In this article I have attempted to list foods that have compounds proven through scientific study to modulate the Cytokine response, have immune modulating qualities, and are also anti-virals, possibly preventing a cytokine storm. For each compound listed I include multiple studies. What I have found to be a common theme is that when these compounds are given in advance of an anticipated cytokine increase they have been proven to modulate the effect. My thoughts here are that if we anticipate the possibility of a future cytokine storm with the Novel Coronavirus, a patient can take these compounds in advance just like the studies provided. To see my prior hypothesis see this link. It is listed in two parts the one linked here contains the link to the first. Below is the study on foods and supplements containing Cytokine modulating compounds.
This is for those who have not gotten sick yet, could this play a part in helping to flatten the curve?
Feel free to share or use any of this in any way you wish. You are free to edit, or rewrite it as your own. I have compiled this information for the benefit of all. My only intent is to help save lives.
I will attempt to share some things that I think could be helpful. I will try to share those that are the safest. Before you try anything please ask your doctor, and do your research. Always check to see if there could be possible drug interactions if you are on medication, or if you have certain health conditions such as heart, high blood pressure, or diabetes. Do a search to see if there could be any adverse effects. Many natural products can interfere with medications, and health conditions.
I also would never recommend high dosages of any of these supplements. I myself would not feel comfortable taking high doses of anything, unless I was really sick. Also if you try any of these don’t try them all at once. You never know how your body will react with something, take it in a low dose to ease your body into it. If one thing seems to not feel right, then stop taking it and try one of the others on the list. There are so many things we can take. Listen to your body. Be gentle with yourself. You only have this one body, and your health is one of the most precious things you have.
Here is a wonderful reference that can help you know which nutrients can be taken together. This will come in handy!
If you are pregnant consult with your doctor, there are several supplements that can harm your unborn baby. Do not try any of these without the advice of your physician.
The first nutrient I will cover is vitamin C because I believe it is one of the safest. In China and South Korea they are experimenting with this, they are giving high intravenous doses to people in the ICU who are on life support. Many people hear that and think they should also take high doses. But keep in mind these people are in a bad way, and it requires much higher doses to help them. If you are not yet sick I would imagine that just taking a normal every day dose would be sufficient. But I am not an expert and I could be wrong. I myself take anywhere from 250 mg a day up to 1,000 mg on some days, just what ever I feel is right for that day. Personally I don’t feel like my body does very well with anything above the 500 mg, certainly we are all different.
It has been found that critical care patients often have very low vitamin C plasma levels. So it could be that just having a normal amount in our system might be sufficient. There are many people who don’t get proper nutrients. Many eat junk food and not many fruits and vegetables and that could lead to lacking certain nutrients.
The best way that we can get our nutrients is from natural sources, our bodies recognize these much better than when we take them in the supplement form.
Here is a list of natural foods that are high in vitamin C. There is also supplementation, there are several different kinds of vitamin C supplements on the market. I have heard that a good type is called Liposomal, and another L ascorbic acid. You will have to do your own research, and go with what feels right. I am not selling anything, so I don’t want to give links to any brands here.
One thing to keep in mind is when you get these nutrients in their natural form such as a lemon or Oranges you are getting more than just vitamin C, you are getting tons of other micronutrients along with them. When we take vitamin C supplements, they can deplete the magnesium in your body, so it may be necessary to take a magnesium supplement. You can also consider magnesium rich foods. If your magnesium levels get depleted it can lead to undesirable side effects such as headaches, and muscle cramps. I would say if you do opt to take the vitamin C supplements to make sure to take magnesium along with it.
Here are some possible interactions for existing health conditions such as high blood pressure and so on. There is said to be some risk of kidney stones in those who take high doses.
Some studies have shown Vitamin C to inhibit cytokine production. In this particular study marathon runners were the subjects, they were given vitamin C supplementation for a week prior to the test and it proved to have an effect on lowering the cytokine response. They found that right after the marathon cytokine levels were elevated. They gave one of the control groups vitamin C for a week prior to the race, that group showed lower cytokine levels after the race, than the group who did not supplement.
What implications does a study like that have with this Novel Coronavirus? We know that those who die from the virus, do not die from the virus, but rather from the cytokine storm when their body tries to fight the virus. What if just like the marathon runners we took a simple supplement like vitamin C, and it played a role in inhibiting that deadly cytokine response in those who contracted the virus? We know in advance that a cytokine response is possible, could we take measures to slow that response, possibly saving our lives?
Vitamin C does much more than inhibit cytokines, it has powerful antioxidant functions. Not only that it is known to produce anti-inflammatory cytokines.
