The difficulty in preparing for a coronavirus outbreak is in the not knowing. We don’t know if it will come to a city near us, and if so, we don’t know how to create an effective treatment plan, and furthermore we don’t know what the risk factors are that lead to deadly lung-related complications such as pneumonia.
But in time, we will have more answers for this and more. At the time of this writing, COVID-19 is an epidemic that has quickly infected over 100,000 people around the globe. Thousands have died and the mortality rate keeps rising, so we are in urgent need of a cure or a vaccination or a stronger immune system to make sure we come through it okay.
FYI, airlines and cruise ships that have recirculating air pose a problem for those who are traveling so if you are immunocompromised, you may want to hold off on that vacation.
Once a person is infected (and by the way, a dog has now tested positive), the virus itself acts similarly to other viruses we’ve encountered. It tends to simply run its course, so I don’t want to incite more fear and panic. I really want to reassure you that for most people, it will be okay. For most people, it will cause flu-like symptoms like fatigue, fever, coughing, body aches and the usual miserable symptoms like sneezing, sniffling and headache. We’re all used to that, and that’s the best way to think about COVID-19 for now.
Recently, I read an ABSTRACT on pubmed that I want to share with you. If you look online, it is titled, “Angiotensin receptor blockers as tentative SARS-CoV-2 therapeutics.”
SARS-CoV-2 is also known as COVID-19
The researchers discuss losartan, a drug that is normally used for blood pressure. It may hold some value if you’re infected. There are natural remedies that work on the same pathway which I will discuss momentarily.
The reason this is important to us is because we need something to help us right now, especially if we become infected. There have been more fatalities than SARS and MERS combined, and in a faster time frame. As compared to The Flu, that is still ahead of COVID-19 in terms of it’s mortality rate, but COVID-19 spreads faster, and we know less about it, hence the panic.
It is very likely that the binding site for SARS coronavirus is the AT1R receptor (Angiotensin Receptor 1) and that’s the same receptor site for Losartan, the drug for hypertension. So if you’re taking Losartan, in theory, it’s sitting on the receptor site blocking it from the big bad bug! It won’t work 24/7 but it could reduce “the aggressiveness and mortality from SARS-CoV-2 virus infections.” I’m quoting from the scientific ARTICLE. The COVID-19 virus also known SARS-CoV-2.
The idea is something to hold on to, and I think it could work to some degree. I’m saying that in light of having no other options, maybe the use of a simple drug, or a natural remedy that works just like it, could give us something to hold on to… until we have better. Now the downside, according to some health researchers, this medication may also induce MORE receptors, which would be detrimental.
In the literature you may see ARBs as the abbreviation for Angiotensin Receptor Blockers. I don’t see too much downside so to me, considering Angiotension I Receptor Blockers as part of a treatment protocol may help slow down the progression of the disease. You would need a prescription for this drug which is available in 25 mg, 50 mg, or 100 mg. The brand name of it is Cozaar.
There is another article about Telmisartan and Losartan printed in the BMJ (British Medical Journal, January 2020) entitled, Response to the Emerging Novel Coronavirus Outbreak. Based on their research, the scientists state, “we hypothesize the use of angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARB) available for clinical use can be potential drugs to be given for control of viral spread of novel corona virus (Wuhan) infection.”
Finally, I want you to know that the drug makers have not FDA-approved it for this use, I am simply thinking out-loud with you and sharing this information to my community so you can have a conversation with your doctor about what is right for you, should you encounter COVID-19. Again, there is an upside and a potential downside so there isn’t complete clarity on the use of ARBs.
As for natural ARBs, they exist. Can they work just like Losartan and block the same receptor site? The answer is yes, they are certainly feasible and easy-to-access options, however they are not as strong and therefore, may not be as effective. That said, if you like herbs and food then consider the following natural Angiogensin Receptor Blockers in your diet and/or vitamin protocol.
Garlic – Cook with fresh garlic or try an aged garlic supplement.
Resveratrol – It’s in grapes. High enough amounts of this antioxidant are in supplements.
Taurine – An amino acid for heart rhythm and metabolic disease.
CoQ10 – Awesome for muscle and heart health, it can also act as an ARB.
B6 – This popular B vitamin is known mainly for its help with nerve pain and mood.
Celery – Eat it and juice it. Sprinkle the spice or try the essential oil of celery.
GLA – Gamma Linolenic Acid used mainly for psoriasis or eczema.
In summary, we see losartan and/or foods and herbs as potential therapeutics for reducing the aggressiveness (and mortality) from other coronavirus infections like SARS. These may help by blocking the receptor site where the virus binds to. One more consideration is to ramp up your Th1 immunity. This is the part of your immune system that generates a response against invading parasites, bacteria and viruses. Your Th1 cells produce interferon gamma for you, and IL-2, as well as other compounds which activate macrophages. Those are the Pac Men that go chase out the pathogens and keep you healthy and strong. This arm of your immune system is also the one that goes after other pathogens that enter cells, helping you rid yourself of cells that may be cancerous.
To activate the cells of your immune system, you could certainly try astragalus, beta glucan, olive leaf extract, and echinacea.
Olive leaf extract was discussed in this ARTICLE and found to support immunity and reduce inflammatory markers. It could help bring balance and calm to your body and may be one very useful potential therapeutic option for immune support.
I’m also a big believer of a healthy gut because that’s where much of your immune system resides, so eating well and taking a good probiotic will offer additional protection during this season. Hopefully, in the next few months we will see a reduction in cases of COVID-19. I also wonder if warmer, humid summer weather may inhibit growth and slow down spread. There is more information about temperature and humidity in this ARTICLE.
The researchers concluded that “temperature could significantly change COVID-19 transmission, and there might be a best temperature for the viral transmission, which may partly explain why it first broke out in Wuhan. It is suggested that countries and regions with a lower temperature in the world adopt the strictest control measures to prevent future reversal.”
In summary, we see losartan and/or foods and herbs as potential therapeutics for reducing the aggressiveness (and mortality) from other coronavirus infections like SARS, so maybe we can extrapolate to COVID-19. There are ways you can ramp up your cellular immunity too, using astragalus or olive leaf.