Help for Covid-19 Long Haulers: Dr. Bens’ Cellular Repair Program

In June of 2020, two super-athletes who know of my work contacted me to say that they were experiencing severe symptoms and had tested positive for COVID-19. I forwarded my COVID-19 repair protocol for their consideration. After putting the protocol into action, which involved ingestion of specific nutritional medicines, they both indicated that they began to feel better in less than two days and got progressively better over a two-week period.

At the end of two weeks, they both reported they felt completely recovered and were able to resume their athletic training programs at the highest level. The marathon runner reported that his training times had actually improved beyond his best previous times. Here is what he wrote to a doctor who was a fellow marathon runner and had told his story about being a COVID-19 “long hauler” to the Wall Street Journal.

Hello Dr. Weinstein. My name is Marc Wolff. I am from Sarasota, Florida and I read the article in the Wall Street Journal today. I’m not a doctor but I have run the New York City Marathon five times and I experienced COVID in June. After having it, I too am a believer that this virus is the real deal! I had lingering symptoms that quite honestly scared the heck out of me. Finally, I reached out to Dr. Charles Bens, my nutritionist of 20 years, who helped me with his “COVID repair protocol”. Feel free to disregard this email if you want, but at least I wanted to reach out to you and let you know and give you his email address. If you would like to contact him, mention my name.  I now feel 100% and fantastic. I have used Dr. Bens for 20 years and lived a very healthy life as an avid runner.  I wish you and all of your colleagues the best of luck and thank you for all you do.  ~ Marc Wolff, CEO, Southern Trust Financial

What follows is a therapeutic cellular repair program aimed at improved health recovery for patients who have experienced the COVID-19 virus. They are presented, more or less, in sequential order based on importance, although all are valuable components of a cellular repair program.

Several studies have now confirmed that people who become infected with the COVID-19 virus often experience some cellular damage, including people who are asymptomatic. This damage has been shown to occur in tissues in the lungs, the kidneys, the liver, the heart, the brain, the throat, the intestines and nerve cells.

This damage is sometimes noticeable due to difficulty smelling, tasting, headaches and difficulty breathing. However, in some cases this damage is not measurable or noticeable. Since the experience with this virus is so new in the world of viral infections, we cannot be certain about how much damage has been done or how long it may take the body to repair this damage by itself. Therefore, it is prudent to assume that damage has occurred and that precautions to repair this damage, with proven cellular repair protocols, should be used.

The following suggestions are offered based on the science of cellular repair from damage occurring in other situations such as athletic injuries, disease damage, toxin damage, stress and premature aging.

CoEnzyme Q10

This enzyme helps to improve energy production in the mitochondria of our cells and has a proven track record in the repair of cells in the kidneys, liver, heart and brain. It also helps to protect the nucleus of cells, which is one of the most vulnerable and important cellular repair areas in the body. Most chronic illness and premature aging is caused by damage to the DNA in the nucleus of our cells. (Possible dosage 100-200 mg/day as Ubiquinol in soft gel form).

Curcumin

It is very difficult to achieve effective cellular repair if there is inflammation in the body. Curcumin has major anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties and is also known to help in the repair of damaged tissue, such as cartilage. Curcumin also boosts brain-derived neurotrophic factor, which has improved brain function in brain related illnesses such as dementia and Alzheimer’s. (Possible dosage 500-750 mg/day in formula with BCM-95- in soft gel form).

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that also helps to produce connective tissue in the body, such as collagen. Vitamin C also has a proven track record of helping cells to accelerate the healing process in diseases such as heart disease, cancer and viral infections, as well as helping to keep pathogens under control. Vitamin C helps to strengthen white blood cells, which are crucial to immune function in our body. (Possible dosage 2,000-4,000 mg/day taken 500 mg every three to four hours).

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is particularly effective in protecting cell membranes due to its strong anti-oxidant properties. It has a proven track record in the treatment of heart disease, vascular disease and fatty liver disease. By repairing damaged cell membranes vitamin E ensures that cellular repair inside the cells can be done effectively since the membrane regulates both the intake of nutrients and the removal of waste from every cell in the body. (200-400 IU/day as mixed tocopherols in soft gel form).

Zinc

Zinc has strong antioxidant properties, but this is just one of its many important functions in the cellular repair and replacement process. Zinc picolinate can repair a damaged stomach lining in 30 days. Zinc plays an important role in the cell replication process by also helping with the production of growth hormones and assisting the DNA synthesis process. (30-40 mg/day-ensure 15 to one ration zinc and copper).

