Immune Protocols for the 4 Phases of COVID-19

functional medicine, supplements, vitamins

Do you want to prevent a COVID-19 infection? Or improve your outcomes if you do become infected? If so, you’ve come to the right blog. Fortunately, there are many evidence-based interventions you can do to achieve these goals. First and foremost, there are lifestyle factors that you can harness on your own. Next, there are herbs and supplements shown to support your immune system. These are broken down into four phases in this paper:

This paper is an excellent compilation of research-based lifestyle and supplement interventions for COVID-19. Enjoy digging into it if you are so inclined. Or, simply continue reading here to get the distilled action steps.

First things first: lifestyle factors

You may know that a healthy lifestyle is the best foundation for a strong immune system. This goes beyond lip service – there are actual reasons that each of these lifestyle factors directly affects your immune response. Think of these as four pillars of immune health:

  1. Sleep – Get your deep 8 hours, which is needed in order to mount an anti-viral response. Melatonin (your sleep hormone) helps this response!
  2. Stress – Find ways to alleviate stress, so that it doesn’t dampen your immune response and cause unneeded inflammation.
  3. Food – Subtract the foods that cause inflammation and weight gain – sugar, alcohol, and oxidized or trans fats. Add the foods that support your immune response – lots of colorful vegetables and fruits, fiber for your gut microbes, and probiotic-rich foods like yogurt and kimchee.
  4. Exercise – Challenge your cardiovascular system to strengthen your lungs and breathing capacity.

Make these a priority for you and your family on a daily basis so that your immune systems are well-supported. I can’t emphasize this enough!

Supports for the four phases of COVID-19

Each of these phases involves a different immune project. You can tailor what you do and take based on your pre-existing health and your current levels of inflammation.

PHASE 1: PREVENTION

This means what you can do to prevent a serious outcome if you do get the virus. Ideally, if you get infected, you’ll have a mild case and recover without any lasting repercussions. Most importantly we want you to never enter Phase 3, or to sail through it (Phase 3 is Escalating Inflammation – the serious cases).

Step 1 of Prevention:

The most important thing to do for Prevention is to reduce pre-existing (baseline) inflammation. This is crucial because, in order to fight COVID-19, you need to mount a strong inflammatory response. If you’re already inflamed, this is much harder to do. Plus, pre-existing inflammation raises your risks for entering Phase 3.

Ask your practitioner to help you take a deep inventory of inflammation in your body from all sources (useful lab markers include Glyc A, Ferritin, and CRP). Once assessed, choose one or more of these to reduce any inflammation that is present:

  • Curcumin 500 mg 3 times a day
  • Bromelain between meals
  • Other options are Resveratrol 400 mg, Boswellia 400 mg, or Sulphoraphane 400 mg – all 2-3 times a day
  • Balanced Immune is a good combined formula, as is Inflammatone.

Don’t use NSAIDS on a daily basis! These include aspirin and ibuprofen. NSAIDs actually interfere with your ability to resolve inflammation if taken on a daily basis.

Step 2 of Prevention:

Beyond reducing or resolving pre-existing inflammation, you can take these supplements in the Prevention Phase:

  • FOUNDATION SUPPLEMENTS for everyone, adult doses:
    • Vitamin D 5,000-10,000 iu per day (test and get to the upper quartile of lab range)
    • Vitamin A (retinol) 5000-10,000 iu per day (test and get to the upper quartile of lab range)
    • Zinc 60 mg per day (test and get to the upper quartile of lab range)
    • Fish Oil 3 g per day
    • Vitamin C 1000 mg per day in divided doses – liposomal is the best for absorption.
    • Melatonin 3-10 mg per day
    • Quercetin 500 mg three times a day
  • LUNG SUPPORT if lungs are compromised:
    • NAC 900 mg twice a day, OR
    • Liposomal glutathione, 500-1000 mg per day
  • IMMUNE SUPPORTS if immune system is compromised:
    1. Choose 2 of these and take 2-3 times a day to support natural killer cells. All 3 of these are combined in Innate Immune Support.
      • Astragalus 500 mg
      • Andrographis 400
      • Reishi 400 mg
    2. AND choose 1 of these pairs and take 2-3 times a day to support your T-helper cells:
      • Berberine 500 mg and Baicalin 300 mg (this combination is in Th1 Support), OR
      • Echinacea 500 mg and Goldenseal 500 mg (this EHB formula is good and also contains A, C and Zinc from the FOUNDATIONS list.)

