Keep Calm & Boost Your Immunity 20: Supporting Recovery

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I am aware that whilst some people get only mild cases of Covid-19, others really go through the mill with it and the recovery process can be lengthy and arduous. I was considering how we might be able to aid recovery in some way and a few things have occurred to me, so I thought I would share them with you in case they help you or any of your family and friends. Obviously, I can’t make any guarantees here and you need to talk these options through with your chosen health practitioners, but this is what I might do if it were me.

I’ve added this to the Purehealth Coronavirus Guidance Document as usual for you so you have all my advice in one place. You can read it here.

 

Get the Covid recovery basics right

First, the most obvious thing to do is to get plenty of rest, ensure sleep, eat a good rebuilding diet with plenty of good proteins and fats (wild fish, organic, grass-fed meat, olive oil, nuts, avocados etc) and ensure your nutrient levels are high enough for your repair job.

Clearly, you may be on meds, so I can’t say what you can take individually, but I’d be considering a really good multivitamin and mineral powder for easy absorption (like this kind of thing maybe), a protein powder (like this maybe), some essential fatty acids (eg. this), plenty of Vitamin C, D, zinc (all fabulous anti-virals, immune-supporters and general repairers) and magnesium especially – really helps fatigue and stress. I would also add some probiotics and gut support to help your gut. This is because the virus affects it and because it will help you absorb nutrients better from that food. This one works well for repair and has some of the extra nutrients in for you too.  I might also consider some CoQ10, especially if there was heart involvement in your case. Read up on the various options and please talk to your chosen health practitioners to check you are OK to take stuff, especially if you are on meds. 

 

Make sure there’s no residual coronavirus

I think the people I have come across who are struggling seem to go in and out of the virus in waves. This reminds me of chronic fatigue patients who have had their problems start after a viral infection. The first thing I always do there is make sure we kill off any residual virus if we can. It usually really helps them get better more quickly. The way to do that is with monolaurin or lauric acid. This comes from coconut and acts to disrupt the biofilm of the virus – in simple terms, the outer shell that stops our immune cells getting in to destroy the virus. It’s a classic approach in post-viral chronic fatigue cases so I have to wonder if it could be helpful here too.

Of course, it is tough to get at the moment; demand for any anti-viral supplement has, understandably, gone through the roof. But if you can get some, try it for 3 months, although people generally feel better symptom-wise after a couple of weeks. Here is some information on it for you from Ecological Formulas, who make one of the products:

WHAT IS MONOLAURIN
Monolaurin is an anti-microbial agent that protects the immune system from a range of infectious agents. Monolaurin is a glyceride ester derivative of lauric acid, a fatty acid found naturally in breast milk and certain vegetable oils.  This fatty acid has been used as a germicidal agent for centuries.  Lauric acid was originally discovered when microbiologists studied human breast milk to determine the antiviral substances which protected infants from microbial infections. It has been shown to protect newborns, whose immune systems are underdeveloped, from Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) and other respiratory tract viruses (1,2).  Monolaurin was found to have even greater viral activity than lauric acid. As a dietary supplement, Monolaurin has shown exciting results as an anti-viral and anti-bacterial agent.
 

HOW DOES MONOLAURIN WORK
Monolaurin works by destroying lipid-coated viruses such as herpes, cytomegalovirus, influenza, and various pathogenic bacteria and protozoa.

Monolaurin works by binding to the lipid-protein envelope of the virus, thereby preventing it from attaching and entering host cells, making infection and replication impossible.  Other studies show that Monolaurin disintegrates the viral envelope, killing the virus. 
 

WHAT IS MONOLAURIN EFFECTIVE IN TREATING
In general, Monolaurin can help fight colds, flu, EBV, shingles, herpes, and chronic fatigue syndrome.

In studies performed at the Respiratory Virology Branch, Centers for Disease Control, Atlanta, Georgia, Monolaurin was found effective against 14 human RNA and DNA enveloped viruses in cell culture (3). These included influenza, RSV, Rubeola, Newcastle’s, Coronavirus, Herpes Simplex types 1 & 2, Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) and cytomegalovirus. (Monolaurin has no effect on naked viruses, such as polio, encephalitis virus, coxsachie, or pox viruses.) Monolaurin removed all measurable infectivity by disintegrating the virus envelope.  In addition to its antiviral effects, monolaurin has also been shown to have antibacterial activity against Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus agalactiae, Groups A, F & G streptococci, Chlamydia, H. pylori, and against yeast and fungi as well, including Candida and ringworm.

 
HOW CAN I PROTECT MYSELF DURING THE COLD AND FLU SEASON

Monolaurin serves as a valuable nutritional adjunct for people who feel that they are coming down with a cold or flu. Many physicians have developed their own clinical protocols in their cold and flu prevention program and recommend taking several capsules of Monolaurin on an empty stomach.