Vitamin B

All of the B vitamins are important, but in terms of cellular repair and replacement a few of the B vitamins go to the top of the list. Vitamin B6, B12 and folate are methylators, which means they are needed to help convert amino acids into hormones, neurotransmitters and other important biochemicals.

Vitamin B1, in the form of benfothiamine, is able to help rebuild the myelin sheath (outer lining) of our nerves. As a co-factor in many cellular functions vitamin B is crucial to all of the cells in key organs such as the brain, heart, liver, kidneys, blood vessels and intestines. As part of the cellular repair process it is important to consume a vitamin B complex and also take additional amounts of vitamin B1 as benfothiamine, B6, B12 and folate. (B-Complex plus extra B6, B12 and folate-look for a homocysteine formula and benfothiamine).

Vitamin D3

Vitamin D3 plays many roles in cellular health as an antioxidant and antiviral regulator. More importantly vitamin D3 is the body’s master genetic control agent. Vitamin D3 regulates hundreds of genetic on and off switches for the protection and repair of our cells.

The strength of vitamin D3 can be illustrated by the power it has to prevent cancer at the cellular level, as well as play a major role in the repair of cancer-damaged cells as part of cancer treatment programs. It is also vital to the development of healthy bones and teeth. Finally, vitamin D3 plays a major role in helping our cells to communicate with one another to improve our cellular protection and regeneration processes. (Possible dosage: Vitamin D3/K2 4,000-6,000 IU/day- in liquid or soft get form).

Molecular Hydrogen

Molecular hydrogen (H2) is the smallest molecule capable of easily penetrating every cell, including cells in the brain. This is very important because H2 helps to increase oxygen delivery to our cells and ensure a balance is maintained in the release of protective cytokines to fight infections.

Supplementation with H2 has been shown to improve cellular function in the nervous system, the cardiovascular system, the digestive system, the respiratory system, the urinary system, the reproductive system and the brain. (Possible dosage: 2 tablets daily in 10 ounces of water from Quicksilver or Allergy Research Group, drink quickly).

Specialized Pro-resolving Mediators (SPM)

SPM is highly concentrated fish oil. Due to its high concentration of lipid mediators, 18-HEPE and 17-HDHA, SPM is able to remodel damaged tissue and return it to normal healthy function. This allows cells to return to a state of balance in order to carry out their functions and responsibilities.

SMP can also stimulate enzymatic reactions, which are important to the destruction and removal of pathogens, such as bacteria, fungus and viral infections. Due to these functions, SPM can reduce pain and inflammation as well as help to return cells to their normal healthy function. (Possible dosage two soft gel capsules daily in split doses).

Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide (NAD)

NAD is a molecule in the niacin (vitamin B3) family of nutrients that plays a key role in the cellular aging process. It functions as a coenzyme, or helper molecule, in many biological processes.

As our cells go through the normal cell-replacement process, there are a few checkpoints in this cycle where everything must be perfectly aligned to allow for a good new cell to be produced. NAD plays a key role in insuring that all cellular systems are working efficiently in this replacement cycle.

If nutrition, sleep, stress, toxins and exercise are all at optimal levels, then having good NAD levels provides the insurance for excellent cellular replacement. This replacement process also occurs when cells have been damaged as is the case with the cells of COVID-19 patients. (Possible dosage 5 mg/day).

Modified Citrus Pectin (MCP)

MCP plays a key role in tissue remodeling, which is vital to the repair of damaged tissues after a heart attack, a stroke or a COVID-19 viral infection. There are several benefits to the consumption of MCP in supplement form:

  • Removal of heavy metals from the body
  • Removal of harmful plaque in the articles.
  • Helps reverse cellular deterioration, which leads to cancer and heart disease.
  • Improves kidney function via the reduction of fibroids and inflammatory cells.
  • Inhibits the development and growth of cancer cells.

MCP generally helps to ensure that cellular assaults are reduced, thus allowing damaged cells to be repaired in a more timely and effective manner. (Possible dosage 10-15 grams daily, powder or chewable tablets, in split doses of 5 grams each).

Pycnogenol

This supplement comes from French Pine Bark and has been shown to have protective capabilities in several cellular functions including the repair of brain cells after a stroke. It has also been shown to improve kidney flow and function, along with helping to reduce blood clots as an anticoagulant. This is important for COVID-19 patients since blood clots have been found in many parts of the body even after symptoms have been resolved. (Possible dosage 50-100 mg/day).

Berberine

This supplement activates the GLUT-4 molecule within each cell to improve the energy production in the cells mitochondria. This increased energy allows cells to optimize the cellular repair process.

Berberine also plays a role in the DNA damage repair process. This has been shown to specifically improve damage control in the liver, the pancreas, the arteries and the heart. (Possible dosage 500 mg with the morning meal and 500 mg with the evening meal).

