4 Ways to Make Yourself More COVID-Proof
COVID has taken a heavy toll on us all either via the virus itself, the lockdowns, social isolation or lack of activity. This unprecedented trend has sparked a variety of new and useful research on viable forms of COVID resistance, or risk reduction / prevention in a short time. Below are the 4 most well researched, reproducible, consistent, positive, risk reducing factors in helping to reduce both the risk of getting COVID in the first place, or reduce the severity of symptoms should you test positive.
Staying lean is likely the single, most important factor in determining positive COVID outcomes. A lot of research has accumulated showing that being overweight or obese has been the most common unifying factor among severe cases of COVID. In fact, one study showed that 85% of people under 50 that were hospitalized for serious COVID infections were overweight or obese (1). Having excessive body fat can predispose you to significantly greater degrees of inflammation. Inflammation is exactly what makes COVID concerning, as it causes inflammatory attacks which can attack the lungs, kidneys and other organs, making high levels body fat and a COVID infection a nasty combination. Eat modest meals and count calories if necessary. Additionally, be sure to engage in some kind of exercise, and even if you want to avoid public gyms find a way to walk, work out at home or wherever – even if that just means a brisk 20 minute walk. There are hundreds of YouTube videos to guide you if necessary. Aside from helping you stay lean, exercise is proven to boost your immunity by increasing various types of white blood cells that fight infection.
It seems that vitamin D may be the single most important supplement here. One of many recent studies concluded that regular intake of supplemental vitamin D greatly reduces the severity of respiratory infections like COVID (2). Additional studies revealed that vitamin D deficiency was a common finding in COVID patients who experienced acute respiratory failure.
Why is vitamin D so important in this context? Adequate levels of vitamin D are massively influential in regulating inflammation. Basically, it is harder for your body to limit an inflammatory response when it is vitamin D deficient.
Vitamin D is affordable and widely available. Taking 5,000-10,000 IUs (perhaps depending on vitamin D levels in blood work) daily with breakfast is one of the best things you can do to prevent serious bouts with COVID or even with standard seasonal flu.
This one may sound nonintuitive at first. Obviously many of us are familiar with melatonin as a supplement meant to improve our sleep quality, but it seems to be more versatile than that. A large study that just came out in March of this year discussed melatonin as an effective anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative molecule that may be protective against acute lung injuries and distress caused by viral and other pathogens (3). It’s also shown that melatonin regulates the immune system and enhances the immune response. The Cleveland Clinic reported that patients taking melatonin consistently were 30% less likely to contract the virus.
Melatonin dosage is largely person dependent. For older people, taking up to 10 milligrams nightly will be ideal. Younger users may want to take closer to 5 mg nightly (I’m 23 and I take 3mg).
Zinc is another supplement that has been shown to assist the immune system. A paper from last year reviewed 118 studies involving COVID and zinc, and concluded that zinc supplementation may reduce the severity, duration, and risk of infection (4).
Additional studies show that zinc fights COVID infections in 2 ways:
• Zinc inhibits COVID replication in our cells.
• Zinc blocks the receptors that COVID uses to enter our cells.
Adding zinc to your daily supplement routine can be an easy way to maximize your health and protection. The most common doses are 25mg and 50mg. If you’ve never tried it before, start with 25mg daily. Many people increase dosages from there.
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Disclaimer: This content is for informational purposes only and is not meant as medical advice, nor is it to diagnose or treat any medical condition. Please consult your physician before starting or changing your diet or exercise program. Any use of this information is at the sole discretion and responsibility of the user.