If you would like a full PDF of this article please email us.
In 2009 Dr. Mark Hyman was testifying to the US Senate's Health Committee with his colleagues Dr. Dean Ornish, Dr. Mehmet Oz and Dr. Andrew Weil. At the conclusion of the session Dr. Hyman summarized the group's testimony with this very telling quote:
"You will never solve the current
healthcare crisis if you just continue
to do the wrong things better."
Dr. Hyman was pointing to the fact that allopathic medicine treats the symptoms of chronic disease while functional medicine treats the root cause of the disease. There are over 40,000 clinical studies that support the conclusion that functional medicine is safer, more effective and less costly than allopathic medicine, and yet very little movement in that direction has occurred in recent years. Dr. David Eddy confirmed this problem with his report on the lack of effectiveness of allopathic medicine published in BusinessWeek Magazine in 2005 in an article entitled "Medical Guesswork". This article pointed to the fact that conventional medicine only has good evidence to support 20-25% of everything they do. The rest is "Medical Guesswork", which is becoming costlier and often causes additional health problems with dangerous side- effects. The past ten months of experience have only exacerbated this already bad situation. The lack of adequate treatment protocols for the COVID-19 virus has pushed the healthcare system to the breaking point. The following headlines help to illustrate the severity of this healthcare crisis.
"Profit over people, cost over care: America's broker healthcare exposed by virus."
The Guardian- Amanda Holpuch1
"Only 12 percent of American adults are metabolically healthy, study finds."
University of North Carolina2
"If Americans were healthier, we could have been better prepared for this pandemic."
Stanford University Medical School3
Americans are not very healthy, which is why over seventy percent of adults have one and often two chronic illnesses. Poor nutrition is the number one problem and this is the reason why we have one of the highest COVIC-19 infection rates in the world. In one dramatic example the National Cancer Institute survey 16, 633 people from age two to age 80 and could not find one person with a truly healthy diet. In fact, a vast majority of people were deficient in 11 out of 14 nutritional categories.4 This is further proof for the findings from the studies done by the University of North Carolina and Stanford University Medical School. The strength of our immune system is directly related to this COVID-19 pandemic, and this is the best place to begin an examination on how each person can begin to improve their own immune system.
Understanding the immune system
The COVID-19 virus has drawn attention to our immune system, but most people still do not understand it very well. The following brief primer might help to expand that understanding and perhaps even encourage more people to take steps to improve this system in order to be protected against future viruses, as well as chronic illnesses such as cancer and Alzheimer's.
- Macrophages- These relatively long cells help to both catch and attack various pathogens that enter the body.
- Neutrophils- These relatively short-lived cells form the first line of defense against an infection that kill bacteria, and then die, forming pus.
- Dendritic cells- These are the watch dogs of the immune system that direct T-cells and B-cells to target areas as needed.
- T-cells- These cells develop in the bone marrow and mature in the thymus. They help to make antibodies to attack endangered cells.
- B-cells- These cells develop and mature in bone marrow and make proteins called antibodies, that fight viruses and bacteria.
- Mast cells and basophils- These cells produce histamines that help the immune system to fight allergens.
- Natural killer (NK) cells- These are rapid-response cells that attack viruses as well as pre-cancerous and cancerous cells.
- Acquired immune system- This group of cells is responsible for evaluating complex viral and cancerous challenges and developing long-term strategies of attack.5
Where do these special immune cells come from?
There are many sources for the raw material necessary to make these special immune cells. Here are some of them:
- Glutathione and Super Oxide Dismutase- These are the body's in-house antioxidants. they decline with age and require assistance with supplements after age 40.
- Enzymes and stem cells- These cellular helpers preform many metabolic functions and also decline with age and need supplemental assistance to remain strong.
- Vitamin C- This powerful antioxidants helps to make glutathione, interferon (an anti-viral) and has been proven effective again many viruses, including polio and viral pneumonia.
- Vitamin D- This vitamin controls over 2,000 chronic illness genetic expressions and helps to produce cathelicidin (an anti-viral). It also has a long and strong track record for the prevention and treatment of most viruses and many forms of cancer.
