Health authorities are saying that recommendations from so-called experts to use high doses of vitamins to protect yourself against the Coronavirus could possibly be dangerous and toxic.
In fact, some of these naturopathic authorities have taken to social media, such as Youtube and Instagram, to advise those following them that by taking super doses of vitamins, the symptoms of the dreaded Coronavirus can be avoided.
The Mayo Clinic recommends an average person take 625 IU of Vitamin D3. However, a nurse practitioner from Colorado’s Love Medical Clinic stated that her practice provided shots of D3 with 100,000 IU to help treat the virus. This is 160 times more than what is recommended by the largest hospital in the world.
With that being said, we were told by health officials that utilizing this much Vitamin D3 could be deadly.
In December 2019, the first case of the Coronavirus was reported. Since then, there have been 2,760 people that have succumbed to this. To date, it has affected over 81,000 individuals in 41 countries.
Currently, there is not any vaccine or treatment that will resist the microorganism. Officials are not even recommending a treatment plan says the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The only tidbits of advice offered by these professionals are to wash your hands with running water and soap for at least 20 seconds and to avoid individuals who are ill. It is also recommended that you avoid touching your face. While this can be hard to do, consider if you must touch your face to either wash hands beforehand or use a coffee stir stick to touch the face.
Risky Naturopathic Advice
Despite all this advice, natural healthcare practitioners, who use other methods such as herbs, vitamins, food, and natural supplements instead of traditional Western practices, are now building up their practices. They are advertising these methods on social media pages, such as Youtube, in order to let others know what they believe is best for the virus.
Many of these practices are great options for people that like using natural methods. This might include oregano oil, garlic, mullein leaf, and elderberry. While these practices may be harmless, they should never replace handwashing, which is the number one step in preventing the spread of Coronavirus and any other sickness.
Unfortunately, there are some social media influencers that are telling their watchers that some good methods for preventing or getting rid of the Coronavirus include mega doses of Vitamin A, C, and D.
On Dr. Osborne’s Youtube channel, he promotes taking 150,000 IU a day of Vitamin D3 for three days in a row. He believes this will prevent COVID-19.
The nurse practitioner we talked about above from Love Medical Clinic says her clinic’s approach to Dr. Osborne’s method mirrors this process. It is applied to those that have different strains of the flu. Under this protocol, the staff at this clinic use mega doses of Vitamin C infusions and D3 shots.
At this Clinic, the staff tells us if you have any flu-like illnesses, they will treat you with vitamin C. They will not use the standard testing of swabbing the nose to see if Influenza A or B is present. Doctors feel that the treatment is the same, so there is not any point in the test.
With this treatment, patients can expect to receive an IV with 15,000 milligrams of Vitamin C per day. This is 166 times more than the recommended daily value for males. Vitamin D3 shots are offered at this medical center to treat the Coronavirus. These shots contain 100,000 milligrams, which according to the Mayo Clinic is 160 times over the daily limit.
Megadosing Vitamins is Risky?
A fellow Youtuber, Andrew W. Saul, states 24,000 milligrams of Vitamin C (266 times what Mayo Clinic recommends) can help individuals fight various viral infections, such as the flu and a cold. The Coronavirus can be fought off as well. Saul says this can make the immune system even stronger, which will stop some humans from contracting the illnesses.
As Vitamin C is water-soluble, anything not absorbed by the body will be excreted in the urine. However, this can cause stomach cramping, nausea, and diarrhoea.
Saul went on to say that since the immune system is the only one a person is getting, it is ideal to strengthen it. In order to fight these illnesses, one needs to rely on their healthy immune system when there is not a vaccine for it.
Similar advice was also offered by a Youtuber named Peter Osborne of the Gluten-Free Society. This video has since been removed. Osborne stated while there is not a current cure for Coronavirus, taking 5,000 milligrams of Vitamin C and 150,000 IU Vitamin D3 daily will boost the immune system if taken for 3 days in a row.
Osborne, who has 56,600 followers, says 25,000 IUs of Vitamin A should be taken every day for 14 days along with the above regimen. However, this could be toxic as it is over 2 times the daily recommended amount. He feels that Vitamin D doses are perfectly fine at 150,000 IUs per day when the daily recommended safe amount is 4,000 IUs. Too much of Vitamin D can cause heart rhythm issues or kidney damage.
Saul does believe that the recommended daily amounts are not correctly understood. He says that NIH guidelines are what individuals can tolerate, not what is a safe amount. He compared this to a baby sleeping, stating what the infant can tolerate is quite a bit lower than the noise that would cause eardrum damage.
These recommendations by Youtubers are dangerous according to research. However, Osborne retallied this by stating his recommendations are not for everyone, and they are only temporary. He said they are for individuals that are interested in taking preventative measures.
