Today there is no vaccine or medication, but we have a fantastic immune system that is important to support. Viral infections are often associated with a lack of several nutrients. How can we prevent and protect ourselves against the Coronavirus with the help of nutrition?
Viruses and humans
Viruses are a natural part of life and have existed on earth before man existed and will exist when humans are no longer on earth. As with bacteria, we have viruses in our bodies. Scientists estimate that we have about 100 times more virus in the body than cells. Viruses are not our enemies but are needed for our development. Through contact with viruses for a long time, we have even incorporated virus genomes into our own DNA. But just as with bacteria, there are some viruses that are pathogenic.
It is important to remember that if you become seriously ill, it is because you have a compromised immune system that is unable to keep the virus in place. Humans would not have survived if we had not had such a fantastic immune system capable of dealing with viral infections.
There are factors today that cause viral infections to spread more widely than before. We live close and we have modern communications and can move to any other country on any given day. Many people today have a reduced immune system due, among other things, to stress, lack of sleep and exercise, nutritional deficiencies and an excess of toxins. All of this contributes to the fact that we suffer more from infectious diseases than we would if we lived in balance with ourselves and nature.
Today we know that the Coronavirus has come and spreads around the world.
All flu can be spread through direct contact, for example, doors and door handles and other surfaces that have had viruses transmitted to a person. But above all, the infection is caused by drip infection of small drops from saliva, sneezing, cough, etc. The infectious drops have a range of about 1 meter and they fall to the ground fairly quickly. If the droplets are very small, they are called aerosols and can stay in the air for a long time, which means you can become infected even if a person has left the room. The coronavirus infects both through drip infection and aerosols which makes it more contagious and can survive several days outside the body.
- The coronavirus is not similar to the annual flu because of the virus
- Spreads more efficiently, Ro 3–6 compared to 1.3 for the annual flu
- Long incubation period 2-14 days with cases still up to 27 days.
- People are contagious even during the incubation period despite being asymptomatic (showing no symptoms).
- Distribution through drip contamination, but also via aerosols that remain in the air for several hours.
- Can survive on surfaces, eg door handle for up to 9 days
- Greater risk of serious complications.
Higher mortality. Currently, a case fatality rate (CFR) of more than 3 percent compared to 0.1 percent for the annual flu.
Are There Any Medications That Protect Today?
No, against the new Coronavirus there are no drugs to protect, nor Tamiflu used for the swine flu, which, incidentally, only reduced the disease time by about half a day.
Studies are underway with a vaccine against the Coronavirus. The funds were raised in 2010 against Ebola but did not prove effective against Ebola and the project was closed down. There are indications that remdesivir may be effective against Coronavirus. If the agent proves to be effective, it may start to be manufactured before the summer, but it will take a long time to obtain the quantities needed for everyone affected around the world.
Chloroquine is another substance that one hopes will work against Coronavirus.
Is there a vaccine against the new virus?
No, there is no vaccine against the Coronavirus yet in April 2020. First, you have to develop a vaccine and test it on cell cultures. Then you need to do animal experiments and finally experiments on humans to test both efficiency and safety. It takes at least a year to get an approved vaccine.
The importance of taking on one’s own responsibility to protect oneself from infection and treat oneself if one falls ill
The coronavirus is very contagious.
But it is important to understand that the infection risk Ro (how many people an infected person on average spreads the virus) is not only an inherent characteristic of a virus but it largely depends on how we handle the situation.
Tranquility becomes different if everyone in a community is washing their hands carefully, avoiding contact with infected people, isolating themselves when you think you have become infected or having symptoms, and observing other precautions when compared to not doing so. The difference for Ro can be a factor of 2–4, ie Ro can be 1 if everyone in a society observes careful precautions or 4 or higher if most do not care.
It is important to remember that mortality -the ratio between the number of deaths and the number of confirmed cases, is based precisely on the number of confirmed cases and not on the number of patients who do not come under care, or the number of infected who do not show symptoms.
Mortality is also not solely determined by the virus but depends on how we handle the situation. If we do not take preventative precautions, more people will become infected and sick. This will lead to the overload of health care by an unnecessarily large number of people who become ill with COVID-19, some of whom become seriously ill. If the limit for care capacity is exceeded, for example, that the number of care places is insufficient and that the sick may lie in hospital corridors, that the healthcare staff becomes overloaded or even sick, and unable to help themselves, more people will die compared to if this situation does not arise.
If very many people get sick, other functions in society will also be affected because many people in different areas are unable to perform their jobs, which risks paralyzing society.
Given that there are no drugs or vaccines against the Coronavirus and that the virus has a much greater risk of infection, risk of complicated disease cases and greater mortality than ordinary flu, it is important to limit the spread and prevent disease both from the individual’s perspective and from a social perspective. It is therefore up to both you as an individual and the authorities to limit the spread of infection for the good of society and everyone.
Strategies are needed to prevent getting infected, to strengthen the immune system so that the body can cope with an infection without becoming seriously ill, and if you become ill, actively help the body to kill the virus so that recovery is easier and faster.
There is a great deal you can do yourself to prevent getting infected or getting sick with COVID-19.
What can be done to prevent being infected?
The most important thing is good hygiene.
Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and water, preferably for 20-30 seconds. Especially if you have touched surfaces that may be contaminated or if you cough and sneeze. Nothing is better than soap and water in killing viruses.
- Cough and sneeze in the arm fold
- Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth. Wash your hands carefully first.