Magnesium

Magnesium is the transport agent that delivers glucose and oxygen into the cell to produce energy in the mitochondria. Deficiencies of magnesium have been known to contribute to heart attacks and a number of brain disorders, including depression, anxiety, ADD and ADHD.

Magnesium is found in many foods, especially green vegetables, however exercise and cellular repair processes increase the need for this mineral. There are many forms of magnesium and the following doses are recommended:

– Magnesium glycinate 400 mg with the morning meal. For body cells.

– Magnesium threonate 400 mg with the evening meal. For brain cells.

Probiotics

These beneficial bacteria are crucial to the development of most nutrients in the intestines. They help to control pathogens that come into the body and they break down food for the nutrients they contain. Probiotics also help to initiate the development of anti-inflammatory and immune function molecules.

These beneficial microbiotas can significantly influence molecular mechanisms and pathways that can influence both the prevention and resolution of numerous chronic illnesses, as well the epigenetic expressions that can determine our future health. (Possible dosage: 20 billion live bacteria in a variety of strains at least 10-15 strains; in the morning before breakfast with some yogurt and blueberries for better assimilation).

Olive Leaf Extract

The olive tree is a key component of the Mediterranean Diet which has been helping people to eat healthy for thousands of years. One of the primary functions of olive leaf extract is to prevent viral infections. However, it has also been shown to improve cardiovascular health, lower blood pressure and protect organs such as the pancreas, liver and the kidneys.

Olive Leaf Extract has anti-inflammatory properties and has been proven to repair tissue damage related to kidney disease, upper respiratory illnesses, fatty liver disease and heart disease. (Possible dosage is 500-1,000 mg/day in split doses of 250 mg each dose).

Digestive Enzymes

As we age, our bodies make less of the digestive enzymes needed for the assimilation of food, metabolic functions, and the delivery of nutrients to our cells. By the time we are fifty years old, our bodies may be making up to 50% less digestive enzymes than when we were twenty years old. This is part of the body’s programmed aging process.

Most raw foods have sufficient enzymes to process the nutrients in them, however cooking foods destroys all enzymes. There are over 5,000 enzymes in the body responsible for many functions including the cellular repair and replacement process, as well as helping to kill germs, bacteria, viruses and other pathogens. (Possible dosage: one capsule with each meal, especially cooked meals. Capsules should contain amylase, protease and lipase enzymes with a larger number of amylase because this is what comprises the majority of food being consumed).

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are primary anti-inflammatory nutrients with many proven benefits for the prevention and treatment of chronic illness. One of their main benefits is the ability of Omega-3 fatty acids to soften cell membranes, which helps to improve the entry of nutrients and the removal of waste from the cells. Clinical studies have shown benefits for improvement of the following chronic illnesses.

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Cancer of the breast, colon and prostate.
  • Cognitive function including depression, ADHD, dementia and Alzheimer’s.
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Childhood allergies
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Arthritis
  • Macular degeneration

There are some cautions with the use of Omega-3 fatty acids including its impact on blood thinning medications. However, for the most part it is safe when used at appropriate dosages. (Possible dosages 900 mg/day of EPA and 600 mg/day of DHA. Double or triple this dosage has been effective in several clinical trials, but should be monitored by a qualified health professional).

Sequential Process to Repair COVID Long Hauler Cellular Damage

This is the recommended sequence for the use of the COVID-19 Repair Protocol. These six steps were used by the two athletes mentioned.

  1. Reduce the viral presence: Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Olive Leaf Extract, Zinc and Molecular Hydrogen.
  2. Reduce the inflammation level: Fish oil, Curcumin, Specialized Pro-resolving Mediators.
  3. Increase cellular energy levels: Magnesium, Berberine and Co-Enzyme Q10.
  4. Enhance the body’s readiness for healing: Eat the Mediterranean Diet, chew food thoroughly, consume digestive enzymes before each meal, and take probiotics just before breakfast.
  5. Stimulate the tissue repair process: Vitamin E, Vitamin B, NAD Pycnogenol, Olive Leaf Extract and Modified Citrus Pectin.
  6. Sustained cellular replacement: Repeat this protocol for three to six months to ensure that all cells in every organ and system are replaced with healthy cells.

 Targeted Nutraceutical Therapeutics for COVID Recovery

General Nutritional Guideline

The optimum eating program for cellular repair and recovery is to eat according to the Mediterranean Diet. This has been proven by the Framingham Heart Study over 30 years with 125,000 participants.

This involves eating Omega-3 rich fish, organic poultry, 6 or 7 vegetables, two low-sugar fruits such as apples and blueberries, nuts, seeds, healthy oils such as olive oil, and plenty of pure spring water with a high level of silica such as Volvic or Fiji water.