- White blood cells- Many of the special immune cells are also called white blood cells and they are strengthened by nutrients, herbs and foods such as vitamin A, vitamin E, Vitamin C, selenium, zinc, astragulus, Olive Leaf Extract, garlic, curcumin, quercetin, alpha lipoic acid, lauricidin, B vitamins and berberine.6,7
How a strong immune system can prevent a viral infection
We are born with viruses already in our body's, five according to one study. Throughout our lives we are exposed to thousands of viruses on a daily basis, but only a few can potentially cause an infection. The rate of infection is usually dependent on the strength of the virus, as well as the strength of a person's immune system. There are several factors that contribute to the strength of a person's immune system.
- Nutrition- Follow the plant-based Mediterranean Diet. Seven to nine veggies and fruits/day.
- Avoid stress with yoga, meditation and deep breathing. Test for cortisol and take vitamin B complex. Vitamin B is depleted by stress.
- Avoid toxins like air pollution, water pollution, chemicals in the home and radiation. Test DNA damage with the 8-OHgD urine test.
- Avoid sugar- Sugar, in any form, can fill white blood cells by mistake if there is not enough vitamin C available, which is needed to strengthen white blood cells. Sugar has a similar molecules structure to vitamin C. Too much sugar in white blood cells can deplete immune strength up to as much as 75%. The GlycoMark test is the best test for sugar levels
- Sleep well- the body re-balances during sleep in a process called homeostasis. Hormones and neurotransmitters are made and toxins are removed. Homocysteine levels (Vitamin B6, vitamin B12 and folate) can measure how well the methylation process is working. This methylation process is crucial to a strong immune system.
- Exercise is important- At least 30-45 minutes of exercise every day will help to strengthen the heart and circulation system, the lungs and the detoxification process.
- Extra supplements to boost immunity- Most people cannot get all the nutrients they need from food. Any doctor who says they can, should be asked for the scientific proof: It does not exist. Most people need a multiple vitamin/mineral, vitamin C, vitamin D3, magnesium, vitamin B complex, zinc and perhaps a green powder drink every day.8,9,10,11
Specific health challenges impacting the immune system
The people most vulnerable to the COVID-19 virus are those with health challenges such as the frail elderly and anyone with an existing chronic illnesses. Even these health challenges can be placed in categories based on the level of immune challenge created. Here are some examples to these levels of challenge. Each health challenge is assigned a risk level to identify the degree of relative risk: Very high, High, Moderate, Still concerned. These relative strength evaluations are based on the authors research and observations.
Very high-risk factors
- Vitamin D3 levels - This nutrient can influence over 2000 genes related to our health, including the risk of cancer, influenza and several other chronic illnesses. (<40ng/ml)
- Intestinal disorders - A vast majority of the nutrients made in our body are created in our intestines (80%). If our intestines are dysfunctional and challenged, then nutrient production will be seriously jeopardized.
- Cancer - This disease is by far the most challenging of all the chronic illnesses. Our immune system must work harder coping with cancer than it does with any other illness.
- Frail elderly people over 65 years of age
- Chronic illness- Includes organs and systems shown to be most vulnerable to the COVID-19 virus such as kidney disease, lung disease, liver disease, diabetes, vascular disease, heart disease and diseases of the brain like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.
- Pre-disease conditions- Includes documented cases of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, pre-diabetes, early on-set dementia and obesity.
- Immune system challenges- This includes the use of prescription medications, which often deplete important nutrients and challenge the liver to breakdown the medication and remove it from the body. Also, low levels of vitamin C, under 400 micromo/L.
- Dietary factor- High sugar intake.
- Sleep levels- Consistent poor sleep patterns can cause serious health challenges.
Still concerned risk factors
- Dietary factors- Includes red meat consumption, dairy consumption, low vegetable consumption, low fruit consumption, high fried food consumption, and high processed food consumption.
- Chewing food- Not chewing food adequately can reduce the level of nutrients assimilated by the body by as much as 50%.
- Lifestyle factors- Includes tobacco use, more than one a day alcohol use, low exercise levels and low social interaction levels.
- Overweight- Even nine pounds overweight produces inflammatory cells in the body.
- Toxin exposure- At work, at home or even eating non-organic foods can create over exposure to toxins. This includes radiation from cell phones, computers etc.
- Stress levels- High daily stress can deplete B vitamins and disrupt cellular health.