Monolaurin is not the type of nutritional supplement you have to take on a daily basis (although many people take it regularly for prevention purposes), but only when the need arises. If you have a fever or swollen lymph glands, it is always best to see a physician, but if you sense the early warning signs of the flu, like sniffles, sore skin and perhaps a scratchy throat, Monolaurin may offer the first line of defense.
 

ANTIBIOTICS, MONOLAURIN AND THE FLU
Antibiotics kill unwanted micro-organisms, but they also kill many friendly micro-organisms.  Monolaurin, on the other hand, does not appear to have an adverse effect on desirable digestive bacteria, but rather only on unwanted microorganisms. In addition Monolaurin can reduce the resistance of germs to antibiotics.

Frequent antibiotic use can lead to major disruptions in health and especially immune system function.  Antibiotic resistance, resulting from the over-use of prescription drugs, is one of the biggest problems facing the medical community today. Resistance is cumulative (and comes in part from antibiotics in our food supply). That’s why it’s important to consider starting with nutritional agents, such as Monolaurin, first. Uncomplicated flu, while unpleasant, is not life threatening and doesn’t necessitate drug therapy. Nutritional physiologic agents, such as Monolaurin, may be a good first choice.
 

IS MONOLAURIN SAFE
Not only is Monolaurin included on the GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) list, but it may, by virtue of its source of origin, be safer than many other food supplements that are designed to boost the immune system. 

One of the safest substances known to man is breast milk. This is where the monoglyceride of lauric acid (Monolaurin) is found. When an infant is born, it is totally dependent on food factors in the mother’s milk for immune protection. In analyzing the composition of human breast milk, medical researchers found lauric acid monoglycerides in high concentrations, which is what led them to study Monolaurin as an anti-viral agent (4,5). Monolaurin is also found in coconut oil, butter, and heavy cream; only recently has it been isolated and purified. It is highly unusual in pharmacology to find chemicals that are toxic to lower forms of life (bacteria, fungi, and viruses) but non-toxic to man.
 

DIRECTIONS:
For those who feel as if they are coming down with a viral infection:

  • 600 mg Capsules – 3 capsules of Monolaurin on an empty stomach, first thing in the morning, and for more severe cases, 3 more at night.

For those with a sensitive stomach, Monolaurin can be taken with food. The dose can be tapered off as symptoms decrease. Of course, you should always seek the advice of a physician if you have fever, pain or if symptoms persist.

Young children can also take Monolaurin at a reduced dose.  If you are giving Monolaurin to children (or adults) who have difficulty swallowing capsules, you can break them open and sprinkle the Monolaurin into something such as applesauce or yogurt. 

For Epstein-Bar Virus,  Herpes 1 & 2, or other chronic viral conditions:

600 mg Capsules – 3 capsules of Monolaurin when there is a flare-up and 1 capsule as a maintenance dose during dormant periods.

If you are struggling, I would consider up to 2g per day for a month and then drop down. I usually keep chronic fatigue post-viral patients on it for 3 months to make sure. Chat with your chosen health practitioner always, of course.

You can get lauric acid here, here and here. Just bear in mind the different strengths and dosages on the packets and use the info on there and above to help you take the right amount. 

 

Make sure the blood-brain barrier is intact

When I did my brain course last year, I learned that major infections, including viruses, can affect the blood-brain barrier and result in glial priming – a kind of chronic brain inflammation. You can read about this much more on my Brain Factsheet here. I’m not saying this is a definite, but I’d have to say I would be checking and treating it if it were me, especially if any mental confusion was part of your symptom or case picture. 

You can test your blood-brain barrier using a Cyrex 20, but even if you don’t test it, I would do something to ensure it is healthy and to bring down any residual brain inflammation. Check the Neuro-Inflammation treatment on my factsheet – and the list of signs that might suggest you need to consider this angle. 

 

Address any emotional trauma

Just the sheer change in society, the suddenness of of it all, let alone going through this horrid illness, is enough to traumatise anyone. And this goes for family and carers as well as the person who’s had the virus! As we know from personal experience, sadly, watching this process happen and never being sure what the next phone call will bring is harrowing so don’t ignore your own needs, even if you weren’t the one with the virus. 

For this, Check my Resilience post out last week. I would follow some of the meditation and brain reprogramming methods in my Healing Plan and Mind-Body section there. Or, you could get some help from a professional – a trauma specialist, counsellor, hypnotherapist, EMDR or EFT practitioner or cognitive therapist would all likely be able to help. Don’t let it fester. As I know from my own experiences, if you concentrate solely on the physical symptoms and effects and ignore the emotional and cognitive ones, they will come back and bite you in the bum later on as real physical issues. That’s what the Healing Plan is all about. 

OK, so I hope that helps. There’s a lot there to consider, I know, and if anything else comes to mind, I’ll add to it for you. I offer it to you in the hope that it will shave weeks and months off your recovery times. I truly hope it does. 

I’ve added this to the Purehealth Coronavirus Guidance Document. 

 

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