Nutraceutical Guidelines (Dosages were provided earlier and recommended blood and urine ranges are on the next page)

BREAKFAST:

  • Probiotics
  • Digestive enzymes
  • Magnesium
  • Berberine
  • SPM
  • Vitamin D3
  • Vitamin C
  • CoEnzyme Q10
  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Modified Citrus Pectin

LUNCH:

  • Digestive enzymes
  • Vitamin C
  • Curcumin
  • Molecular Hydrogen water
  • NAD
  • Vitamin E
  • Modified Citrus Pectin
  • Olive leaf extract

DINNER:

  • Enzymes
  • Vitamin B complex
  • Magnesium threonate
  • Berberine
  • SPM
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin D3
  • CoEnzyme Q10
  • Pycnogenol
  • Omega-3
  • Modified Citrus Pectin

The foods and the nutritional supplements included in this article allow the body to go through its normal cellular repair process. One of the key elements influencing the success of this approach to cellular healing, due to COVID cellular damage, is the timing of the introduction of this protocol. The sooner the repair program is initiated the sooner and more successful the repair and recovery process will be.

Case Studies

Case #1: A male former Olympic swimmer, age 42, still in training every day – He pushed back the COVID-19 virus at initial infection with a combination of vitamin C, vitamin D, and zinc. Multiple symptoms returned after one month and he began my COVID-19 long-hauler formula with a cutback in swimming to allow nutrients to properly repair damaged tissue. (Chlorine gas can deplete levels of zinc and vitamin D3). Symptoms cleared in two weeks, but he continued use of protocol to allow full cellular recovery.

Case #2: A 53-year-old male with a poor diet, but good exercise patterns – Multiple symptoms of COVID-9 have continued for five months before he asked for help from my office. (Exercise without proper nutrition depletes many nutrients including vitamin C and magnesium.) In consultation with his doctor he began intravenous vitamin C and hydrogen peroxide in order to jumpstart the cellular recovery process. He begins the full long-hauler protocol. After three weeks his symptoms cleared, but he stayed on the improved diet and some of the COVID-19 supplements, continuing to be symptom free.

Case #3: A 32-year-old hairdresser and mother of two develops difficulty breathing for several weeks after initial COVID infection – Chemicals used in hair salons can endanger the lungs. This woman stopped working for four days and started a limited version of the COVID-19 long-hauler protocol, as well as nebulizing an essential oil respiratory formula. Improvement began, but not fast enough given her need to work in a challenging environment. Doses of vitamin C and Specialized Pro Resolving Mediators were increased considerably. Symptoms subsided and she continues on a management protocol with many of the protocol supplements and an improved diet.

COVID Long Haulers Repair Program  Measurement

Having a strong immune system is the number one factor in determining if someone will succumb to the coronavirus, cancer, or any chronic illness. Not experiencing frequent colds and flu is one possible measure of this strength, but there are better and more scientific ways to make this determination.

Getting the best blood, urine and cellular energy tests will provide a much more accurate measure of the strength of any person’s immune system. Here is a list of some of the best measurement tools for immune system analysis.

