Personalize Your COVID-19 Prevention With An Orthomolecular Approach

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Vitamin C has 11 antiviral mechanisms and should be the first line of defense against any viral disease including COVID-19

Much has been said on how to prevent infection by the Sars-Cov2 coronavirus (COVID-19). Washing hands, using sanitizers, keeping physical distance, wearing a mask are all good primary prevention advice, but it may be said that a virus anywhere is a virus everywhere. The Sars-Cov2 that produces the COVID-19 seems to have certain particularities such as being highly infectious, surviving for long periods of time on different surfaces, and a fairly fast mutation rate, all which enhance the chances of getting infected and it lasting more than usual for a viral infection. Like the flu virus, COVID-19 is transmitted from infected people to others via respiratory fluids.

So what can we do? Most of the individuals that actually get complications when infected by Sars-Cov2 have a compromised immune system, apparently due to two main factors:

  1. Co-morbidities (obesity, diabetes, cancer, heart disease).
  2. Nutrient insufficiencies or deficiencies.

The immune system is one of the most complex systems in our body requiring multiple metabolic steps for its proper functioning. Moreover, its multiple metabolic steps require many enzymes which need numerous cofactors (vitamins and minerals). If these cofactors are not provided in an optimal level, the immune system will not be capable of responding properly to defend us from invading organisms and viruses.

The Sars-Cov2 coronavirus is an RNA virus with spikes on its capsid or protein coat. The virus spike protein utilizes angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) as its cell surface receptor and affects organs such as lung, intestine and heart with high numbers of these receptors.

The most common clinical manifestations of COVID-19 are fever, cough, and dyspnea (shortness of breath). Other reported symptoms include sore throat, myalgia, fatigue, headache, and diarrhea. Loss of smell and taste have also been reported as distinctive features of this viral disease. Most of the critical and fatal damage that occurs with this infection is due to the cytokine storm induced by the virus.

The cytokine storm refers to an excessive and uncontrolled release of pro-inflammatory cytokines that significantly upregulate reactive oxidative species that destroy the tissues. In infectious diseases, the cytokine storm usually originates from the infected area, spreading through the bloodstream. Damage has been reported to the alveoli in the lungs where the gas exchange between O2 and CO2 occurs, to the vascular systems that carries O2 through all the body, and to the red blood cells that transport the O2.

This explains why respiratory distress and sepsis occurs in a number of COVID-19 patients that increases their need for intensive care and respirators, and risk of death. Scavengers of reactive oxygen species, such as vitamin C and other antioxidants, can play an important role in minimizing the cytokine storm and preventing tissue damage. But in doing so, the level of vitamin C can be rapidly depleted if not replenished.

To prevent tissue damage and lower the risk of death, we must prepare the immune system to function quickly and more effectively! Only by having a prepared and strong immune system will you be able to protect yourself and reduce your infection risk. So here are a few recommendations to optimize your immune system to help you fight more effectively any viral infection. This protocol will not prevent you from becoming infected but will provide your body with necessary cofactors to ameliorate many of the serious complications of the disease.

Orthomolecular COVID-19 Prevention Protocol


Follow a diet rich in whole foods high in antioxidants (Citrus fruits, Yogurt, Almonds, Spinach, Garlic and onions, Ginger, Broccoli, Red bell peppers, etc.)

  • Diet low in sugar and low in simple and refined carbohydrates
  • Limit processed foods
  • Eat more vegetables, fruits and nuts.
  • Hydrate well with water! (Your weight in lb. divided by 16 gives you the number of 8 oz cups daily intake)
  • (Editor’s note: Keep some MRES (ready to eat meals) in stock – just in case.)


  • Sleep 8 hours
  • Exercise at least 3 times a week
  • Relaxation: Meditate, Listen to music, Read a book

Recommended supplementation (basic): Take immune-optimizing supplements. There are a number of supplements you can take that will improve your immunity to disease.

  1. Multivitamin and mineral, one daily
  2. Vitamin C 1,000 mg, three times daily, reduce if it causes laxative effect.
  3. Vitamin D 2,000 – 5,000 IU daily depending on body weight, 10,000 IU daily for the first 2 weeks
  4. Zinc 30 mg daily
  5. Magnesium 500 mg daily (in malate, citrate, or chloride form)
  6. Selenium 200 mcg daily (also contained in many multivitamin supplements)
  7. Probiotics >30 billion a day
  8. Quercetin 500 mg daily
  9. NAC (N-Acetyl-Cysteine) 500 mg daily
  10. Melatonin 1-5 mg daily, depending on individual tolerance and need

Other suggested supplements: Echinacea, astragalus, rhodiola, maitake, shitake, ginger, garlic, elderberry, vitamin A, lipoic acid, CoQ10, vitamin E (mixed tocopherols with all four tocotrienols).

On Vitamin C as an Antiviral

Vitamin C has 11 antiviral mechanisms and should be the first line of defense against any viral disease including COVID-19. Vitamin C has worked against every single virus including influenza, pneumonia, and even poliomyelitis. COVID-19 is a very serious contagious disease. But contagion to a virus largely depends on the susceptibility of the host.

It is well established that low vitamin C levels increase susceptibility to viruses. It must be emphasized that only 200 mg of vitamin C per day resulted in an 80% decrease in deaths among severely ill, hospitalized respiratory disease patients. Drs. Frederick R. Klenner and Robert F. Cathcart successfully treated influenza and pneumonia with very high doses of vitamin C.

A coronavirus pandemic can be stopped with the immediate widespread use of high doses of vitamin C. Acute organ failure, especially pulmonary failure (acute respiratory distress syndrome, ARDS) is the main cause of COVID-19 fatality. As mentioned above, significantly increased oxidative stress due to the rapid release of free radicals and cytokines etc. is the hallmark of ARDS which leads to cellular injury, organ failure and death.

Induced scurvy

All the effects caused by the attack of Sars-Cov-2 on the body involve depletion of ascorbic acid. When the body no longer has sufficient ascorbic acid due to stress from disease, the body acquires the condition called “induced scurvy” in which it can longer maintain its organs. In scurvy, bleeding from damaged capillaries and organ failure occurs everywhere throughout the body. Depletion of ascorbic acid also results in the failure of the immune system, and disables recuperation of metabolic function, which may lead to severe and lethal pathologies such as ARDS, sepsis and multiple organ failure.

A rapid application of high dose intravenous vitamin C can reverse induced scurvy, stop the cytokine storm, and ultimately save the lives of critically ill COVID-19 patients. While Medical authorities are obsessively focusing on searching for a vaccine and/or drug for COVID–19, in vitamin C we have an existing, effective, clinically demonstrated method to treat what coronavirus patients die from: severe acute respiratory syndrome, or pneumonia.

[Editor’s note: The information in this article is not meant to replace the advice of your doctor. Please consult with your personal physician before making any adjustments to your health care routine.]


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Dr. Michael J. Gonzalez is Professor at the Nutrition Program, School of Public Health in the Medical Sciences Campus, University of Puerto Rico and Adjunct faculty at the Universidad Central del Caribe. Dr. Gonzalez is a Fellow of the American College of Nutrition, and has authored over 250 scientific publications. He has served as a member on several scientific Editorial Boards. Doctors Gonzalez, Miranda-Massari and Saul’s book “I Have Cancer What Should I do: The Orthomolecular Guide to Cancer Management” provides evidence based recommendations for an integrative approach for those dealing with cancer and seeking to improve quality of life and survival. In 2014 they published the book” New Insights Vitamin C and Cancer” for Springer-Larger.

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