If you’re anything like the vast majority of the world, you have some sense of fear, anxiety, worry, or concern about viruses. First of all, you’re not alone.
Second, what if we told you that there is hope? We're not saying we have a cure or a treatment. But, nature provides us with so many amazing nutrients that have antiviral properties.
Recently, Ed Jones had a conversation with Dr. Mike Smith, Director of Education for Life Extension, on The Holistic Navigator Podcast. They discussed how to naturally protect yourself from viral infection. And, he provided an amazing protocol and some tips and tricks worth mentioning. We've highlighted some of those for you, below. Dr. Mike Smith has provided researched backed ingredients to help guide you as you consider adding products to your toolkit. The information provided in this article is not intended to be a treatment for any medical condition or virus.
If you'd like to listen to the full conversation, click here.
So, for those of you who are starting to feel under the weather, the following protocol will help boost your immune system’s ability to fight viral infection.
This Is Not Snake Oil
“Everything that I am going to discuss, it is referenced clinical data. These are from published clinical trials. And so, that’s important to remember; that it is not snake oil stuff. I don’t do that. If I am going to suggest something, I need to see the clinical data. And so, everything that we are going to talk about today, all these different nutrients have solid clinical data that they can be helpful during an acute viral syndrome,” said Dr. Smith.
The design of this protocol is for when you start to feel under the weather. For most people, that starts when you are experiencing a sore throat or a cough. That’s your first sign that now is the time to start thinking about some of these nutrients that we are discussing. And, time to start revving them up. Your opportunity to stop a viral infection from spreading is at the onset of symptoms. Do not wait until you get a fever to start this protocol.
Dr. Mike Smith’s Intensive 3-5 Day Antiviral Protocol
Vitamin D: 20, 000 IU -- the regulator and orchestrator
Lactoferrin: 1,200 mg/day -- the frontline defenses
DHEA: 200 to 400 milligrams/day -- the real soldiers
Melatonin: 6 to 9 milligrams/day -- stimulates immune response
Garlic: 5,000 milligrams/day -- direct viral killing effects
Zinc: One 24 milligram lozenge 2 to 3 times/day -- aid mucosal cells blocking viruses
Tagamet: 800 milligrams/day -- brings your immune system forward
Bitter Herbs -- a virus’s enemy
Vitamin D Is King
Regardless of an outbreak, the time of year, etc., it is critical that everyone take Vitamin D.
Dr. Smith explains the importance of this nutrient, below.
“We have to make sure that we are doing the orchestrator of the entire immune system. That’s Vitamin D. Vitamin D has a powerful regulatory effect on the entire immune response. It influences, in a positive way, cytokine production and control, B-cells, T-cells, natural killer cells, antigen-presenting cells. And, it has a regulatory effect on all of your cells.”
How Do I Know How Much Vitamin D to Take?
It’s very important to have your Vitamin D levels checked. To know how much to take, you need to know your blood levels.
“The range that I like is somewhere between 70 and 80 nanograms per mil of Vitamin D in your blood.
That’s a lot higher than conventional medicine. They are going to tell you it should be around 30. Well, I think 30 is deficient. When you have a blood level of Vitamin D in the 70 to 80 range, that’s the range in which we see all the positive effects and all these research papers that have been published on Vitamin D.
Depending on your levels, you might need a thousand units, you might need 7,000 units. For every thousand units that you increase Vitamin D in your system, you can expect the blood level to go up about 8 to 10 points. So, if you are at, say, 50, we've got to get you up to 70. That’s 2,000 extra units you are going to need to take from your baseline.
Vitamin D is it. That’s where it starts, and it is where it ends.”
To get your vitamin D levels checked, you can order a test from Direct Labs.
Lactoferrin: The Frontline Defenses
“The next one that I want to talk about is one of my favorite immune-boosting nutrients called Lactoferrin.