  1. Omega 3/6 ratio: This blood test measures the ratio of Omega 3 to Omega 6 fatty acids in the body. Omega 3 is anti-inflammatory while omega 6 is inflammatory. Too much Omega 6 means the body is vulnerable to illnesses such as cancer, flu response and other chronic illnesses. Good ratio 2.1-3.1.
  2. Vitamin D3: Vitamin D3 controls hundreds more genetic predispositions than any other nutrient or drug. High levels in the blood are proven to dramatically reduce the risk of cancer and viral infections, including the Coronavirus. Desired levels are 50-90 ng/mL.
  3. Vitamin C: Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant with the proven ability to prevent and effectively treat many cancers, heart disease and many viruses, including the Coronavirus. Good blood levels are 400 micromol/L.
  4. Co-enzyme Q10: CoQ10 increases energy production in the mitochondria of our cells, and provides antioxidant protection for the nucleus of our cells, which contains our DNA. Energy levels are crucial for organs such as the liver, brain, intestines, pancreas, kidneys, lungs and the heart. Diseases such as Parkinson’s, cancer, kidney disease and heart disease have been effectively treated. Good level 0.8-1.5 vng/mL.
  5. C-reactive protein: CRP is a good measure of inflammation in the body. Inflammation is caused by the presence of toxins, too much fat in the body, poor nutrition and injuries. It is a warning sign for the development of heart disease, cancer, brain disease and much more. Good level is less than 1mg/L.
  6. 8-OHgD: This urine test measures the accumulated oxidative stress and DNA damage in our cells. DNA damage is caused by toxins, viruses and other pathogens. High 8-OHgD levels are an indication that the body is vulnerable to diseases such as cancer and heart disease. Good levels for males 29.6+/-24.5 ng/mg and females 43.9+/- 42.1 ng/mg creatinine.
  7. GGT test:  The Gamma-Glutamyl Transpeptidase Test is a measure of how well the liver is functioning. The liver is the body’s primary detoxification organ. If it is not functioning properly something is wrong, and should be corrected. Normal levels are 0-30 IU/L.
  1. GlycoMark: Excess sugar is serious health issue for many Americans. The best measure of sugar’s presence and behavior in our body is the GlycoMark test. This test measures all aspects of sugar influence including after meal glucose spikes. A safe level is 10-31 ug/mL.
  2. Lymphocytes: Lymphocytes represent up to 40% of the white blood cells in the body, and are crucial to the immune system defense mechanism. Levels increase in the presence of infections, including viral infections. Blood cancer and autoimmune diseases also cause levels of lymphocytes to increase. Normal safe levels are 1000-3000/ml.
  3. Homocysteine: This test measures the levels of vitamin B6, B12 and folate in the body. These three nutrients are crucial to the development of hormones and neurotransmitters. Low levels lead to inflammation and the development of many chronic illnesses. Best range 5.0-7.0 mmol/L.
  4. RBC Magnesium: Approximately eighty percent of the adult population is deficient in magnesium. Most magnesium tests only consider about one percent of the serum magnesium levels in the body. The RBC Magnesium test is superior because it actually measures about 40% of the total magnesium in our body. The usual range is 4.2-6.8 mg/dL and the optimal level should be at least 6.0-6.5 mg/dL.
  5. Galectin 3: This molecule is found in our blood in small amounts. However, an elevation of this molecule can indicate the growing evidence of heart failure,  inflammation, and cancer. Galectin 3 is found to be over-expressed on the surface of cancer cells, and actually helps cancer cells to stick to one another. It also circulates in the blood, indicating that cancers are attempting to spread or metastasize. This is also a good test to determine the development of heart disease. Because it can indicate the possibility of multiple diseases, it should not be used alone to measure the presence or the spread of cancer or heart disease. The possible range is 3.2-94.6 ng/mL and ideal range is 11.7-17.8 ng/mL. Anything above 18 ng/mL should be considered a possible movement of cells in the direction of chronic illness, especially heart disease or cancer.
  6. Oxygen test– Circulating oxygen can be measured by a finger oxygen meter. Oxygen is crucial to the production of energy in the mitochondria when oxygen and glucose are combined. If oxygen levels are low, then the mitochondria do not produce enough energy and cells are not able to function properly. As the level of oxygen drops, the seriousness of the cellular challenge increases. Circulatory restriction is usually the primary cause of reduced oxygen levels. (Finger meters use a 100-point scale and the desired level is from 96 to 100).
  7. Zinc/copper ratio: The ratio of zinc to copper is more important than the serum concentration of either one of these minerals separately. One of the most common trace-metal imbalances is elevated copper and depressed zinc, which often leads to brain related challenges. When purchasing zinc in supplement form it is important to ensure a ratio of 15 mg of zinc to one mg of copper. (In terms of blood tests the desirable ratio is between 0.70-1.00).
  8. Curcumin- It is very difficult to achieve effective cellular repair if there is inflammation in the body. Curcumin has major anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties and is also known to help in the repair of damaged tissue. Curcumin also boosts brain-derived neurotrophic factor, which has improved brain function in brain related illnesses such as dementia and Alzheimer’s. (Blood test to use is the one for C-reactive protein that measures inflammation levels).
  9. Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide (NAD)- NAD is a molecule in the niacin (vitamin B3) family of nutrients that plays a key role in the cellular aging process. Its role is as a coenzyme or helper molecule in many biological processes. As our cells go through the normal cell replacement process, there are a few checkpoints in this cycle where everything must be perfectly aligned to allow for a health new cell to be produced. NAD plays a key role in insuring that all cellular systems are working efficiently in this replacement cycle. If nutrition, sleep, stress, toxins and exercise are all at optimal levels, then having good NAD levels provides the insurance for excellent cellular replacement. This replacement process also occurs when cells have been damaged as is the case with the cells of COVID-19 patients. (Possible blood plasma level of vitamin B3 are 0.50-8.45 ug/mL)

A Few Words about Exercise, Insulin Sensitivity, and Effects of Sugar on Immunity

Exercise plays a crucial role in the effective delivery of nutrients in the body, as well as the functional ability of cells to do their job. When people exercise, the insulin receptors on all cells increase in number and sensitivity. Insulin receptors are responsible for capturing the glucose and insulin travelling together in the bloodstream to be taken into cells for energy production.