- Avoid being in crowds when it is contagious
- Avoid close contact with people who are ill
- Do nasal rinses every day. It cleanses the nose and its mucosa so that viruses become more difficult to attach to the mucosa of the nose. Use 1 teaspoon of saline to ½ liter of lukewarm water.
- Ophthalmologists at KI recommend nasal flushing.
Honey has an antiviral effect even against viruses. After rinsing with salt water, rinse with honey dissolved in lukewarm water. Surgeons stop viruses that have already spread with enzymes from honey.
As the salt dries out the mucous membrane, it is good to afterward lubricate the nose internally with some oil, especially almond or sesame oil. The oil also makes it more difficult for viruses to attach to the mucous membrane of the nose.
Increase the amount of oxygen in the rooms where you live by opening windows.
If you or someone in the family gets sick
Isolate sick people. Stay home when you are ill and keep some distance from other people to avoid being infected.
If someone in the family is ill, it is best if that person sleeps in their own room and if possible have access to their own toilet. A minimum requirement is that everyone in the family has their own towel.
How can you strengthen the immune system so that the body can cope with an infection without getting seriously ill?
The absolute best preventative medicine is to get enough sleep, at least 7-8 hours a night.
Studies show that the immune system’s ability to fight viruses is enhanced by a good night’s sleep. Poor sleep decreases the resistance to virus disease. Sleep deprivation causes the worse effects of vaccinations.
Avoid stress. Stress and lack of sleep greatly reduce the immune system.
Eat nutritious foods and avoid sugars and fast carbohydrates
Avoid refined foods and especially refined oils, margarine, sugar, and fast carbohydrates. In good food, there is the nutrition your immune system needs, while sugar and fast carbohydrates, on the other hand, degrade the immune system rapidly.
Sugar reduces the immune system’s ability to fight infections. One study showed that consuming 100 g of sugar reduced the ability of neutrophils (a kind of white blood cell) to eat up bacteria. And the effect lasted for up to 5 hours! If you eat sugar a few times a day, you have a reduced immune system around the clock.
Nutrients that support the immune system and prevent virus infections from spreading
As the new Coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2 is a new virus, there are no studies showing the effects of various nutrients. However, there are studies on various nutrients and their effects on different types of viruses, including flu, colds and even on other coronaviruses.
Vitamin C has long been known to be effective against many different types of viral infections. All mammals with the exception of a few species, including humans produce their own vitamin C.
A goat produces 13,000 mg of vitamin C per day per 70 kg of body weight. Under stress, it can produce up to 100,000 mg of vitamin C per day.
This should be compared with the recommendations of the authorities on vitamin 80 mg per day. This dose is sufficient to counteract scurvy, but is not long enough for the hundreds of functions that the body needs Vitamin C.
- High-dose vitamin C effective against flu.
- Symptoms decreased by 85% in the group receiving large doses of vitamin C compared to the control group.
- Vitamin C prevents and relieves various types of infections.
- In China, vitamin C is tested against the new Coronavirus.
- Vitamin C intravenous treatment for pneumonia caused by 2019-nCoV.
- The dose of vitamin C should be at least 500-1000 mg per day for preventive purposes.
It is well known from studies that vitamin D affects the immune system. Vitamin D deficiency is one of the causes of viral disease.
- Vitamin D and influenza – prevention or therapy?
- Vitamin D protects against colds and flu.
- Vitamin D for influenza.
- Vitamin D protects against colds and flu according to a large global study.
- Vitamin D supplementation prevents influenza A in schoolchildren.
- How much vitamin D does one need to take? It depends on how much vitamin D you have in your body. Research suggests that we need about 100 nmol / liter (40 ng / ml) of 25 (OH) D in the blood. A dose of 2000-5000 IU per day is a good and safe dose.
Magnesium is needed to activate vitamin D. In the absence of magnesium, it does not help to take more vitamin D and large doses of vitamin D leach the body of magnesium.
- Magnesium supplementation in vitamin D deficiency.
- Magnesium status and supplements affect vitamin D status and metabolism.
- Magnesium, vitamin D status, and mortality.
- Take at least 200 mg of easily absorbed magnesium per day.
Zinc is very important for the immune system and for fighting viruses.
- Zinc blocks coronavirus in cell cultures.
- Zinc intake within 24 hours after symptoms shortens the duration of illness.
- Zinc blocks Coronavirus and its replication in cell cultures.
- Take 25 mg of zinc per day
Selenium deficiency leads to a weakened immune system in the individual and a better possibility for the virus to survive and reproduce.
- Selenium deficiency increases mortality in intensive care patients.
- Many viruses can steal selenium from the body, thus depleting the body on selenium.
- Selenium deficiency can cause viruses to mutate into more severe forms.
- A mild form of influenza virus can become more aggressive in selenium deficiency, study shows in mice.
- Selenium deficiency worsens the picture of influenza virus infections, study shows in mice.
- Take 200 micrograms selenium per day
Viral infections are often associated with deficiencies of several nutrients.
Many different nutrients are good against viruses.  Eat a good and varied diet with lots of berries, fruits, and vegetables.
There are medical fungi that modify the immune system. Particularly Chaga has antiviral properties.
The beta yeast from bakery yeast stimulates the immune system so that it is better equipped to take care of viruses.
Those who received a daily dose of beta-glucan during the cold season, unlike the control group, had no sick days.
Children (1-4 years) who received beta-glucan resulted in fewer respiratory tract infections.
Marathon runners who ingest beta-flux daily received fewer symptoms of upper respiratory tract infections.
Humic acid settles like a membrane on viruses and prevents them from sticking to the cell surface. Then viruses cannot enter the cells and proliferate.