As the number of coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) infections continue to increase, we are learning that the damage caused by the virus can extend well beyond the lungs, affecting the body from head to toe including the nervous, cardiovascular, immune, and digestive systems. Further, patients hospitalized with COVID-19 are frequently co-infected with bacteria and other viruses.
As we begin to ease Stay at Home restrictions, we must continue to be vigilant and support our immune systems. If you are exposed, there are measures you can take, based on the biology of the virus, which may diminish the likelihood of severe illness. These are not treatments for disease; they are preventive strategies and have the greatest chance of succeeding if they are implemented before you are exposed.
Coronavirus Biology And Protection Through Nutrition
In order to cause disease, any virus must enter a human cell, replicate, and damage the cell, escaping to infect adjacent cells. For COVID-19, there are 3 enzymes that play a critical role in this sequence. They are named ACE-2, Furin and 3-CL protease.
SARS-Cov-2 enters human cells by attaching to a protein on the cell surface called ACE-2. The resilience of ACE-2 may explain the diversity of responses to coronavirus infections.
Natural substances shown to enhance ACE-2 function include:
Two herbs used in traditional Chinese medicine that directly stimulate the Mas Receptor (a cellular protein important in ACE-2 function):
In order for SARS-Cov-2 to lock onto ACE-2 the surface of the virus must be altered by an enzyme called Furin.
Natural substances shown to block Furin include:
Once they have entered human cells, corona viruses inflict damage and spread to other cells by creating an enzyme called 3-CL protease.
Natural substances shown to block 3-CL protease include:
Quercetin and Luteolin
Protection Through Nutrition
Pre-illness enhancement of innate immunity:
Prebiotics like beta glucans, arabinogalactans and galacto-oligosaccharides
Probiotics like Lactobacillus plantarum and spore-forming bacteria of the genus Bacillus
Immune Modulation to down-regulate the NLRP3 inflammasome:
Black cumin seed
If you are interested in any of the supplements mentioned in this blog, they are available for purchase from our Wellness Store.
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