When people do not exercise on a regular basis, these insulin receptors go to sleep and are not able to bring the glucose and insulin into cells. As a result, cells cannot do their jobs well enough and become stressed and weakened. This makes them vulnerable to pathogens such as the COVID-19 virus. This also causes sugar to continue circulating in the body causing oxidative stress and damage to blood vessels and key organs.

As a final insult, this circulating sugar can enter the white blood cells, which are a key component of the  immune system. This can happen because the white blood cells need vitamin C in them to be strong and do their job at fighting infections. If there is not enough vitamin C in the body, sugar can  take its place because sugar and vitamin C have similar molecular structures. If this unfortunate exchange happens, the immune system can be weakened by as much as 75%. The bottom-line message is to ensure everyone gets 30-45 minutes of exercise every day and eat as little sugar as possible. 

Summary

Over 50 scientists and medical doctors have now reviewed the protocol and have endorsed it because the science makes sense to them. Sometimes that is the best way when we are facing an emergency. Long drawn out double-blind placebo controlled studies are too expensive and time consuming in situations such as this. Overall, the risks associated with this cellular repair protocol are low, and the potential benefits are high.

PEER REVIEWS

“One of the best science-based COVID protocols based on Functional Medicine I have seen. The ability to personalize COVID care for our patients based on diagnostic testing is ideal, and Charles Bens’ COVID protocol offers this ability. Working with an experienced practitioner to oversee care in light of an individual’s clinical history is advised, but this offers a science-based approach to reduce associated inflammation and assist organ repair, energy metabolism, and immunity to help individuals who want to prevent COVID, reduce damage due to COVID, and/or restore health after COVID. ” ~ Ruth Lininger M.D., MPH, Medical Director, Integrative Path, Chapel Hill, NC

“Dr. Bens has developed an excellent cellular repair and recovery protocol for a vast majority of COVID long hauler patients. This science-based strategy may need to be upgraded for patients with a very weak immune system such as the cancer patients that I see every day. For these patient’s I would recommend adding hydrogen oxygen inhalation, repurposed prescription medications, customized-compounded flavonoids and injectable peptides. These  science-based components add additional organ repair capabilities in highly immune compromised patients”. ~ Daniel Thomas, DO, MSc, Integrative Oncologist, Mt. Dora, Fl.   

“I received it (Dr. Bens’ article- An Emerging Crisis Exposed by the COVID Pandemic”) and it’s a great article. I do endorse everything you wrote! I don’t think I could add anything that would make it better”. Dr. Rona has written several books and hundreds of articles on a wide range of chronic illnesses and is recognized as the leading authority in Canada for the promotion of functional and integrative medicine.~ Zoltan Rona, M.D., MSc, Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada  

(Caution: This article does not replace the advice of your own doctor. Please consult your healthcare practitioner regarding the use of any nutritional supplements to ensure they are safe and appropriate for your use.)