Vitamin D is currently being tested in China, in patients who have the coronavirus. My first recommendation on this one is to simply get 15 to 20 minutes of direct sunlight per day. That is the best way of all to get your vitamin D, Mother nature has given us the perfect way to get this essential prohormone. If you can’t then the next best thing is a supplement. I highly recommend you take D3 with K2 in it. The K2 is vital, when we take vitamin D it can cause calcium build up in your soft tissues, the K2 helps it to go to the bones where it belongs. This makes it much safer.
I would also highly recommend that if you do supplement with vitamin D that you also supplement with Magnesium.
In this study you will see it has been found that Vitamin D inhibits inflammatory cytokines. This study also speaks about the cytokine inhibiting properties of Vitamin D. In this study you will see how researchers found the Vitamin D receptor binds to DNA activating a gene that interferes with the cascade of cytokines. This has huge implications for helping to save lives with this Novel Coronavirus.
Here is a wonderful video featuring Dr John Cannell, on the benefits of vitamin D for the immune system, and much more.
If you decide to supplement always ask your doctor. I cannot recommend a dosage as that may not be the same for everyone. I would however recommend to get a blood test to see where your levels are at. That would tell you how much you need to take. If it is low you would take a higher dose than if you had good levels. Personally I take 5,000 IU’s, but not every single day, sometimes I take a day off here and there.
Also there are some people who have trouble processing Vitamin D in their body because they do not have the proper gut bacteria. I myself was one of those people. I took Vitamin D for years and my levels simply wouldn’t go up. I started eating Kimchi which is fermented cabbage that has the good bacteria, and my levels went up within a month. If you happen to be one of those people who have trouble getting your levels up perhaps probiotics could help. I myself prefer natural over pharmaceutical, but just make your own judgements on that. Here is the Wikipedia on Probiotics.
There are medications that can interact with vitamin D do your research before you supplement.
Vitamin D can cause side effects in some people with certain health conditions, talk to your doctor.
WARNING: There has been reports of Vitamin D harming unborn babies in pregnant mothers. Do your research.
Vitamin E has been studied extensively, In this study on Osteopetrosis, it was found to be a powerful antioxidant that neutralizes free radicals suppressing cytokine production. Here is another interesting study that found the natural form of Vitamin E rich in Palm Oil was consistent with inhibiting proinflammatory cytokines in both animal and human subjects. I will include another study here, there are many that have been done on Vitamin E, but this one is promising in relation to the Coronavirus. This particular study suggests it has a role for supplementation in patients at risk of systematic inflammatory response, which is the body’s response to an infectious, or non infectious insult.
The good news is that there are tons of foods that we can eat that are rich in Vitamin E. There are many oils, and it looks like Sunflower seeds may be near the top of the list. What a wonderful way to incorporate cytokine inhibitors into your diet. Here is another very informative link.
There are warnings that say normally we can get enough vitamin E in our diet, and that in some cases supplementing can be dangerous.
There are reports that Vitamin E can conflict with vitamin K, and D. I find that to be slightly dangerous. If the vitamin E were to cancel out the vitamin K that could make vitamin D dangerous. This is one of those cases where the advice of an expert is in order. I would say if it were me I would choose one or the other vitamin D or E. Some people can’t take one but can the other so this is good, it gives people options.
More on medication interactions.
WARNING: If you are pregnant do your research, there are some reports that taking this supplement can harm your unborn baby. Some links say there is no evidence and others say yes.
Ginger is an amazing cytokine inhibitor. Ginger has been used for centuries for it’s anti inflammatory affects. It shares pharmacological properties with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, it has been shown to have a better therapeutic profile with fewer side effects. In this amazing study marathon runners were the subjects, in week 6-12 there was a noticeable reduction in inflammatory cytokines.
The study spoke of how prolonged aerobic exercise induces a large systematic inflammatory response, this can lead to a compromised immune system that can lead to infection. In the study it was found that if the athletes took ginger for 6 weeks prior to their marathon it would significantly reverse that negative cytokine response. Here is another study that was performed on mice, this study showed great promise for clinical use as a cytokine inhibitor.
Once again like many of the other studies, taking these cytokine inhibitors in advance of a time you know that you will have an increased cytokine response, will greatly reduce the cytokine response when the time comes. The implications for this, in regards to saving lives with the coronavirus are tremendous.
There are many ways that you can incorporate Ginger into your diet, one of the easiest ways is to make a tea. Here is a recipe, but do NOT use the honey, it increases cytokines and would compromise your health with the coronavirus. Here is a link that talks about different ways you can eat it.
Ginger is a natural blood thinner, so consult with your physician if you are on any blood thinners or blood pressure, or diabetic medications. This can interact with other medications do your research, if you scroll down on the linked article a bit there is some information about drug interactions, some can be serious. I would do research beyond this link.
For pregnant mothers consult with your physician.
