Note: I am not a physician. I cannot back any of this up against a random controlled trial or even lab testing since I am unwilling to provide "formal" test results into a system that can and will be used to fuck me down the road. Thus, absent emergent need, I permit no such thing to occur, and there have been no emergent needs in my adult life.
As a result I do not know my serum Vitamin D level, for example. I do know, however, a number of metabolic things about my person that I can test on my own with available and inexpensive items I can purchase over the counter or online, such as blood glucose, A1c, blood pressure and several elements of kidney function (urine test strips are available OTC and provide quite a bit of information.)
Until and unless I can have actual hard, enforceable privacy, with felony criminal and heavy punitive financial damages for any breach, no matter why or how, along with iron-clad and lifetime statutory guarantees that such cannot be abused now or at any time during my remaining life, my position on this will not change. I am especially concerned, incidentally, with genetic-related information as that is a literal minefield for all of humanity; the potential on a forward basis to use that data in a discriminatory manner is unbounded and that we cannot typically do it today in most circumstances matters not because you can't change your genetic make up no matter what you do and thus once that data is in someone's hands it can be used to fuck you up the ass for the rest of your life. If you are one of the fools who used something like "23 and me" and you, or your offspring, get boned 20 years from now you deserve it -- I've repeatedly warned against this. By the way that company is in financial trouble if their stock price of roughly 70 cents means anything which in turn means all their data is going to end up in someone else's hands and you have no control over any of it if you previously let them have it. I warned people of this, and now it is going to happen so bend over and grab your ankles; someone, in the future, is almost-certain to screw you with that data if you gave them a sample.
YOU, AND ONLY YOU, are responsible for your own health. I sell nothing. I stand to gain nothing by sharing this information. It is by definition an N = 1 test on one person (me) with one observer of the results (me) and said observations are limited in time to no further along than the present. I could easily be wrong, but it is my ass, my choice and this is the set of choices I've made. If you do any or all of this and get fucked its on you; this is fair warning that it is not a recommendation or a "prescription." I've read a lot of medical papers and taken the time to understand them and interpret them, then test against instrumentation I bought with my own money and against my uniquely-DNA-encoded body, which is different than every other human body, to some degree, on the planet.
Faux Snooz is of course at it again with "surprisingly simple ways to keep yourself healthy" which omit the most important -- what you put in the pie hole and your immune system's status. I do agree that activity is a very good thing and being sedentary is bad. And yes, digestion is important. But note that of course they talk about "recommended vaccinations" which of course means flu and covid and if anything those are the opposite when it comes to immunity because they are a crutch. If you get measles there won't be any question as to whether you have a serious problem or not -- right?
And of course the "crank up the stupid" has to come in through "organic this and that." These cocksuckers never passed organic chem, I see -- so what are they -- diversity doctors? Probably. Why? Some of the nastiest chemicals on the planet are organic which makes sense if you think about it for five seconds; being organic they can interfere with you as an organism quite easily. And of course they entirely omit the Granddaddy of immunity that in fact is likely the most-important of all, Vitamin D, which is impossible to get from the sun if you're indoors, it is impossible to get enough of it in winter for most people in the US and if you're black the problem is worse because you absorb less of it through your skin due to your pigmentation.
So pardon me if I have a jaundiced eye toward you when you ignore the biggest issue entirely and then play the "organic food" game. This is nothing more than a cheap shot at those without a huge amount of money (that "organic" steak is twice as expensive as the not, and if you eschew it for the breaded chicken tenders or the pot pie in the freezer because of cost, well.... yeah. Eat the damned steak before any of that other garbage.)
With that as a preamble here it is.
Due to the fact that roughly north of Atlanta, more or less, it is not possible to obtain adequate Vitamin D from exposure to the sun for about six months out of the year for a person of generally-white skin (the more melanin you have the further south that line goes!), Vitamin D is fat-soluble and thus in the winter all you have is that stored in the body, specifically the liver, and that during Covid we discovered that even in Central and South America most people are deficient (which was a surprise to me but it does make sense given how often people simply don't go outside these days) along with the extraordinary correlation between Vitamin D levels and fatal coronavirus infections (essentially zero persons who were not deficient died of it before any shots were available) I have taken the following daily since August of 2021:
- 5,000 IU of Vitamin D
- 100mcg of Vitamin K2
It is now nearly 2-1/2 years later and I have suffered exactly zero symptomatic respiratory infections.
The goal is to make sure that I am not severely deficient. This should do so. I am 60 and while I spend a lot of time outdoors in summer as we get older it is well-documented that your skin's capacity to make Vitamin D goes down, never mind that nobody likes getting fried and thus we tend to cover up, use sunblock or both. Statistically-speaking this level is extremely unlikely to cause problems with having too much -- and the K2 is a buffer against that, although the base risk is very small. Excessive Vitamin D levels are dangerous, including the possibility of precipitating calcium drop-out in the arteries which might be permanent, but there is quite a wide band before that area is reached. I will note for reference that at one point during the pandemic Fauci stated that he took twice this amount daily. I am uncomfortable with a higher amount and again, there is risk of possible permanent and serious damage if you go too far -- then again nearly anything is poisonous in sufficient quantity. Were I younger and active outdoors on a regular basis I would use this only from roughly October to April -- but the key here is both age and regular outdoor exposure, as that study work during Covid in Central and South America showed.
There is, by the way, an argument for adding magnesium. If you eat seafood, dairy and green vegetables you probably won't have a seriously-low level and too much is not good -- but if not you might want to add it. Just be aware that as with Vitamin D it is possible to overdose.
