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How to increase your odds of surviving COVID-19 and other respiratory viruses Part IV

How to increase your odds of surviving COVID-19 and other respiratory viruses Part IV

Zinc helps boost the immune system and has anti-viral activity.  The anti-viral activity of zinc depends on it getting inside cells.  However, zinc by itself does not enter cells very well. Chloroquine (see below), a zinc ionophore, helps zinc enter cells and may greatly increase the efficacy of zinc.  However, chloroquine is by prescription only and may be expensive or in short supply. Any zinc ionophore should theoretically work. Quercetin and EGCG are also zinc ionophores, and are available over the counter.

Many people are deficient in zinc.  White spots on the fingernails that grow out with the nail can sometimes be a sign of severe zinc deficiency.  Aim for a serum zinc level of around 90 to 120. Zinc picolinate 15 to 20 mg with dinner 5 days out of the week are commonly used conservative doses. Overuse of zinc can cause a copper deficiency.

Zinc lozenges can be used at the onset of a sore throat.  If zinc lozenges cannot be obtained, a zinc supplement capsule can be opened and dissolved in water and sipped gradually over time or gargled with periodically.  Depending on the form of zinc, this may not taste good.

Finally, should you test positive for the Coronavirus or suspect that you are infected there is a medication that can be effective in killing the virus.  Chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine are antiviral medications that are approved to treat malaria.  Hydroxychloroquine is currently being used to treat a pair of auto-immune disorders, lupus erythematosus, and rheumatoid arthritis.  An article published in the journal Cell Research in February showed that chloroquine inhibited the 2019-nCoV coronavirus.  You will need to contact your physician to get a prescription for this medication. 

Terry Pfau DO, HMD

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