It’s well known that taking vitamin C can be one of the most simple and inexpensive ways to support your immune system to prevent illness and shorten the duration of colds and flu. In the wake of the recent spread of coronavirus, many people are wondering what they can do to protect themselves.
The minimum daily recommendation for Vitamin C is about 75mg for adults (the amount in one medium orange) and 15mg -25 mg for children under the age of 12. Under times of stress and to prevent illness, the requirements for Vitamin C increase and higher doses are well tolerated. You will surely know when you have reached your tolerance for vitamin C since the side effect of a larger than needed dose of Vitamin C is diarrhoea. If you get diarrhoea from taking higher doses of vitamin C orally, the dose can be cut back to half the amount you were taking, but it is safe to continue taking it.
Recommendations for higher doses of Vitamin C orally range from 1000-3000mg or more daily in divided doses at the minimum for adults. Vitamin C can be given in higher doses intravenously without getting the side effect of diarrhoea. In most adults, doses of 25-50 Grams can be given in one intravenous treatment. Treatments over 5 grams intravenously require that you have a G6PD level tested before increasing the dose since a person with a deficiency in the G6PD enzyme cannot tolerate high doses of Vitamin C.
In addition to the recommendations for Vitamin C, other supplementation can be considered including, Vitamin D, zinc, selenium, magnesium N-acetyl cysteine (NAC), and mushroom complexes. Another therapy which can help support the immune system is Intravenous Ozone. Ozone, when given intravenously, can stimulate the production of cytokines, which stimulate our other immune cells as well as prevent the replication of viruses by disruption of the viral capsid and increasing oxygen in the body. In other words, ozone is a powerhouse for the immune system.
At Thanyapura Integrative Health Centre, we practice Lifestyle Medicine. We recognize that in order to prevent any virus or illness, we must take measures in our everyday lives to ensure that we have optimum health. In addition to supporting the immune system with supplementation, we cannot overlook the importance of good sleep, (8 hours for adults and up to 10 hours for kids) for the restoration of the immune system. Nutrition is also a key factor. Avoiding sugar, fried foods, and processed foods will help as well as eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Simple measures such as washing hands and wearing a mask in crowded places can also prevent the spread of the virus. Stay home if you are not feeling well and drink plenty of fluids. It is advised to be screened at the hospital if you develop a fever, especially if you have been potentially exposed to the virus.
The worry of coronavirus can add additional stress no doubt, fortunately, supplementing with Vitamin C has an additional benefit in times of stress. Vitamin C will block the negative effects of cortisol produced by the adrenal glands and offers additional support year-round to keep your immune system robust.