutical treatment is to flood the body with compounds that enhance and balance the body’s natural immune reaction.  I am recommending 1000mg per day with breakfast, more if you are ill.

Let’s all stay positive, work together and we will flatten the curve.  Together, we will beat this pandemic virus.

Copyright © 2020 Dr. Jeanette Ryan, DC, IFMCP, All rights reserved.
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