He went on to say that there have been no known overdose Vitamin C deaths that have been accidental. And that the only reason there was an accidental Vitamin A overdose death was that a child ate too much liver by accident. Osborne said that in some people, high doses of Vitamins A, C, and D have proven to be safe.
Colorado’s nurse practitioner did not respond back to the inquiry.
Professionals say that megadosing can lead to conditions that are not safe, some of which could be deadly. A male, on average, should obtain 900 micrograms of Vitamin A daily, while a female should aim for 700. Most people do get the daily recommended value. This is recommended by the National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements.
Upper amounts of Vitamin A can go from 3,000 mcg to 10,000 IUs, which is still considered safe. Anything over this amount may cause dizziness, headaches, nausea, coma, and in worst cases, death. If too much of the vitamin is taken during pregnancy, birth defects can occur.
Dr. Sandra Kesh from Westmed Medical Group in New York stated that the side effects of high doses are not well understood and could potentially interact with medications the individual is already taking.
Useful Vitamins and Supplements for Coronavirus/Covid-19
While the Coronavirus is unpredictable, there are specific things that we can do to help ward off this illness. While nothing we do will completely eliminate the chance that a person will contract the virus, there are various things that greatly help, such as eating healthy.
When someone catches an illness, such as the Coronavirus, it is up to the immune system in the body to help fight it off. Nutrition has been found to greatly affect the immune system and how hard it works.
The essential vitamins that a person needs to fight this epidemic include Vitamin A, B, C, D, and E. Selenium and zinc are also minerals that are needed to fight off this virus.
So how do these important nutrients help an immune system? Keep reading to find out how eating your ABC’s in vitamins, along with your essential minerals, can help combat COVID-19.
Vitamin A (Retinol)
The structure of your skin, respiratory system, and gut cells are maintained by Vitamin C. This is your body’s first line of protecting itself for sickness. You can think of Vitamin A being a forward line in the game of football. It is responsible for making antibodies. These antibodies are then used to neutralize pathogens, which are generally responsible for an infection.
Vegetables that have beta-carotene in them, such as carrots, can convert itself into this vitamin.
Vitamin A can be found in egg yolks, oily fish, seeds, whole grains, nuts, and cheese.
B Vitamins will assist in response when your body discovers a pathogen. The primary B Vitamins we are talking about are B6, B9, and B12.
“A natural killer” cell is influenced by the B vitamins. These killer cells will be imploded when vitamin B is taken. This process is called Apoptosis.
During football games, the B vitamin would play the part of a security guard who is stopping fans( natural killer cells) from running out onto the field during the game.
Vitamin B6 can be found in fish.
Folate, also known as Vitamin B9, is found in legumes and green leafy veggies. You will also find it in nuts and seeds. Manufacturers also add it to flour used for bread.
B12 or cyanocobalamin can be found in eggs, dairy, meat, and other animal products. Soy milk that has been fortified also contains B12.
Vitamins C and E
Vitamins C and E work closely together protecting your cells from oxidative stress.
Oxidative stress occurs in the body when there is an infection. Free radicals are then produced which can pierce the walls of the cells. The contents of the cells then flow into the tissues, which causes inflammation in the body.
The cells are cleansed when Vitamin C is taken. Specialized cells, including neutrophils, lymphocytes, and phagocytes, are produced in response to this. You can think of the Vitamin C as being a cleanup crew after the football has ended and everyone has gone home.
You can find Vitamin C in kiwi, lemon, limes, oranges, berries, and tomatoes. Vitamin E can be found in vegetable oils, nuts, and leafy, green vegetables.
The body can produce Vitamin D just by sitting outside in the sun for only a few minutes per day. While some people do not get enough of this vitamin, there are some eggs and milk, as well as other products, that have added Vitamin D.
Pathogens that cause infection can be fought by taking Vitamin D.
There are some people who will need to take Vitamin D supplements. In reviewing studies done, those that supplement this vitamin help protect the body against acute respiratory infection.
Selenium and Zinc
The body needs both selenium and zinc to help with many body functions.
By taking zinc, a person can retain the purity of their skin and the mucous membranes. Damage done by oxidative stress can be cleaned up when both of these two are taken as they perform as an antioxidant.
Meats, seafood (especially oysters), nuts, chicken, and dried beans are all excellent sources of zinc.
Those looking to add more selenium should consume Brazillian nuts, other nuts, cereal, meats, and mushrooms.
By eating a good variety of foods, you can help to ward off the Coronavirus. Even if the stores do not have much to select from, you can still make healthy choices and eat a variety of foods that are full of all of these vitamins.
Eating real foods is the best way to incorporate these vitamins and supplements into the diet. However, if you are pregnant or have chronic health conditions, you may need to use supplements to get the amounts one needs. If you need assistance in determining what is right for you, ask your health care provider or pharmacist.
And, as always, steer clear of those that have the Coronavirus. Get plenty of sleep, stop smoking, wash hands often, and practice social distancing in order to stay as healthy as you can.