- Nutritional supplements- Not taking quality nutritional supplements can create serious nutritional deficiencies since it is virtually impossible to get all of the nutrients needed on a daily basis from food alone.12,13
Long-term cellular damage: A COVID-19 medical crisis
To make matters worse, 60 Minutes reported on November 22, 2020 many COVID patients are continuing to experience serious symptoms and the medical community has no solutions. In fact, there is speculation that many of these COVID "long haulers" may end up with permanent damage to their lungs, brains, kidneys, intestines, hearts and blood vessels. If allopathic medicine has no solution perhaps functional medicine can find the root cause of this cellular damage and find natural strategies to address them. The following article explores the possibilities for such a solution and you will learn there are some very promising treatment options that can be combined into a COVID cellular repair protocol. The initial step in this examination of possible solutions should consider that cellular damage usually occurs in six distinct stages. This helps to explain how cellular healing is possible.
The Six Stages of Cellular Deterioration
Developed by Dr. Charles Bens,
Healthy at Work-Sarasota, Florida
Most chronic illness is diagnosed at stage four of this six step disease development process with blood tests that identify high cholesterol, high glucose or high levels of liver enzymes. What nutritional scientists and integrative doctors have found is that most chronic illness actually begins five to ten years before stage four, when cells become stressed. My first experience with this stressed cellular state involved my use of Electro Dermal Screening, which measures the activity of mitochondria in each organ. This stress was clearly present when people drank alcohol, took a prescription medication, were exposed to a toxin or did not eat a healthy diet. These cellular assaults often accumulate to the point where a specific group of cells become weakened and eventually challenged. This has been validated with tests such as the 8-OHgD test for DNA damage, the GlycoMark test for high blood sugar, the C-reactive protein test for inflammation and thermography for the detection of cells that are in the process of developing new blood vessels. Thermography can find 200 cells in a woman's breast with an elevated heat level 8-10 years before a mammogram can see 4 billion cells in a tumor. The GlycoMark test can identify high blood sugar 5-7 years before the A1c test is elevated.
Some cellular assaults occur more quickly such as the toxic impact of mercury, which can begin to cause Alzheimer type symptoms within weeks of exposure, and now the same accelerated cellular assault can be seen in the experience of many COVID-19 "long haulers". This virus is causing serious damage to several organs in the body of people infected with this virus with the potential for this damage to result in chronic illnesses that may result in permanent organ damage, and even death. A solution to this problem is needed sooner rather than later.
The COVID-19 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 occuring in other situations such as athletic injuries, disease damage, toxin damage, stress and premature aging.
1. 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).
2. 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).
3. Vitamin C- Vitamin C is a powerful anti-oxidant, 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).
4. 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).
5. Zinc- Zinc has strong anti-oxidant 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).
6. 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).
7. Vitamin D3- Vitamin D3 plays many roles in cellular health as an anti-oxidant and anti-viral 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 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 4,000-6,000 IU/day- in liquid or soft get form).
8. 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).
9. 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).
10. 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 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).
11. 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:
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).
- 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.
12. 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, as well as help 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).
13. 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).
14. 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.
15. 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).
16. Olive Leaf Extract- Olives are one of the cornerstones of the Mediterranean Diet and have been helping people to be healthier 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).
17. Digestive enzymes- As we age our body makes less digestive enzymes, which are needed for the processing 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 then 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).
18. Omega-3 Fatty Acids- Omega-3 fatty acids are a primary anti-inflammatory nutrient with many proven benefits for the prevention and treatment of chronic illness. One of 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 to 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
- 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).
In June of 2020 two super athletes that I know contacted me to say that they were experiencing severe symptoms and had tested positive of COVID-19. I forwarded this COVID-19 repair protocol for their consideration. 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 the 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 and 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. Sincerely, Marc Wolff, CEO, Southern Trust Financial.
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.
- Reduce the viral presence- Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Olive Leaf Extract, Zinc and Molecular Hydrogen.
- Reduce the inflammation level- Fish oil, Curcumin, Specialized Pro-resolving Mediators.
- Increase cellular energy levels- Magnesium, Berberine and Co-Enzyme Q10.
- 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.
- Stimulate the tissue repair process- Vitamin E, Vitamin B, NAD Pycnogenol, Olive Leaf Extract and Modified Citrus Pectin.