Lactoferrin is found in colostrum, early mother’s milk. And, it passes from the mom to the baby. It is one of the key compounds that actually stimulates the infant's immune system. Some of those effects can be carried on into us as adults, when we take Lactoferrin as a supplement.
The key reason I talk about this after Vitamin D is because it activates what we call antigen-presenting cells. These are your frontline cells. These cells have an ability to touch cells floating around in your blood. And, can recognize when something is not you, when it is foreign, and it will gobble up that foreign cell or virus, and display these pieces out on its cell surface.
The appropriate dose, based on a couple of studies of Lactoferrin, is about 1,200 milligrams a day.
That’s higher than the standard dose. Most stand-alone Lactoferrin products are 200, maybe 400 milligrams a day. But, the 1,200 milligrams is for only a few days. Remember, you are only doing some of this stuff for 3 or 4 or 5 days, as you start to feel weird, you start getting better.”
It’s important to note that the recommended dosage provided for these nutrients is often a maintenance dose. And, you have to be willing to embrace what we call a “therapeutic dose” which is what Dr. Smith is describing.
DHEA: The Real Antiviral Soldiers
“The third thing that I like is DHEA. Now, DHEA is a hormone. I know the minute I start talking about hormones, people get like, ‘Oh, I don’t want to mess with my hormones!’
But, DHEA is so important to B-cell and T-cell maturation, that it has to be taken at this point, because not only do I want my frontline defenses up, I want to make sure that my B-cells and T-cells are primed and ready to go. That’s what DHEA does.
Now, if you don’t want to take a hormone, that’s fine. You can do this for a few days. It is not going to affect your overall hormone profile if you do 200 to 400 milligrams a day of DHEA for a week. It is not going to have that much effect on the other hormones.
Note: We are not talking about staying on 400 mg of DHEA per day for the rest of your life. We are talking about when you are feeling like you're fighting off an illness. Keep some DHEA ready to go in your supplement cabinet. And, if you are feeling a little weird, take 200 to 400 milligrams a day for 4 or 5 days.”
Melatonin: An Antiviral Not Only for Sleep
“Now, one other nutrient that belongs in this group, believe it or not, it is melatonin. Most people know of this for sleep and circadian rhythms. What people may not understand about melatonin is that it is a powerful immune booster. It regulates antigen-presenting cells, it up-regulates T-cells and B-cells, and can even increase responses to something called ‘Interleukin-2’, which is an important communicator between B- and T-cells.
It is going to help you sleep, too. When you are not feeling well, sometimes it is hard to get a goodnight's sleep. So, a little bit of melatonin can also help. Now, the dose is a little bit higher than what you would take for sleep. I do suggest between 6 to 9 milligrams of melatonin. Again, only for 3 or 4 days.”
A Note on Viral Infections and Aging
“As we get older, for a variety of different reasons, our immune system can become sluggish. And, it is one of the reasons that infections like the flu, for instance, can be much more deadly in people over 65. Their immune system takes a little longer than it should to get going. So, rev up those defenses with those first four supplements.”
Other Antiviral Nutrients
"Did you know there are nutrients that have antiviral effects against the common cold? Like, Rhinovirus, Coronavirus, and Influenza virus?"
“Now, I am not saying these things can treat the Coronavirus that is going on right now. But, there have been studies showing that they have antiviral effects for the types of viruses floating around during the winter months.”
“The first one is garlic, without a doubt. Garlic has a direct viral killing effect. Now, garlic has other immune effects, too. It has some of the same effects as Lactoferrin, the frontline defenses. Garlic is best for its direct viral killing effects. Now, it is a high dose. To get that direct viral killing effect, you are talking about 5,000 milligrams a day.
Again, it is only for a few days. It is not your standard dose. That’s not the cardiovascular dose. It is not the standard immune dose, that’s about 500 milligrams a day. But, to rev it up, get that garlic extract into your system at a higher dose. You are going to have a better effect on viruses.”
