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Covid and Your Immune System

Though my husband was diagnosed with Covid-19 a few days ago, he hasn’t been that sick—just tired and some cold symptoms. We’re been faithfully taking zinc, quercetin, vitamin C, and vitamin D3. We’ve been juicing everyday, of course. And I’ve been making ginger (rich in zinc), turmeric and lemon juice shots.

 it’s good to review why it’s important to take zinc before you ever get sick. Zinc plays an important role in improving communication between cells in the immune system. It also improves your immune response by boosting the activity of macrophage and natural killer cells,” adds Dr. Passler. In short, natural killer cells (NK cells) bind to virus-infected cells and tumor cells to kill them off. Consuming zinc gives these cells a boost, helping them to fight off viruses, as well as other serious illnesses.1 So whether it’s prevention of Covid or just a cold or the flu, zinc is important for the immune system.

Zinc Controls the Immune System

If the immune system can’t stop a virus from replicating, it goes into overdrive and ramps up inflammation, especially in the lungs. This is what causes viral pneumonia. One of the fierce reactions with Covid-19 is an over-reactive immune response causing severe respiratory infection. A study from Ohio State University shows that zinc “helps control infections by gently tapping the brakes on the immune response in a way that prevents out-of-control inflammation that can be damaging and even deadly.”2

Loss of Taste and Smell

One of the symptoms of zinc deficiency is diminished taste and smell. One of the symptoms for some people with Covid-19 is loss of taste and smell. I have found no studies or information looking at this correlation, but I do find it interesting.


One of the most well-studied attributes of quercetin, however, is its antiviral capacity, which has been attributed to three main mechanisms of action:

1. Inhibiting the virus’ ability to infect cells

2. Inhibiting replication of already infected cells

3. Reducing infected cells’ resistance to treatment with antiviral medication

Vitamin C

A scientific study reported flu and cold symptoms in the test group decreased 85% compared with the control group after the administration of megadose Vitamin C.3

A study in China found that vitamin C, which is an antioxidant, may help prevent cytokine-induced damage to the lungs. Cytokines are small proteins released by cells, which trigger inflammation and respond to infections, according to MedicineNet author William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR. Severe lung inflammation with COVID-19 may result in respiratory distress and even death.

The clinical trial description states that vitamin C reduces the inflammatory response, and both prevents and shortens the duration of the common cold. The description further states that insufficient vitamin C is related to an increased risk and severity of influenza infections. The team aims to see if vitamin C has similar effects against viral pneumonia associated with COVID-19.4

Vitamin D3

Vitamin D has been shown to have a protective effect agains Covid-19. Dr. JoAnn E. Manson, professor of medicine and chief of the division of preventive medicine at Harvard Medical School points out that your vitamin D status may in fact play an important role in your risk of developing COVID-19, as well as the severity of the illness. Vitamin D is important for innate immunity and boosting your immune function against viral diseases. It can lower inflammation and can be important in respiratory response to viral infection and particularly the cytokine storm associated with Covid-19. Three South-Asian studies showed people with serious COVID-19 infection are far more likely to have insufficient levels of vitamin D compared to those with mild illness.

Shelter in place indoors all the time is not protective when it comes to prevention.  We need sunlight to produce vitamin D.  It is also recommended that you eat vitamin D rich foods such as fatty fish like salmon, fish oil, sunflower seeds, and eggs. But for many people, supplementation is imperative since statistics show 42% of Americans are deficient. If you are deficient, 5,000 IU of vitamin D3 be taken daily. According to Irish researchers, “It is time for governments to strengthen recommendations for vitamin D intake and supplementation, particularly when under lock‐down.”


Ginger Hopper

  • Ginger is rich in zinc.
  • 5-7 carrots, scrubbed
  • 1/2 apple
  • 1-2 inch chunk ginger root

Juice all ingredients, stir and enjoy.

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