- Vitamin C, liposomal
I keep a stash of Vitamin C around and at the first hint of any sort of respiratory trouble I gobble it in moderate size. That is, if I feel a bit "off" at night before going to bed (e.g. a bit of a tickle in the throat, etc.) I will gobble up 3-4 grams of the liposomal form of it in capsules. I am not concerned about overdosing since it is basically impossible to do in a way that will harm you, although getting the squirts, which will happen if you take too much of it, isn't very pleasant. When I had covid I used a huge amount of it and never found that alleged "bowel tolerance", so the claims of your tolerance going way up when you're sick are, at least for me, very true. I also will take 2-3 grams of it at once one time a week simply because I do not eat much citrus and while I do routinely eat green vegetables (and they are an excellent source) they're intermittent enough that I want to make sure I have enough of it. Humans cannot synthesize ascorbate (Vitamin C) due to an error in our DNA that arose a very, very long time ago similarly to the error in feline DNA that prohibits them from synthesizing Taurine (thus they are obligate carnivores.) You have to be pretty deficient to get scurvy but there is no downside to having more than you need short of bowel tolerance, so this is a vitamin that I gobble with abandon at any, no matter how small, sign of trouble.
I do not like the "powder" form although I have a big jug of it. For routine use I am very much not a fan because Vitamin C is ascorbic acid and acid exposure is rough on the enamel of the teeth. I have crappy genetics in this regard and don't need any trouble there but if I needed extremely large doses in order to fight something off I'd deal with it for a few days. So far that jug has remained unopened (and I'm not concerned about it "expiring" either.) For the same reason I would not use chewable tablets; there's no concern about tablets or capsules you swallow as your stomach acid will trivially etch paint so once down the pipe its not a concern.
- Quercetin and Zinc
Quercetin is a flavonoid found in, among other things, grapes. It has very decent anti-inflammatory properties alone and for a lot of people (myself included) it works as well as OTC allergy meds such as Claritin. When combined with Zinc it has antiviral properties. Being a flavonoid in any reasonable amount it has a statistically tiny risk profile and thus I use it without concern, although again -- not without reason. I used to have severe seasonal allergies before I went low-carb in eating; they are now minor annoyances, but Quercetin is equally if not more effective than Claritin and unlike every OTC antihistamine I've ever tried I do not build a tolerance to it so I choose it instead in the spring, summer and fall months if I'm having allergy issues. If I have reason to believe I've been exposed to a viral thing or feel any sort of incipient trouble I hit both it and the zinc for a couple of days. Note that there is some evidence of potential drug interference with this (not significant risk, but non-zero) so if you're on prescriptions check that first.
I rarely use this today but do keep some around. There was a small retrospective study during covid out of Spain in severely compromised people (nursing home residents) that showed that immediate use of it had a very statistically significant (100%!) positive impact on preventing the infection from progressing -- with no adverse effects from the treatment. They bundled the antihistamine with Z-pak but of course that is a prescription drug. This is logical as it is an antihistamine and has a drying effect on the upper respiratory and sinus area, that is, it changes the environment in the nose, sinuses and upper throat. That appears to be enough to give the body a better shot at attacking the invading virus before it can break through and cause more-serious trouble. Prior to discovering quercetin I used to use it on a very regular basis during allergy season as part of a rotation (to evade tolerance build) so I have many years of experience taking it and know it doesn't do anything bad to me. As such it is now part of my protocol for any incipient upper respiratory infection that I feel coming on, although in the last 2-1/2 years I've only used it once for that purpose -- and didn't get actually sick. Was it a nothing or did it help? I don't know but the generic at WalMart or elsewhere is extremely cheap and very safe so having a bottle of it around is an easy thing to have on-hand. Today I would hit any incipient upper respiratory infection with it immediately given the Spanish data and its known safety profile, never mind that its trivially cheap to keep a bottle in your drawer.
Were I to get a serious respiratory infection anyway I would hit it with NAC and I keep some on hand. I do not use it all the time because there is some question as to its safety in long term continual use. However, it is known as an anti-inflammatory, immune modulator and helps with respiratory symptoms. Therefore were I to get something nasty I'd use it and have it on-hand for that reason, but would stop when the reason to use it is alleviated. Be aware that if you are using prescriptions you need to check for interactions -- some drugs have known interactions where there is reason to be concerned. I have not had reason to use this since got covid -- but I do keep it in the cabinet.
That's it. None of these are expensive, none of them pose material risk (other than possibly NAC if you are using certain prescription drugs), the Vitamin D and K2 are likely to promote a better immune profile across-the board which may extend materially beyond respiratory viruses.
In addition it is now nearly 2-1/2 years beyond when I got Covid and in the time since I have not had any respiratory virus of any symptomatic note at all. I have hit a few things that felt "off" or where my Garmin has pegged a low overnight HRV without any obvious provocation (e.g. a few beers at the bar) with the above protocol and none turned into actual illness. Statistically, for me, this is quite significant as my "usual" in my years on this rock have seen me get some sort of minor respiratory infection once or twice and more years than not a mild to moderate flu (and once in a while, a real ass-kicker such as the first week of 2020) on top of it. To go nearly 2-1/2 years with zero such illnesses is quite remarkable in my experience, yet there you have it and, given that experience, I have every intention of continuing to do so.
PS: What difference could we have made with this set of recommendations, ex perhaps the NAC, on Covid in the United States? The cost of having this on-hand is less than one "quick test" package and the cost of Vit-D and K2 supplementation is literally pennies a day. Between that and the Spanish nursing home data it is reasonable to expect that an enormous percentage, and perhaps statistically all of the people who got whacked by this virus would not have died, and few would have wound up in the hospital -- perhaps 1 in 100 who actually did. Of course nobody would have made any money and there would have been no fear of anything if that was recommended and had worked -- would there? Something to think about.