PHASE 2: INFECTION

This is when you want baseline inflammation at low levels so that you can mount a vigorous immune response and be ahead of the virus. The virus will quickly deactivate your macrophages, so a fast response is of the essence. Alter your protocol in these ways:

  • CONTINUE FOUNDATION SUPPLEMENTS
  • ADD POTASSIUM, 200 mg, 4 times a day
  • ADD THE IMMUNE SUPPORTS (#4 from Phase 1 above) (my addition: Chinese herbal tinctures)
  • ADD LUNG SUPPORT if lungs are compromised
  • STOP ANTI-INFLAMMATORIES unless absolutely needed

If this phase is successful, you’ll have a mild illness and avoid Phase 3!

PHASE 3: ESCALATING INFLAMMATION – avoid at all costs!

This is when there’s a rapid escalation of inflammation, which can lead to hypoxia, clotting and fibrosis. These are serious COVID-19 cases. You may have GI and lung infection, and your cough may be dry and unproductive if your lung mucus is deep and thick and stuck. Many mechanisms are at play to suppress your immune system. You can obtain a pulse oximeter to test your oxygen levels, as some people in this phase don’t feel the hypoxia (which is very dangerous). Here are the supports:

  • CONTINUE FOUNDATION SUPPLEMENTS, and up vitamin C to bowel tolerance, or get an IV infusion.
  • CONTINUE POTASSIUM, 200 mg 4 times a day
  • USE LUNG SUPPORT:
    • NAC 900 mg 4 times a day
    • Liposomal glutathione 500 mg 4 times a day – if possible use this in a nebulizer or get an IV infusion.
  • USE IMMUNE SUPPORTS AT HIGHER DOSES (my addition: Chinese herbal tinctures)
  • ADD ANTI-INFLAMMATORIES:
    • Curcumin 1000 mg or more, 4 times a day
    • Bromelain 600-2400 GDU between meals
  • NATTOKINASE FOR ANTI-CLOTTING (a new addition not in this paper), 2000 FU 4 times a day.

PHASE 4: COVID RECOVERY

Once you recover, you may think you’ve beaten COVID-19, but the problem is there still may be inflammation and fibrosis sequelae that can lead to permanent loss of function. So here we want to push down inflammation and fibrosis.

  • CONTINUE FOUNDATION SUPPLEMENTS, and up vitamin C to bowel tolerance, or get an IV infusion.
  • KEEP POTASSIUM, 200 mg 4 times a day
  • CONTINUE LUNG SUPPORT:
    • NAC 900 mg 4 times a day AND
    • Liposomal glutathione 500 mg 4 times a day
  • STOP IMMUNE SUPPORTS
  • CONTINUE ANTI-INFLAMMATORIES:
    • Curcumin 1000 mg or more, 4 times a day
    • Bromelain 600-2400 GDU between meals
  • CONTINUE NATTOKINASE
  • WISE JUDGE LUNG SUPPORT, my TCM addition for lung recovery

CAUTION: To view potential cross-reactions of most of these supplements, see this chart. For nattokinase cautions go here.

When to stock COVID supplements

I recommend that anyone concerned about COVID-19 infection acquire all the appropriate supplements in this article ahead of time. If you get sick, it will be difficult to acquire these at the time, so have them in stock. You can get most of these on my online Cold and Flu Shop as well as other trusted sources. I also keep some emergency supplements on-site at my Monterey clinic. If you don’t know which supplements you or your family members need, please reach out for a consult with me!

aptos, santa cruz, monterey, acupuncture, functional medicine, herbal medicine,paris healing arts, doctor laura paris, dr. laura paris, dr laura paris

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