Viral illnesses are hitting hard this year, no doubt about it.
The flu has hit with a vengeance and the pandemic virus looks like it’s not far behind. Add to that the number of school children diagnosed with pneumonia this year alone and it becomes crystal clear that we need to do more to stay healthy through it all. The media coverage would have us believe that all we can do is wash our hands, hoard supplies and self-quarantine in our homes. And while it’s true that antibiotics don’t work on viruses, the good news is there are plenty of things we can do without medicines to help stave off viral illnesses. New information is coming in daily, but here’s what my family and I are doing now to stay healthy during these illness outbreaks of late.
Virus 101 – the Basics
Viruses are sneaky – they get inside our cells and evade some of our most protective immune mechanisms. Fortunately for us, even though viruses are stealthy, our immune systems are adaptive and intelligent and have ways to overcome them. Some common sense precautions can help.
Similar to influenza and the common cold, this virus spreads through droplets in the air and on surfaces. The pandemic virus has larger and heavier than normal droplets, which means you are much more likely to become infected from surfaces you touch than you are from the air you breathe. The exception to this is anyone who works with small children or people who are likely to cough very close to your face.
Everything from handshakes to door handles, light switches, elevator buttons, gasoline dispensers, money, mail, shopping carts, and more can become an infected surface to spread a virus. But, considering the average person touches their face 23 times per hour, according to a 2015 study, and touches their phone almost as much, frequently washing your hands thoroughly is a must. If you are immune compromised, wearing disposable nitrile gloves and some type of face mask to keep you from touching your nose and mouth may be a good idea.
If you work with children or the general public, or plan to travel while these viruses are in full swing, I strongly suggest you consider this personal air purifier (use code ALG for a special discount) to decontaminate your immediate breathing space. Wearing a mask is great for keeping you from inoculating your nose and mouth with your hands, but testing is showing that unless you are wearing an N99 respirator, some virus particles are making their way through the mask material to be breathed in. This is why I feel a personal air purifier is the better choice, and it can be used in conjunction with a face mask.
What We Know Now
New research sheds some light onto why this virus seems to be spreading throughout the Asian continent. Due to a genetic glitch, Asians assimilate lower amounts of vitamin C than other cultures and are more prone to viruses in general, including the current pandemic virus. It’s complicated, but it boils down to a key vulnerability factor — an unstable blood protein (HAPTO-G) that leads to the oxidation of vitamin C.
Vitamin C is so effective against viruses in general that a study has been launched in China using IV vitamin C to treat the illness. The results are already promising. This vitamin gets inside the cell and stimulates a reaction that kills the virus, then repairs cells and strengthens immunity. There is also some thought that the pandemic virus is actually a passenger virus, being carried by a mycobacterium that’s similar to tuberculosis. Once the mycobacterium is eradicated the virus goes with it.
My Personal Antiviral Protocol
As I mentioned in this article about the virus, three of the key nutrients I’m using to bolster my immune system and stay healthy this year are Vitamin C, Vitamin D and Selenium. I’m adding to this list to include Zinc and Para-Key from UNI KEY Health. Here’s why.
Vitamin C is needed in doses of 10,000 to 20,000 milligrams per day in this case if you are high risk, elderly, or immunocompromised. I personally take and recommend UNI KEY Health’s Time-C (at least 1-2 pills 3 times daily) because its time released formula keeps your levels of vitamin C consistently high throughout the day. For my clients with Asian ancestry or for those who cannot swallow pills, I recommend the Vitality-C at 3 to 4 scoops per day to insure absorption at optimally high levels. IF loose bowels occur, the loading dose should be lowered until tolerable.
We’ve known for years that vitamin D is a powerhouse when it comes to reducing the risk of being infected with influenza and shortening its duration, but analysis of infected persons in China is showing this is also true with the new virus. Not only does it shore up your immune system in general, but it also stimulates your innate immunity to viruses. I recommend dosing up to 5000 IU daily during illness outbreaks in adults, and using the vitamin D drops for children at doses appropriate for their weight.
A powerful antioxidant you don’t hear much about but should is selenium. They are finding that the people who have the most severe symptoms with the virus infection are selenium deficient. This is because there are selenium dependent proteins your immune system uses to keep viruses from mutating and becoming deadly. When you are deficient, there aren’t enough of these proteins and viruses quickly get out of control in your body. I recommend 200 micrograms daily to keep levels optimal, and if you are hyperthyroid, I suggest an rbc selenium blood test before you supplement.
Zinc has long been used and studied for its effectiveness in reducing the severity and length of viral illnesses. It does this by stopping the virus from replicating. Even if you regularly supplement with zinc, I suggest having zinc lozenges on hand. At the first sign of symptoms, lay down and let the zinc lozenge dissolve at the back of your throat, where common cold viruses live en masse. Do this up to 3 times daily.
Last, but certainly not least, is Para-Key from UNI KEY Health. I have traveled extensively for years, spending countless hours on planes and other public transportation. We know that air travel is one of the main ways pandemic viruses spread across the world, so I have to believe I’ve been exposed to all manner of infectious illnesses over the years, yet I’ve remained healthy through it all. I give the credit for this to Para-Key – I won’t travel without it. I take it twice daily starting a few days before I leave on my trip, and continue taking it for at least a few days afterward. It’s also part of my seasonal detox and cleansing that I do to keep my colon healthy, and I’ve been taking it since the flu – and now the pandemic virus – have hit so close to where I live.
Delange JR, Langlois R, De Buyzere ML, Torck MA, “Vitamin C deficiency and scurvy are not only a dietary problem but are codetermined by the haptoglobin polymorphism,” Clinical Chemistry 2007 Aug;53(8):1397-400.
Kwok YL, Gralton J, McLaws ML, “Face touching: a frequent habit that has implication for hand hygiene,” Am J Infect Control, 2015 Feb;43(2):112-4.