REFERENCES

  1. B Vitamins for Repair of Nerve Damage- B Vitamins for Neuropathy and Neuropathic Pain, Geller et al., Vitamin Miner 2017, 6.2.
  2. Vitamin E for Fatty Liver Disease- Nutrition – Volume 31, Issues 7-8, July August 2015, Pages 923-930.
  3. Co-enzyme Q10 for Kidney Disease- Singh R.B., et al. Randomized, double blind, placebo controlled trial of coenzyme Q10 in patients with end-stage renal failure.  JNatr Environ Med 2003; 13:13-22.
  4. Curcumin for the Repair of DNA DamageCurcumin prevents DNA damage and enhances the repair potential in the chronically arsenic-exposed human population in West Bengal, India, European Journal of Cancer Prevention, March 2011- Volume 20-Issue 2, PP 123-131.
  5. Vitamin C for Disease Prevention and DNA Repair- Two Faces of Vitamin C- Antioxidative and Pro-Oxidative Agent- Nutrients 2020, 12(5), 1501
  6. Zinc for the Repair of Cell Membranes and Protection of Cell Replacement Process- Journal of Biological Chemistry, May 29, 2015, 290, 13830-13839.
  7. Vitamin D for the Prevention of Disease and the Repair of Cellular Damage- Vitamin D Deficiency: Effects of Oxidative Stress, Epigenetics, Gene Regulation, and Aging, Biology, 2019 Jun; 8(2); 30.
  8. Molecular Hydrogen for Cellular Protection and Repair in the Respiratory System, Brain, Circulatory System, Heart, Liver and Intestines Molecular Hydrogen: A Preventive and Therapeutic Medical Gas for Various Diseases, Oncotarget, Sep 21, 2017.
  9. Specific Pro-resolving Mediators for Repair of Cellular Damage in the Lungs, Eyes, Brain, Pancreas and intestines- Resolving Inflammation by using Nutrition Therapy: Roles for Specialized Pro-Resolving Mediators, CurrOpin Cli NutrMeta Care, April 4, 2018.
  10. Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide (NAD) to Protect the Cellular Repair and Modified Citrus Pectin for the repair of Damaged Cells in the Brain, Kidneys, Circulatory System and the Intestinal SystemModified citrus pectin anti-metastatic properties: One bullet, multiple targets, Carbohydr Res.,
  11. Pycynogenol for the Repair of Cells in the Brain and the kidneys, as well as the Reduction of Excessive Blood Clotting- Evaluation of the effects of Pycnogenol (French maritime pine bark extract) supplementation on inflammatory biomarkers and nutritional and clinical status in traumatic brain injury patients in an intensive care unit: A randomized clinical trial protocol, Trials, 2020; 21: 162.
  1. Berberine for Increased Cellular Energy, DNA Damage Repair and Apoptosis- Berberine in Cardiovascular and Metabolic Diseases: From Mechanisms to Therapeutics, Theranostics, 2019; 9(7): 1923-1951.  
  2. Magnesium for Increased Cellular Energy and DNA Repair in All Cells, Dietary Magnesium and DNA Repair Capacity as Risk Factors for Lung Cancer, Carcinogenesis, 2008 May; 19(5): 949-956.
  3. Probiotics to Inhibit Pathogen Growth, Induce Mucosal Defense Mechanisms and Tissue Repair Mechanisms, Probiotics or Pro-healers: The Role of Beneficial Bacteria in Tissue Repair, World Repair Regener. 2017 Nov; 25(6): 912-922.
  4. Olive Leaf Extract for Controlling Pathogen Growth, Inflammation and DNA Damage- Olive Leaf Extract Attenuates Inflammatory Activation and DNA Damage in Human Arterial Endothelial Cells, Front Cardiovasc Med. 2019; 6: 56.
  5. Enzymes as Key Elements in the Cellular Repair Process- Metabolic Repair Enzymes Control Metabolic Damage in Glycolysis, Review. March 01, 2010, Volume 45, Issue 3, P228-243.
  6. Omega-3 Fatty Acids, National Institutes of Health-Office of Dietary Supplements, last updated October 1, 2020. Consumer fact sheet on Omega-3 Fatty Acids.
  7. The Importance of Magnesium for the cellular repair process- The Importance of Magnesium in Clinical Healthcare, Scientifica, September 28, 2017.
  8. Sugar’s negative impact on the immune system, Effects of Sugar, Salt and Distilled Water on White Blood Cells and Platelet Cells, Journal of Tumor, 2016, Vol 4, No 1.
  9. The importance of magnesium for cellular energy production, Update on the relationship between magnesium and exercise, September 2006, 19(3): 180-9.
  10. The process for repairing damaged cells, National Institutes of Health-Cellular Toxicology, ToxTutor education program, August 2018.

Charles Bens, PhD, is an internationally recognized author, speaker and consultant specializing in the fields of organizational improvement, workplace wellness and functional medicine. His creative publications and presentations have garnered praise in the form of Man of the Year recognition in the U.S. and Canada, commendation from the President of the United States and speaking engagements worldwide. He is one of the top-rated speakers for Vistage the largest CEO organization in the world. Dr. Bens has written 9 books and over 200 articles. He has written three university courses and has been named the Vail Visiting Professor by the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation. He has a wellness consulting company, Healthy At Work, in Sarasota, Florida. Please tune in to Dr. Bens’ RadioMD program Healing Trends with Doctor Bens” every Wednesday at 2 PM Eastern Time. The program describes how to find chronic illness five to ten years before it begins, and then how to prevent it. Programs can be accessed in the RadioMD library 24/7. This same type of information is available in Dr. Bens' mini book Health in Your Pocket available on his web site at drcharlesbens.com.

