Tools to Beat Covid
Prevention and Treatment Options


From the Substack post on November 10, 2021, by Benjamin Braddock.

Having treatments on hand and using them early is the best way to minimize discomfort and avoid hospitalization from Covid-19. If you haven’t had covid yet — you’ll want to have these treatments on hand for when you do. If you have had it, it’s still good to have on hand in the event that someone you know contracts it.

As always, do your own research. Standard disclaimer that this does not constitute medical advice. I cannot treat from afar, I need to be in the room. But this information should be a good start for your research, and I invite you to build on this in our great collaborative effort to understand this disease and perfect our approach to treating it.

Covid should primarily be thought of less as a standard viral infection and more of a vascular disease that triggers a hyperimmune response. Spike protein interaction with blood platelets and damage to cells can result in blood clots (some large, as in the case of DVT, some small, as in the case of the microclots that clog up tiny capillaries around the alveoli in the lungs), serotonin toxicity, disruption of cellular metabolism, an overactive immune response, oxidative damage, and myriad other issues. Some treatments cover multiple issues presented by the virus and some are tools to be used against specific disease etiologies.

Covid also has specific and distinct phases that should inform treatment modalities; an early replicative phase in which antivirals should be administered, followed by an immune response phase in which anti-inflammatories/anti-coagulants should be prioritized, followed in severe cases by the pulmonary phase in which salvage treatments are pursued, including serotonin antagonists like cyproheptadine and potentially anti-hypoxia therapies like methylene blue.

Preventative Nutrition, Supplementation, and Lifestyle.

The single biggest risk factor for covid severity and mortality is metabolic dysfunction. While it is true that virtually everyone who is obese has metabolic dysfunction, this problem is not limited to just the obese. You don’t have to be on “My 600-lb Life” to have the metabolic dysfunction that sets you up for a severe covid infection. Weight loss is important but needs to take place at a manageable rate as the release of toxic fats from tissue can cause damage while being processed out of your body. It is much more important to focus on eating very high-quality nourishing foods. That is a topic all on it’s own and I recommend you read Dr. Cate Shanahan’s book Deep Nutrition for an in-depth dive into this.

Without going into too much detail on diet, I must note that excess iron levels are often seen in severe covid cases, which presents a problem for those with high levels of unsaturated fats in the blood stream as iron is highly reactive in the presence of PUFA. It is imperative to strictly avoid hydrogenated fats and PUFA heavy foods including any containing canola oil, soybean oil, corn oil, and vegetable oil. Avoidance of iron-fortified foods should also be avoided. As iron fortification of flour is mandated by the U.S. Government, this is hard to avoid, but it is worth it to mitigate covid risk as well as many other chronic diseases (there is a compelling case to be made that iron fortification laws have played a key role in the increase of Type II diabetes over the past several decades). For those home bakers, this is much more simple. King Arthur Organic All-Purpose flour is not iron-fortified, neither are most European flour brands as European food regulations prohibit iron fortification.

Aside from metabolic dysfunction, vitamin D levels are strongly related to covid severity and mortality. If you measure someone’s serum levels early in the disease, you can predict with stunning accuracy just how severe their infection is likely to be. Vitamin D3 should be supplemented in the fall-winter-spring months in most latitudes north of Georgia, but natural vitamin D production should also be optimized. Not only does your body produce vitamin D when exposed to the sun, it also produces antimicrobial peptides and other factors which tremendous boost your health. If you have the means to do so, go to Florida or Latin America as much as possible this winter and soak up the sunshine.

In addition to a vitamin D supplement, vitamin C, zinc and quercetin can be taken to keep your immune system in good shape. One note with zinc is that it depletes copper, another essential mineral, so it is best to find a zinc/copper combination supplement to avoid causing a deficiency.

Frequent exercise is also important, for both the body and the mind. Avoid stress. Limit exposure to news and other forms of psychological warfare. Get out into nature. Do nice things for people. Feeling good and maintaining a positive and proactive mindset is what will carry you through this.

Acute Covid Treatments (Rx)

These are treatments that I have high confidence in, they have favorable safety profiles and efficacy of and have held up to rigorous clinical scrutiny. They would be initiated on symptoms, positive test, or notification of exposure. In general it is better to err on the side of action with early treatment rather than waiting for confirmation of covid infection. Dosage is subject to the individual and are only included here as a rough guide of dosing for adults.

Budesonide

A common glucocorticoid used in the treatment of asthma, this has very beneficial effects on covid respiratory symptoms. An Oxford study showed a 90% reduction in risk of hospitalization. My preferred method of administration is budesonide ampules loaded into a tabletop nebulizer. If you can’t get that, the next best thing is a handheld pocket inhaler. If your doctor won’t write a prescription for it off-label for covid, you may speak to an asthma specialist about getting it prescribed for asthma.

