Although the US healthcare system is doing its best in the wake of the Covid-19 tsunami, I’m surprised (or maybe not so surprised) at the dearth of interest from health professionals in exploring prevention and even treatment beyond the obvious limits of their medical education.
I’m referring to anything beyond what we already know: frequent hand washing, self-quarantining, and the like. These approaches are proven to be effective, but as far as recommending nutritional supplements or herbs to build resistance, conventional physicians are either indifferent (“no scientific evidence” “no clinical trials”) or are willing to dip their nutritional medicine toes in the water just a teensy bit (“eat healthfully and take your multivitamin and maybe some vitamin C”), quickly covering themselves with “but there’s no proof.”
To me, this attitude represents a combination of arrogance and intellectual laziness. This is a moment when we really need to look around and see what might be available in addition to the basics.
Just a few minutes on the internet will unearth clinical studies by real doctors at actual medical centers (albeit in “foreign countries”) who have used high-dose (oral and IV) vitamin C and oral vitamins B complex, D, E, and several herbs with measurably good results.
Among Western herbs, garlic, holy basil, elderberry, and lemon balm are among the 20 or so with proven antiviral or immune-stimulating activity. In the Asian countries affected by Covid-19, Western-trained doctors actively encourage the population to seek out trained herbalists and incorporate regional herbs into their treatment.
This very important article from the Healthcare Medicine Institute discusses the benefits of a variety of herbal blends. If you’re interested, read the whole piece to see the source of the kerfuffle about the antimalarial drugs chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil). I read about it weeks ago, mentioned it in an earlier Health Tip, someone told Trump it’s a “cure,” and now Plaquenil has vanished from pharmacies across the US.
Scroll further in the same article to take a gander at the Chinese herbal formula and you’ll see why it’s simply easier for a Western-trained doctor to dismiss it as unproven rather than starting to learn a bit about Chinese medicine.
Based on all this, here are three suggestions for building your resistance against Covid-19. If you have Blue Cross PPO, we can submit these telemedicine office visits for insurance reimbursement.
—Herbs Schedule a telemedicine appointment with Caley Scott, ND (Western herbs), Mari Stecker (Chinese herbs), or Sandra Subotich (Chinese herbs). After discussing your health and, if you’re already a WHC patient, reviewing your medical records, they can prepare herbs in our Apothecary to be mailed to you. Or you can stop by and pick them up.
—Peptides A seriously overlooked form of immune stimulation for infections of any sort, from viral (like Covid-19 and Epstein Barr) to bacterial (like chronic Lyme), is the use of peptides. Remember proteins, the very large and complex molecules that perform a vast array of functions in the living body? In school you learned that proteins are made up of thousands of building blocks called amino acids. And that despite the size of the protein, there are only 20 different amino acids.
OK, so a peptide is a much smaller version of a protein containing far fewer amino acids.
(Are you thinking, “Get to the point!”? Please be patient.)
Over the past several years, good research has shown that peptides, taken by mouth or, better yet, injected under the skin like a B12 or insulin shot, can initiate some surprisingly useful clinical results. Peptides can reduce inflammation, build muscle, and, yes, strengthen your immune system.
In light of the Covid-19 pandemic, there’s been a worldwide burst of interest in the peptide thymosin alpha 1, a synthetic peptide.
A little background: When you were a kid, you had a gland behind your breastbone called the thymus gland, and I say “had” because when you entered your teens it started shrinking and ultimately disappeared, replaced (like so much of us) by a glob of fat.
But the thymus had a very important role: it taught a type of white blood cell called a lymphocyte how to fight infections, especially viruses. The reason we didn’t need the thymus beyond our teens was that your lymphocytes were able to learn and pass this skill on to subsequent generations of lymphocytes.
The substance from the thymus that accomplished this was called thymosin and when scientists synthesized it, they found that the new product, called thymosin alpha 1, actually enhanced the body’s ability to tackle infections, especially viruses.
Have there been large, double-blind clinical trials on thymosin alpha 1 for Covid-19? No. But suddenly there’s a major shortage, so someone must know something.
Has peptide therapy been approved for anything?
Yes, I wrote about an FDA-approved peptide product in this Health Tip a mere four weeks ago. It’s a totally different peptide (one would hope) for women to enhance sexual pleasure.
“Wow!” you think. “I sure am sorry my thymus is gone. I could use it now.”
What was discovered is that thymosin alpha 1 can reinforce your own lymphocytes to both resist and fight infection. Although the monograph at this link is a bit dry, you can see its list of uses.
As a side note, peptides cannot be patented by BigPharma, so while they’re certainly not inexpensive the prices are not as outrageous as those of so many new drugs.
Peptides bottom line If you’re interested in peptide therapy to boost your immune system against Covid-19, call 773.296.6700 and schedule a 30-minute phone Peptide Consultation with my associate, nurse practitioner Katie McManigal. She’ll discuss the use of peptides, how you’ll administer them, and possibly suggest adding other supplements. Your thymosin alpha 1 will be sent to WholeHealth Chicago from the manufacturer and we’ll forward it to you. Be aware that due to heavy demand, there may be a delay of from 7 to 14 days.
—IV immune boost. Since we’re listed as one of the essential businesses allowed to remain (partially in our case) open during the Illinois lockdown, WholeHealth Chicago will continue to offer its IV immune boost, which, as you know by now, includes a large dose of vitamin C and several other vitamins and minerals known to ramp up your immune system. We recommend two or three of these at $150 apiece. We’re also continuing to administer all our ozone and NAD therapies plus Myers’ cocktails.
Because WholeHealth Chicago is closed except for our Apothecary, limited chiropractic care, and IV administrations, you’ll find the place peaceful, quiet, and excruciatingly clean.
When you arrive, you’ll be taken to a small private room and, except for Janet De la Rosa or Lizz Yamat starting your IV, you’ll be alone for the duration (about an hour), so bring your (clean, please) phone or a book. If needed, you can park directly in front of our office.
Like much of the city, Clybourn is empty as far as the eye can see.
With these three suggestions for keeping ahead of Covid-19 I urge you to…
David Edelberg, MD
PS: Here’s a re-run of our suggested supplement list from an earlier Health Tip:
We know that high levels of certain vitamins and minerals amplify the efficiency of your immune system. It has now been 50 years since Nobel Laureate Linus Pauling wrote “Vitamin C and the Common Cold,” and yes, his advice still holds. So take your C, three grams (3000 milligrams), usually as three 1000-mg tablets, spread across the day.
In addition, pick up some Carlson ACES + zinc from any drugstore and take twice daily.
These will also support your immune system and are available through our Apothecary:
—Five Defenders Mushroom Blend, twice daily.
—Thorne Vitamin D, 5,000 IU daily.
—Buffered Vitamin C, 3.000 mg daily.
—Vitamin E, 400 IU daily.
—Zinc picolinate, 25 mg twice daily.
—Transfer Factor Multi Immune twice daily.
They can be discontinued once the risk of infection goes down.