- 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 listed below)
- Digestive enzymes
- Vitamin D3
- Vitamin C
- CoEnzyme Q10
- Omega-3 fatty acids
- Modified Citrus Pectin
- Digestive enzymes
- Vitamin C
- Molecular Hydrogen water
- Vitamin E
- Modified Citrus Pectin
- Olive leaf extract
- Vitamin B complex
- Magnesium threonate
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin D3
- CoEnzyme Q10
- 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.
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 way 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 presentence 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.
8. 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.
9. 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.
10. 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.
11. 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.
12. 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.
13. 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).
14. Electo Dermal Screening (EDS)- EDS is a measurement of the energy generated in the mitochondria of our cells using acupuncture points that lead to every organ and system in the body. A Vol measurement scale of 1 to 100 determines if cells are stressed, normal or weakened. A score of 55 or above is a stressed organ or system, while a score of 45 or below is a weakened organ or system. Organs or systems that are stressed or weakened can provide an accurate early warning sign before changes are recognized in other diagnostic tools, including blood tests. This early warning time frame may be as much as five to ten years before other tests, which allows progressive health care practitioners an opportunity to utilize natural/non-invasive strategies. Doctors in Germany have been using this evaluation tool for decades with great success. By combining this tool, with some of the other early warning tests in this panel, it is possible that a very accurate health assessment can be provided, leading to a very safe, effective and less costly health care solution.
15. 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).
16. 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).
17. 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 final few words about exercise
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 traveling together in the blood stream 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 eats as little sugar as possible.
Caution: Please consult your healthcare practitioner regarding the use of any nutritional supplements to ensure they are safe and appropriate for your use.
This 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. Other key factors include no added sugar beyond fruit, no alcohol, low levels of exercise, low stress, clean air, mineral water and a Mediterranean diet with no red meat.
Initial article references
- Profit over people, cost over care: America's broken healthcare exposed by virus, Amanda Holpuch, The Guardian (online), April 16, 2020.
- Only 12 percent of American adults are metabolically healthy, study finds, University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Health, November 28, 2018.
- If Americans were healthier, we could have been better prepared for this pandemic, Dr. Shebani Sethi Dalai, Stanford University School of Medicine, May 3, 2020.
- Estimating Usual Dietary Intake from National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey Data Using the National Cancer Institute Method, Kirsten A. Herrick et.al., Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, February 2018.
- How Viruses Work and How to Prevent and Eliminate Them Naturally, Michael Edwards, Organic Lifestyle Magazine (online), October 27, 2014-Updated March 10, 2020,
- How Viruses Work and How to Prevent and Eliminate Them Naturally, Michael Edwards, Organic Lifestyle Magazine (online), October 27, 2014-Updated March 10, 2020,
- Coronavirus: Exploring Effective Nutritional Treatments, Andrew Saul, Orthomolecular News Service, January 30, 2020.
- Prevention and Treatment of Influenza, Influenza like illness, and Common Cold, J Evid Based Comlmentary Altern Med., 2017, Jan;22 (1): 166-174.
- Coronavirus: Exploring Effective Nutritional Treatments, Andrew Saul, Orthomolecular News Service, January 30, 2020.
- The Functional Medicine Approach to COVId-19: Vitus-Specific Nutraceutical and Botanical Agents, Functional Medicine Institute (online), April 2020.
- Critical Care COVID-19 Management Protocol, Paul Marik, MD, Chief of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Eastern Virginia Medical School, November 11, 2020.
- Six Bodily Tissues That can be Regenerated Through Nutrition, Sayer Ji, GreenMedInfo (online), October 1, 2019.
- Baldrige Award for Healthcare: An Overview of Potential Improvements, Charles Bens, Total Health Magazine, March 2010.
Dr. Bens Long-hauler cellular repair program references
- B Vitamins for Repair of Nerve Damage- B Vitamins for Neuropathy and Neuropathic Pain, Geller et al., Vitamin Miner 2017, 6.2.
- Vitamin E for Fatty Liver Disease- Nutrition - Volume 31, Issues 7-8, July August 2015, Pages 923-930.
- 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.
- Curcumin for the Repair of DNA Damage- Curcumin 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.
