There is an abundance of data supporting our recommendation to take vitamin D, vitamin C, quercetin and zinc supplements each day. The details can be found in a previously published post, “Key Supplements for Use During the Coronavirus Pandemic”. Please check it out, if you haven’t already.
It is important to note that prophylaxis comes in two forms.
Primary prophylaxis focuses on trying to stop healthy people from getting sick (i.e. – reducing chance of infection). Secondary prophylaxis focuses on preventing sick people from getting worse (i.e. – modulating the inflammatory response known as the ‘cytokine storm’ that often precedes more severe illness). All of the supplements below have data showing both types of effects in relation to COVID-19.
The recommended dose for vitamin D, vitamin C, quercetin and zinc, along with all of the necessary co-factors for proper absorption and metabolism can be found in the following three products:
Quercetin-Ascorbate (Designs for Health)
- 1 gram (1/4 tsp) provides:
- 500mg Vitamin C (ascorbic acid)
- 500mg Quercetin
- Once daily. There is some evidence that higher doses can be helpful, so feel free to take twice daily.
Vitamin D Complex (Designs for Health)
- 1 capsule provides:
- 2,000 IU Vitamin D3
- Plus, fat-soluble vitamins that should be taken with Vitamin D to ensure absorption and proper balance of those nutrients:
- Vitamins A, K1, K2
- Vitamin E (in mixed tocopherol form)
- Take 1 or 2 daily, depending on your current vitamin D level. If you’ve not had a recent blood test for vitamin D, take 2 daily. When possible, testing is recommended, and a blood level of 40-60 ng/mL is the target.
Zinc Complex (Designs for Health)
- 1 capsule provides:
- 30mg Zinc
- Other nutrients needed for adequate zinc absorption:
- Vitamins B2 and B6
- Molybdenum, Taurine and Malic Acid
- Take 1 daily. Long-term supplementation with less than 40mg a day is safe, but higher amounts may block copper absorption, so please limit yourself to one a day.
Keep in mind these recommended amounts are based on the data supporting COVID-19 prophylaxis, not the RDAs (recommended daily allowances), which are different. Also, to aid digestion and absorption, I recommend taking all nutraceuticals and supplements with meals.
When evaluating supplements, it is important to look not just at the amount of the ingredient in question, but also for the inclusion of other ingredients, or co-factors, that allow for proper absorption and metabolism of the target ingredient. For example, vitamin D taken without adequate K1 and K2 can increase the risk of calcium being improperly deposited in the arteries. And vitamin C without a flavonoid like quercetin will not be properly absorbed. For years, we’ve partnered with Designs for Health because they are leaders in the field in assessing the research around such concerns.
If you choose to use Designs for Health products, we offer them at prices 20 to 35% less than can be found on Amazon. Simply visit our online store, set up an account, and use the code ‘eastbay20’ to get the discount, as well as free shipping. And, of course, you can also find the products discounted at our clinic. If you choose not to use Designs for Health, there are other great companies out there. Just do your research and don’t be fooled by low prices and large amounts of the often-inexpensive target ingredient, without the addition of necessary co-factors.