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Taking Vitamins to Ease Symptoms of COVID-19 Long Hauler

A COVID-19 long hauler offers a testimonial to the benefits of vitamin D and vitamin C pills as well as zinc picolinate supplements.
Taking Vitamins to Ease Symptoms of COVID-19 Long Hauler
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COVID-19 has had devastating effects, not just in the US but around the world. Not only have more than two million people perished globally, but a significant proportion of survivors have long-lasting symptoms. Some, such as intermittent breathlessness, are obvious consequences of the disease. Others, such as brain fog, tremors, confusion and other neurological symptoms might be less expected (ACS Chemical Neuroscience, Dec. 16, 2020). A COVID-19 long hauler suggests that some vitamins could help with these symptoms.

A COVID-19 Long Hauler Recommends Vitamins:

Q. As a patient in a major university medical center’s respiratory clinic, I was told to take vitamin D at a daily dosage no less than 1,000 IU per day. I don’t have objective data, but I can say that after starting this, I am coping better with the effects of being a COVID-19 “Long Hauler.”

In addition to vitamin D, the regimen includes vitamin C and zinc picolinate. I’d hate to imagine what my symptoms would be like without these nutrients!

A. There is growing recognition that many people who recover from COVID-19 continue to suffer long-term symptoms. These include fatigue, breathing problems, muscle weakness, trouble sleeping, joint pain, brain fog and loss of taste and smell.

Vitamins C and D plus zinc are all considered important nutrients for immune system function. Some people take as much as 4,000 IU vitamin D3 daily. You can learn more about post-COVID syndrome by listening to our free podcast on this topic. It is Show 1230: What Happens When COVID Symptoms Don’t Go Away

Other Nutrients That May Help Strengthen the Immune System:

Dr. Roger Seheult of www.MedCram.com has scoured the medical literature for information to help people fight off COVID-19. He has found that certain supplements that are less widely recognized may be helpful. Some scientists believe that N-acetylcysteine (NAC) pills may help prevent infection with SARS-CoV-2 (FASEB J, Oct. 2020). In addition, high-dose NAC appear to be useful in treating people with COVID-19. 

Quercetin, a compound found in many different plants, can inhibit several pathways that the SARS-CoV-2 virus uses to replicate (Phytotherapy Research, Oct. 9, 2020). Unfortunately, we have not seen clinical trials of this widely available supplement. You could take it in pills at a dose of 500 mg twice daily, or you could load your plate with quercetin-rich foods. These include green leafy vegetables, such as kale and spinach, as well as fennel and onions (Nutrients, Sep 25, 2019). Spices such as dill, oregano, chives and hot peppers also provide good levels of quercetin. However, we do not know whether these foods would help a COVID-19 long hauler feel better.

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies. .
  • Baig AM, "Deleterious outcomes in long-hauler COVID-19: The effects of SARS-CoV-2 on the CNS in chronic COVID syndrome." ACS Chemical Neuroscience, Dec. 16, 2020. DOI: 10.1021/acschemneuro.0c00725
  • De Flora S et al, "Rationale for the use of N-acetylcysteine in both prevention and adjuvant therapy of COVID-19." FASEB J, Oct. 2020. DOI: 10.1096/fj.202001807
  • Derosa G et al, "A role for quercetin in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)." Phytotherapy Research, Oct. 9, 2020. DOI: 10.1002/ptr.6887
  • Dabeek WM & Marra MV, "Dietary quercetin and kaempferol: Bioavailability and potential cardiovascular-related bioactivity in humans." Nutrients, Sep 25, 2019. DOI: 10.3390/nu11102288
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