- Vitamin C for Disease Prevention and DNA Repair- Two Faces of Vitamin C- Antioxidative and Pro-Oxidative Agent- Nutrients 2020, 12(5), 1501; https://dol.org/10.3390/nu12051501.
- Zinc for the Repair of Cell Membranes and Protection of Cell Replacement Process- Journal of Biological Chemistry, May 29, 2015, 290, 13830-13839.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide (NAD) to Protect the Cellular Repair and Replacement Process in all Organs and Bodily Systems- NAD: The Superstar of Cellular Health, Charles Bens, Ph.D., Total Health Magazine, December 1,2018.
- Modified Citrus Pectin for the repair of Damaged Cells in the Brain, Kidneys, Circulatory System and the Intestinal System- Modified citrus pectin anti-metastatic properties: One bullet, multiple targets, Carbohydr Res., September 28, 2019.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- The Importance of Magnesium for the cellular repair process- The Importance of Magnesium in Clinical Healthcare, Scientifica, September 28, 2017.
- Sugars 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.
- The importance of magnesium for cellular energy production, Update on the relationship between magnesium and exercise, September 2006, 19(3): 180-9.
- The process for repairing damaged cells, National Institutes of Health-Cellular Toxicology, ToxTutor education program, August 2018.
Written by: Dr. Charles Bens, Healthy at Work, Sarasota, Florida- July 12, 2020.
Updated January 5, 2021. .
"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
Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, January 15, 2021
A Health Crisis Exposed by the COVID Pandemic-Commentary by Charles Bens, Ph.D.
Editorial Review Board:
Albert G. B. Amoa, MB.Ch.B, Ph.D. (Ghana)
Seth Ayettey, M.B., Ch.B., Ph.D. (Ghana)
llyès Baghli, M.D. (Algeria)
Ian Brighthope, MBBS, FACNEM (Australia)
Gilbert Henri Crussol, D.M.D. (Spain)
Carolyn Dean, M.D.,N.D. (USA)
Ian Dettman, Ph.D. (Australia)
Damien Downing, M.B.B.S., M.R .S.B. (United Kingdom)
Ron Erlich, B.D.S. (Australia)
Hugo Galindo, M.D. (Colombia)
Martin P. Gallagher, M.D.,D.C. (USA)
Michael J. Gonzalez, N.M.D., D.Sc., Ph.D. (Puerto Rico)
William B. Grant, Ph.D. (USA)
Claus Haneke, MD, FACAM (Denmark)
Tonya S. Heyman, M.D. (USA)
Suzanne Humphries, M.D. (USA)
Ron Hunninghake, M.D. (USA)
Bo H. Jonsson, M.D., Ph.D. (Sweden)
Felix I. D. Konotey-Ahulu, MD, FRCP, DTMH (Ghana)
Jeffrey J. Kotulski, D.0. (USA)
Peter H. Lauda, M.D.(Austria)
Thomas Levy, M.D., J.D. (USA)
Alan Lien, Ph.D. (Taiwan)
Homer Lim, M.D. (Philippines)
Stuart Lindsey, Pharm.D. (USA)
Victor A. Marcial-Vega, M.D. (Puerto Rico)
Charles C. Mary, Jr., M.D. (USA)
Mignonne Mary, M.D. (USA)
Jun Matsuyama, M.D., Ph.D. (Japan)
Joseph Mercola, D.O. (USA)
Jorge R. Miranda-Massari, Pharm.D. (Puerto Rico)
Karin Munsterhjelm-Ahumada, M.D. (Finland)
Tahar Naili, M.D. (Algeria)
W. Todd Penbert hy, Ph.D. (USA)
Isabella Akyinbah Quakyi, Ph.D. (Ghana)
Selvam Rengasamy, MBBS, FRCOG (Malaysia)
Jeffrey A. Ruterbusch, 0.0 . (USA)
Gert E. Schuitemaker, Ph.D. (Netherlands)
T.E. Gabriel Stewart, M.B.B.CH.(Ireland)
Thomas L. Taxman, M. D. (USA)
Jagan Nathan Vamanan, M.D. (India)
Garry Vickar, M.D. (USA)
Ken Walker, M.D. (Canada)
Raymond Yuen, MBBS, MMed (Singapore)
Anne Zauderer, D.C. (USA)