Cyproheptadine: 8mg three times per day.

This works to reduce serotonin toxicity, the primary driver of neurological symptoms in covid as well as vascular pathologies. Very beneficial in my experience. Label-use is for allergies and migraines, it’s relatively easy to get prescribed for these conditions. If you can’t get a prescription, famotidine (Pepcid AC) may be beneficial but not to the same degree.

Ivermectin: 0.4-0.6mg/kg bodyweight.

Antiparasitic drug that also has antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties. I’ve had great results with this when administered early. Not a silver bullet but nonetheless a big help that has been administered to hundreds of millions of people with only rare side effects.

PushHealth is a good resource for getting covid rx prescriptions. Farmacias del Nino is a good option for buying without a prescription but can take 6-8 weeks to arrive.

Acute Covid Treatments (OTC)

Aspirin. 325-600mg every 4-6 hours.

There’s an old joke about doctors responding to every patient with a standard reply of “Take two aspirin and call me in the morning”. For covid, this would be far preferable to the standard NIH treatment guidelines. Aspirin is an antioxidant, an anti-inflammatory, and an antipyretic. It stimulates mitochondrial respiration, it helps prevent blood clots, it inhibits the aromatase enzymatic production of estrogen (in men, high estrogen levels antagonize testosterone and blunts it’s immunomodulator properties) — all important functions in the course of In addition, an Israeli study showed that it reduced likelihood of contracting a covid infection by about as much as the Pfizer mRNA vaccine.

N-Acetyl-Cysteine: 1200mg per day.

One of my favorite supplements in general. A terrific antioxidant in the liver (which supports detoxification of PUFAs), it also helps replenish glutathione in the lungs. Glutathione plays a key role in the balance of oxidants and antioxidants in the lungs and helps modulate inflammatory cytokine response in the lung tissue. It boosts the immune cells you need, suppresses viral replication and inflammation, loosens mucus, and reduces the likelihood of developing secondary pneumonia. Clinical studies have confirmed a reduction in the risk of progression-to-ventilation and mortality. Especially important to stock up in advance as this supplement, while over the counter, has been subject to FDA actions to take it off the market as part of their war on effective covid therapy access. As a result, it’s hard to find in stores or on Amazon. It is still being sold by some online health stores — I personally take the Life Extension brand of this as LE has a good reputation for quality. I will also note that in addition to oral administration, this can also be given intravenously or in an inhalation — these are good options for severe cases.

Vitamin D: 5000-10,000iu/day

This should be taken as a preventative as there is some indication that it’s much less efficacious when taken after contracting the virus. Still I recommend taking large doses of this during infection because I feel it may have a beneficial effect and there is no downside to it.

Zinc: 60mg

Zinc is a powerful antiviral weapon. A kamakaze pilot if you will. But every kamakaze pilot needs a plane to carry it to it’s target. In zinc’s case, that would be an ionophore like quercetin or hydroxychloroquine, which carries it across the viral membrane to the heart of the virus where the zinc ions then disrupt RNA replication. Zinc is also protective of tissue barriers, which may indicate benefit with regards to the vascular issues we see with covid, as well as helping to modulate the immune response.

Quercetin: 1000mg per day

Zinc’s trusty sidekick ionophore sidekick, it also has other positive effects in covid treatment. Quercetin acts as a free radical scavenger, which helps limit oxidative damage, and inhibits pro-inflammatory factors such as lipoxygenase and phospholipase A2. It has been shown to downregulate LPS stimulated release of tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), interleukin-6 (IL-6) and IL-1 from macrophages, which is of particular benefit in the pulmonary phase of the virus, when danger from a cytokine storm is at it’s peak. It is an iron chelator, which is important in a disease marked by excessive ferritin levels. It also stimulates natural killer cells, which covid inhibits. Bonus - it’s also great for allergies, so works well as a daily preventative supplement even when you don’t have covid.

Melatonin: 6mg at bedtime.

Melatonin has demonstrated benefits in covid along various pathways. It works as an antiviral, an anti-inflammatory, and helps prevent blood clots. Loading up on sleep is a great help in fighting covid, and this aids this along with chamomile tea and magnesium threonate.

Adjunctive Therapies

These work well as add-ons to the core OTC and RX treatments. They improve the body’s reaction to various pathologies of the virus and can increase efficacy of the primary treatments.

Vitamin C: 2-3 grams per day.

Thiamine: 500mg-1gram per day.

Flush Niacin (Nicotinic Acid form, very important): 500mg-1.5grams per day

Glycine: At least 1 gram per day, the more the better.

Black Seed Oil: 2-4 tablespoons per day.