“The next one is one of my favorites, and it is something I always do if I start feeling a little bit weird, and that’s zinc. Zinc lozenges are very powerful. They have been shown to inhibit the Rhinovirus and even some strains of the Coronavirus. And, they inhibit these viruses by blocking their ability to bind to the mucosal cells in your sinuses. That’s how the cold viruses and influenza viruses get in.
These are respiratory viruses. They get into your nose. They get into your upper respiratory system. And, they are binding to these mucosal cells that are lining your system. That’s where the infection begins. And, that mucosal lining begins to break down and that’s where they can start replicating. That’s when spread happens.
Dosing is a little weird here. The lozenge is ionized zinc. And, there are about 24 milligrams in each one. I will do one of those, about 2 to 3 times a day for 3 or 4 days.
Now, after that point, you have to stop. Because, if you take that much zinc all the time, then you are going to have some issues with other nutrients. So, it is important that you only do this for a few days. But, 3 or 4 lozenges for 3 or 4 days is going to prevent a lot of those viruses from attaching to the mucosal cells.”
Tagamet: A Heartburn Medication for Viral Infection?
“Tagamet is an over-the-counter medicine used to treat heartburn. But, not only is it able to help with heartburn, but it is also able to help the immune system.
The immune system has cells that activate and turn on the immune system. But, there are also suppressor cells. These cells turn off the immune system when everything calms down. So, your body balances these activators versus the suppressors. When you need to turn on the immune system because of an acute viral infection, the activators are high, the suppressors are low. And then, once the infection is clearing, that begins to shift, and you see the suppressor cells come up so that we don’t overdo it with our immune system.
There are a lot of good studies that show as we age, one of the key characteristics of an aging immune system, is ‘Immunosenescence’. Or, an aging immune system. This means the suppressor cells are too active. They are too high. And so, when you are hit with something as you get older, one of the reasons you might be a little sluggish in responding is because of the suppressor cells. They are too high.
Well, there is good evidence showing that Cimetidine and Tagamet actually reduce those suppressor cells, allowing the active cells to kick in. And, that brings your immune system forward and able to fight a lot of these viruses.
Now, there are several studies showing that it has direct viral-killing effects on Influenza, Rhinovirus and even Rotavirus, which is a gastrointestinal virus.
For dosage, take about 800 milligrams a day. Again, that’s a higher dose than what you would normally take for heartburn. In this case, the 800 milligrams is what was done in these studies to show the reduction of the suppressor cells."
Viral Infections Hate Bitter Herbs
“The last thing I would say is, always remember that viruses hate bitter herbs. These are potent anti-virus types of herbs: Andrographis, Astragalus, and bitter melon. I like to keep some Andrographis Paniculata on hand for a little extra support after I have done some of these other nutrients.”
Stock Your Cabinet
Don’t wait until you get sick to put your viral-protection-toolbox together. Stock your cabinet with these nutrients and have them on hand in case of a viral infection attack. So what if you throw them away two years from now if you don’t get sick? It is not too great of an expense. And, if you do get sick, what a great investment you've made to help guard yourself against viral infection.
For those of you that are feeling crushed by fear, take hope. We can nourish our bodies with this amazing arsenal that nature has provided. We have a divine healing power by nature, and we must strengthen it. And, you are not going to strengthen it with most pharmaceuticals or only washing hands.
Want to Learn More?
If you still have questions about this topic, reach out to us today to see how we can help you achieve optimal health and vitality. Our experts are here to help you live your best life. But, please understand that we are not medical professionals and cannot offer medical treatment.
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Additional published science references are available upon request.
Disclaimer: The information on this website and the topics discussed have not been evaluated by the FDA or anyone of the medical profession, and is not aimed to replace any advice you may receive from your medical practitioner. Nutrition World assumes no responsibility or liability whatsoever on the behalf of any purchaser or reader of any of these materials. Nutrition World is not a doctor, nor does it claim to be, please consult your physician before beginning any health regimen. If you are being treated for any medical illness, check with your medical professional before starting any protocol.