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  1. P
    January 28, 11:48 Paul F Beatty

    Agree with ALMOST everything Dr. Bens recommends with ONE BIG CORRECTION! First and foremost (since many cannot afford all these supplements ongoing) tell people what to STOP eating -Processed Food ! Get off sugar,processed carbs,Adulterated vegetable oils,trans fats. In other words only clean fresh food -no exceptions. Next -his ratio of omega 6 to omega 3 should be in range of 2.5 to 1. Key is the Omega 6 and 3s MUST be in CIS form because persistent viruses impair delta 6 desaturase enzyme. It is the depletion of EFA derivatives (especially GLA,DGLA,AA) from “inflammatory storm)” that has caused depletion of substrates leading to deficiency in signaling of PGE1,PGI2. Furthermore there is inhibition of 15(OH) DGLA to prevent free AA release.(feed back loop). Focus on PGE1 (including co-factors all mention here plus pacing and people will recover sooooo much faster. Omega 6 unadulterated replacing adulterated veg oils in diet is key to manipulating the eicosanoids back into balance.

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  2. D
    January 29, 18:43 Dr. Charles Bens

    Response to Paul F. Beatty. First and foremost thanks for taking the time to read the article and for your general agreement with the protocol. I did mention eating the Mediterranean Diet and cutting out sugar and alcohol, even too much sugar from fruit. Supplements may be expensive , but they are the only way to increase nutrients to the therapeutic levels necessary to achieve cellular repair and recovery levels. Omega 3/6 ratio can be at a lower level such as 2.5 to 1, however they were not intended to be the primary control factor for the inflammatory storm. SPM and H2 play a more dominant role in my protocol in this regard. Thanks again for your thoughtful comments.

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  3. P
    March 12, 23:54 Patrick

    Greetings Dr Bens,
    I’m glad I found this article as it gives me something to try to aid in my recovery and your explanation for each item and the role it plays in the protocol was very informative.
    Has there been any more case studies since the release of this article ? If so, how do the numbers look in terms of people improving ?

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  4. D
    March 15, 13:05 Dr. Charles Bens

    Hi Patrick,
    Thanks for your question. Since this is not a controlled trial results come in on a random basis. Several people have used the protocol since July 2020 and all who stayed on the protocol, as recommended, have fully recovered. Also, 50 doctors have reviewed the protocol for scientific validity as part of a peer review, and all agreed it was an appropriate treatment. Hundreds could have used it, but did not report the results. No one has said that it did not work. I hope this helps. Two caveats; the protocol works better if it is followed as written, and maintained for 3 to 5 months after symptoms stop. Thanks again for your questions. Best regards, Dr. Bens

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    • P
      March 27, 15:44 Patrick

      Hello Dr Bens,
      Thank you very much for the reply. One more question as I am close to acquiring all items. The sequential order of vitamins vs list given for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Are supposed to take the items from the sequential list and consume them at the proper meal time ? If so, how long should each phase be implemented for before moving to the next ?
      Or do we just take everything and consume them at proper meal times ?

      Thank you.

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      • D
        March 29, 13:23 Dr. Charles Bens

        Hello Patrick,
        Thanks for your question. The supplements are best taken with meals as shown. Some are repeated during the day to ensure optimal dosage and synergy. FYI, people who are long haulers beyond 2 months can benefit from IV treatments such as hydrogen peroxide, vitamin C and glutathione to help jump start the immune response and bush back the virus. The protocol can usually be continued during the IV treatments. Always check with your doctor because everyone has different epigenetics and existing conditions. Hope this is helpful.
        Best regards. Dr. B.

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  5. L
    March 18, 15:48 Larry

    What brand supplements are recommended? As a COVID long hauler I would like to try this. Are supplements from Swansons as effective as other brands? Is Qunol CoQ10 better then Natures Bounty? Should I worry about brand or just look for the most cost effective?

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    • C
      March 20, 11:36 Cadegan

      Hello Larry, Dr. Bens is based in the U.S. so the brands he uses would be American. If you are based in Canada, go to a good health food store and ask for their brand recommendations. We like Naka, AOR, and CanPrev brands as they are locally made and have a proven track record of quality.

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      • D
        March 29, 13:39 Dr. Charles Bens

        Hi Cadegan,
        Thanks for your suggestion to Larry. Please see mine as well. I’m not as familiar with the Canadian brands as I should be. I hope he finds his way to better health.
        All the best, Dr. Bens

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    • D
      March 29, 13:36 Dr. Charles Bens

      Hello Larry,
      Thanks for your question. Some brands are better than others. I tried to include some explanations on quality in the protocol. I have a dispensary on my website with Fullscript. Click on the Canadian flag for access. Sometimes quality comes with a higher price, but it’s usually worth it. For example, Metagenics is very high quality for their Ultra Potent Vitamin C Powder and other products like Specialized Proresolving Mediators. Pecta Sol is a good brand for Modified Citrus Pectin. If you have other specific questions I will try to respond at soon as I can. Please remember to check with your doctor as you go forward with the protocol. Hope this is helpful. All the best, Dr. B.

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