This post provides the scientific rationale behind the five supplements that I take to prevent infection by the SARS-Cov-2 virus and its associated disease, COVID-19. If you’re interested in starting a protocol like this do not do so without letting your physician know what you’re doing. You can download a PDF copy of this post here – Quercetin and Vitamin C
Quercetin and Vitamin C
Frontiers in Immunology, 19 June, 2020, Quercetin and Vitamin C: An Experimental, Synergistic Therapy for the Prevention and Treatment of SARS-CoV-2 Related Disease (COVID-19)
Here’s a background article on quercetin’s zinc inonophoric activity.
When used in combination, quercetin, zinc prevents corona virus (SARS-Cov-2) replication. Quercetin’s role in this treatment is to increase the concentration of intracellular zinc. It does this by chelating positively charged zinc ions and transporting them across the cell membrane into the cell. If the cell is infected with SARS-Cov-2 the zinc will disrupt the enzyme (RNA-dependent, RNA polymerase) responsible for replicating the viral RNA. Note that the concentration of zinc inside a cell is normally very low even in the presence of high concentrations of Zn in the serum. Hence the use of Quercetin as a zinc ionophore..
This is a very large retrospective study (365,000 patients) over 9+ years: Vitamin D Status and Risk of All-Cause and Cause-Specific Mortality in a Large Cohort: Results From the UK Biobank.
With this study in mind, here is a wide ranging and detailed article on Vitamin D –Immunologic Effects of Vitamin D on Human Health and Disease. One of the most interesting topics in this long article was the discussion of Vitamin D’s effect on endothelial function and vascular permeability. Here the authors point out that Vitamin D exhibits both direct and indirect modulatory effects, the latter by upregulating the transcription of certain genes that produce endothelial nitric oxide.
Here’s a video excerpt from the on-line CME course I took. The instructor discusses the biochemical pathways that can lead to oxidative stress and how NAC (a precursor to Glutathion) acts to ameliorate oxidative stress. This video is valuable in that the instructor reviews a couple of very interesting articles about the applicability of NAC to COVID-19.
This related article appeared in in Circulation about 3 years ago, “Potent Thrombolytic Effect of N-Acetylcysteine on Arterial Thrombi. Of course, COVID-19 was not an issue then but given COVID-19’s pathogenesis, NAC appears relevant.
Finally, I found these two articles very informative for me. If you’re a physician reading this then consider these two a refresher. However, not having a clinical background. I include them only because they really helped me understand the issues more deeply.