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Interesting read on COVID-19 FAQ for supplements. Shrooms, VD, Elderberry, Spirulina & cytokine storm...ER Doc testing.

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04/08/2020 11:08 AM
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Interesting read on COVID-19 FAQ for supplements. Shrooms, VD, Elderberry, Spirulina & cytokine storm...ER Doc testing.
Below are snippets from the article. Full read is at:

[link to integrativemedicine.arizona.edu (secure)]

Vit D:
Q: If I take vitamin D, should I stop it during this pandemic?

A: Many people are deficient in vitamin D and supplement with this vitamin to become sufficient. Vitamin D sufficiency is an important part of optimal immune function, bone health, and brain health. However, when the body is experiencing significant inflammation, such as can occur in some people who become severely sick from COVID-19 infection, vitamin D should be temporarily discontinued. This is because vitamin D can activate the specific inflammation pathway and inflammatory molecule, IL-1B, which characterizes and contributes to symptomatic COVID-19 infection. The vitamin D should be discontinued while symptoms are present and can be resumed upon return to health.

Q: Why is elderberry considered safe for prevention but recommended to stop with symptoms or positive COVID-19 test results?

A: Elderberry extracts may help to prevent the early stage of corona virus infections, which includes COVID-19. Elderberry contains compounds which decrease the ability of viruses to infect cells. Elderberry is considered generally safe and in influenza B (cause of common cold), use of elderberry shortens the duration of symptoms. However, as a part of its immune supportive actions, elderberry increases immune cell release of tiny chemicals called cytokines. Specifically, elderberry increases the release of a cytokine called IL-1B which is a part of the inflammatory reaction to COVID-19 that can result in acute respiratory distress. For this reason, to minimize the possibility that elderberry could aggravate the inflammatory “cytokine storm” associated with the more severe COVID-19 infections, it is recommended to stop elderberry at the first signs of infection (fever, cough, sore throat) and/or if you test positive for the virus.

Q: What is the reasoning behind stopping medicinal mushrooms if sick with COVID-19?

A: What our strategies specifically suggest is to stop isolated polysaccharides extracted from mushrooms. These would include isolated 1, 3 beta-glucan, lentinan, etc. The reason for this is that these isolated polysaccharides have been shown to increase IL-1b, a key cytokine involved in the inflammatory response to Covid19 infection and to its virulence. On the other hand, mushroom and mycelium extracts (not the isolated polysaccharides) contain a broad array of compounds which generate an immunoregulatory response that both increases and decreases various cytokines. The end result appears to be a reduction of inflammation, a benefit during covid-19 infection.

Q: In regard to using Host Defense My Community and Stamets 7 if sick with COVID-19?

A: As far as we can tell (March 27, 2020), Host Defense My Community should be safe to take if you have Covid-19 symptoms as this is a blend of mushroom and mycelium extracts, not isolated polysaccharides, and is the mushroom/mycelium product that a recent publication showed has immune regulating actions. Specifically, these actions include lowering of IL-1B and increasing IL-R1a. What this means is that this mushroom/mycelium blend appears to downregulate the inflammatory cytokine response that characterizes the symptoms of Covid19 infection

A: Host Defense: My Community or Stamets 7 formulas are mushroom/mycelium full extracts and are therefore likely safe. The potentially unsafe extracts would be lentinan, PSK or PSP.

Q: I am an ER doctor taking Vit C , Viracon (Zinc, Elderberry, etc.), and MRS Mushroom formula to try to boost my defense against the virus. I have been reading the recommendations to stop the use of supplements that which may increase inflammatory/cytokine response. Most patients with COVID have normal white blood cell count and no Lymphocytosis/left shift. My concern is that there is a delay or lack of immune response early in the infection.
Maybe stimulating the immune system (and cytokine) system earlier will allow the body to control the virus before the patient is critical or in cytokine storm due to widespread inflammation. I know we have no evidence on this but just a thought. What do you think?

A: Initially, with no symptoms of infection, focus should be on increasing immune defense. Your strategies all make sense in this regard. If symptoms develop, it would make seem the time to shift emphasis on continued anti-viral actions with strategies to reduce excessive inflammation. The MRS mushroom formula and vitamin C fit this bill. Based on pre-clinical data, additional compounds flavonoids such as curcumin, quercetin, as well as herbal extracts such as astragalus and Andrographis downregulate NLRP3 inflammasome activation while also maintaining the reduction of viral replication.

Q: If someone had all the symptoms of COVID-19 but tested negative (test done January 2020), is it possible that they actually had COVID-19?

A: It is possible that this individual had Covid-19 infection. Testing for past infection by measuring antibodies should be widely available at some point in the future. This will confirm whether an individual had Covid-10 infection. It appears that people with antibodies (immunoglobulins) from past Covid-19 infection have immunity to re-infection, although the duration of this immunity is not yet known.

Q: If more than 95% of tests conducted in Arizona (question received March 30, 2020) are negative for COVID-19 and they are testing folks with symptoms of COVID-19, then what is everyone sick with? I know personally that my flu and strep tests were negative as was my COVID-19 test. Similar results for my co-workers.

A: Great question. I'm afraid that the problem may lie with the testing. A few issues: 1) Most of the tests for coronavirus have a high specificity: if the test is positive, you probably have it. But they are not very sensitive: our tests can miss many positive tests (either due to poor technique in swabbing, or other test issues). In China, it was estimated that up to 30% of the tests were “false negatives”; where a test was read as negative, but was really positive. 2) Many states are making their own PCR tests. A good University can craft a very sensitive test, but as it has not had months of quality control, the results may not be as accurate as we want. Due to high demand and urgency, we may be cutting a few corners.
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04/08/2020 11:12 AM
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Re: Interesting read on COVID-19 FAQ for supplements. Shrooms, VD, Elderberry, Spirulina & cytokine storm...ER Doc testing.
Good read!
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12/17/2021 03:12 AM
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Re: Interesting read on COVID-19 FAQ for supplements. Shrooms, VD, Elderberry, Spirulina & cytokine storm...ER Doc testing.