Lycopene has been studied and proven to be a cytokine inhibitor. In this study it states that simple dietary supplementation can improve Lycopene status even in those who suffer from malabsorption. This is wonderful news. Eating Lycopene rich foods are all that is needed here. For further research I will include here a secondary study. It states that Lycopene functions as a very potent antioxidant to suppress the induction of inflammatory cytokines.
Tomatoes are at the top of the list, tomatoes are in so many different foods. Whether you just eat a tomato, or some spaghetti sauce or even ketchup you are getting the good stuff. There are several others as well such as Papayas, Watermelon, Asparagus, Carrots, Mangoes, and Grape fruit, the list goes on. Please see this wonderful link.
In my opinion this holds great promise. There are everyday foods we can eat that can help us in this crisis. This one has little side effects as long as you don’t have a food allergy then consume away, and enjoy yourself while doing so. You can have the satisfaction of knowing you are eating food that not only gives you nutrition but can possibly save your life.
Here is a list for medication interactions, and guess what there aren’t any. Lycopene is safe. I was so happy to say that.
Garlic has been long used for it’s medicinal benefits, it has antiviral properties, it is also known to be a cytokine modulator. The compounds in Garlic have been found to have a beneficial effect against microbial infections, as well as protecting the heart, having anti-cancer properties. On top of these amazing benefits it brings a flavor and zeal to your meal like nothing else. When eaten in it’s natural form there are little chances of side effects. However you can supplement if you wish.
Omega 3 has been researched and has been found to show cytokine inhibiting properties. In this study subjects with Crohn’s disease were given Omega 3, it was shown to have immunomodulatory effects. In this link there are several studies that have been done on the effects of Omega 3, in one study mice were given Omega 3, along with calorie restriction. The results revealed an increase of lifespan, and a decrease in pro-inflammatory cytokines. However, the results were considered inconclusive and stated more studies are needed. There are many such studies that can be found where results show Omega 3’s anti-inflammatory effects. This cytokine inhibiting compound holds promise.
The wonderful thing about Omega 3 is you can get it in your diet. Flax seeds, and Chia seeds, and Salmon seem to be at the top of the list. Here is a list of 10 different foods that contain Omega 3. Please don’t end your search there, you will find many more such sites with a quick internet search. One food not included in that list is hemp hearts, although they are not as high as that of flax seeds they should not be discounted.
You can also supplement if you wish. It is up to you, as always there is less potential for side effects when you get your nutrients from a natural food source vs a supplement.
There are drug interactions with Omega 3’s. The most notable interactions are with those that thin the blood. Taking Omega 3’s can lead to bleeding for those on blood thinners. Here is another link. Do your research on this.
Omega 3 can also interact with some health conditions, those with arrhythmias, and liver disease.
For pregnant mothers do your research studies do suggest that Omega 3’s can be beneficial. Here is one link, but don’t end your search here.
Green tea has been found to be a powerful Cytokine inhibitor. Not just green tea but Black tea as well. These contains EGCG a catechin that is a powerful antioxidant with anti-cancer properties. That relaxing cup of tea just got interesting. Here is an in depth study that covers the many benefits of Green tea. It is nothing short of amazing.
I do want to say that in the case of green tea I can only recommend it in it’s natural form. I read one story in the past of a man who took supplements and had liver failure. Because of this I would never recommend the supplement form.
Here is a very well written article on the possible side effects with Green Tea.
Pregnant mothers do your research. This article says it is safe, but don’t end your research with this one article. Some articles do say there could be some side effects. My advice would be to ask your Doctor.
Cat’s Claw is also a powerful cytokine inhibitor, and immunomodulator. Many studies have been conducted on this powerful plant. Cat’s Claw is a tropical vine found mostly in the Amazon rainforest. This amazing vine has been found to have anti-viral properties, immunological effects, as well as being an anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory.
You can get Cat’s Claw in supplement form, but I will not recommend that here. You can get this in a tea form. I feel that is the safest way to take it, I am not an expert though. I have taken this, to heal myself and I found the tea alone to have powerful effects.
Cat’s Claw could have some side effects, as well as some medication interactions. It also works as a mild blood thinner. This could be dangerous if you are on blood thinners or diuretics. Pleas do more research and ask your physician.
Cat’s Claw could act as a mild contraceptive, women who wish to have children should not take this.
WARNING: Pregnant mothers should NOT take cats claw. See above link.
The best thing we can do is eat a healthy diet. Make sure you are up on your basic nutrients. I am currently working on a new article to explain this in depth. (stay tuned) You can see this new article here.
There are many other natural foods and supplements that you can take to modulate your immune system. There are some that I wasn’t sure of so I left them out, but feel free to search on your own. My goal here was to share the ones that seemed the safest.