Facing the potential that the COVID-19 variants may keep this virus around, it makes sense that practitioners are looking for other treatments to slow the spread of the disease. The results of a clinical trial in India using two natural supplements to treat COVID-infected individuals showed that these herbal products can speed up recovery time from the disease. On average, after five days, 88 percent of those treated tested negative for the virus, compared with 72 percent of those receiving hospital-standard anti-viral medications. By day 10, the ratios rose to 100 percent versus 88 percent. This begs the question, how can nutritional supplements assist the body in fighting the virus?

When considering specific supplements such as vitamins, it should be noted that the real issue is not the amount of vitamin that is ingested, since the body can only utilize so much of it before expelling it. A person’s “nutritional profile” is what really matters. Someone who lacks vitamins and minerals needed for proper immune system function will benefit from adding certain supplements to their diet. A German study indicates that vitamins D, K and A could bind to the viral spike protein of the COVID-19 virus and reduce its effect. This is already being used in hospitals as part of an integrative approach to COVID-19.

Other individuals have a lack of vitamins and nutrients because of poor nutrition, and will need to develop healthier eating habits before any boost from supplements will help. Adopting a healthier nutritional attitude can be as easy as adding specific foods to your diet. Another study found the natural compounds in green tea, muscadine grapes, cacao and dark chocolate interact with the COVID virus to make it harder for it to propagate in humans. On the other hand, cholesterol was found to have the opposite effect, making COVID-19 more severe by interacting with the spike to increase concentrations of the virus. This supports evidence of more severe cases of the disease among overweight individuals.

This confirms what we have known all along — the overall quality and balance of nutrition has a strong influence on our immune system’s ability to fight infection. Once the system is out of balance, it is vulnerable and more likely to result in a longer, more severe illness from the disease. Making up for lack of nutrition by taking lots of vitamins does little to restore the needed nutritional balance. It comes down to these basics:

❶ Eat a variety of fresh, raw produce
❷ Strictly limit processed foods and sugar
❸ Get regular exercise, preferably outdoors
❹ Maintain a healthy physical and mental equilibrium in your daily routine

The goal here is not to load up on 1,000 percent of any particular supplement, most of which will be flushed out of the system, but to establish a good nutritional foundation, eat regular meals of the right size, and build on this base with natural supplements as recommended by your physician or naturopath.

And of course, COVID-19 vaccines are now available to all age groups to give your immune system a head start in warding off the virus.

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