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Coronavirus - Covid 19

A positive immune response is essential to staying healthy. As we all grow accustomed to life with the Coronavirus (COVID-19), and while scientists work on antivirals and vaccines, many experts are suggesting the public take a holistic approach to strengthening their immune system to minimize the risks.  Dr. Bill Code, Point of Return's medical advisor is a specialist in immune function with a focus on virology. Understanding what we can each do to improve our immune response is prudent during these uncertain times.

We believe in providing knowledge of the origin of the Coronavirus, how it is transmitted and how to improve our body's ability to fight the virus should we become exposed.

Why a Healthy Immune System is Critical to Help Fight the Coronavirus

Coronaviruses infect multiple organs, including the liver, respiratory tracts and the central nervous system.  Strengthening the Immune System while reducing Stress (stress lowers immune health), are key components to fighting the Coronavirus.

Certain nutraceuticals may help to reduce the inflammation not only in the lungs from the RNA Coronavirus while boosting immunoglobulins to assist the immune system in fighting against the virus. Tapping into your body's primary means to create antiviral antibodies is critical.

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Recommendations From Dr. Bill Code*

SUPPORT - Glutathione, the body's master antioxidant is a primary defense against infections. Glutathione has two functions in immune health:  Protecting host immune cells while providing optimal functioning of lymphocytes and other cells of the immune system. The precursors for Glutathione are the most effective way to build Glutathione levels and a bioactive medical grade whey such as SUPPORT is naturally high in immunoglobulins,  serum albumin, lactoglubulin, a-lactalbumin and lactoferrin, all building blocks of Glutathione that support immune health.* Read more.

RELAX - Stress is proven to lower our resistance to infection, and this includes acute infectious respiratory illnesses such as Coronavirus. Chronic anxiety suppresses the immune system and increases the risk of infection.  RELAX assists with anxiousness, the management of stress, and sleep issues. RELAX is a virtually lactose-free natural protein containing a bioactive decapeptide that has clinically proven anti-stress properties to ease tension.* Read more.

SLEEP - Sleep is a natural immune booster and this is why sleep requirements increase when we are sick. Adequate sleep directly impacts your immune system and your body's ability to fight infection.  A good night's sleep improves the immune system's response time and each sleep stage performs functions critical to your health.  One function is the production of the protein Cytokine, which helps the immune system respond to harmful pathogens. SLEEP assists with issues of broken sleep patterns, the inability to fall asleep or stay asleep. Read more.

MOOD - Long chain omega-3 fatty acids may help to boost the immune system by enhancing how immune cells function with the DHA component enhancing the activity of white blood cells known as B cells . Read more.

VITAMIN D3 may help to reduce the risk of respiratory infections and can adapt immune responses.  There are Vitamin D receptors and activating enzymes on the White Blood Cells, the first line of defense to fight viruses.*

VITAMIN C is vital to the function of the white blood cells that assist in fighting infections (Leukocytes) while supporting various cellular functions of both the innate and adaptive immune system.*

ZINC is found in cells throughout the body and helps the immune system fight off invading bacteria and viruses.*

SELENIUM helps lower oxidative stress, reduces inflammation and enhances immunity.*

BIFODABACTERIA is often found in probiotics and has shown to interact with human immune cells and modulating adaptive immune processes.*

You Can Also Read our Support Health Page

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The Original Outbreak of Covid-19

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) was first reported behind a number of pneumonia cases in Wuhan, China, a city with a population of over 11 million.  Physicians within Wuhan warned the government In November that the emerging pneumonia was a highly contagious virus yet it was not until December 31, 2019 that the World Health Organization (WHO) heard the reports. What started as an epidemic in China has become a global pandemic with cases detected in 196 countries.  China waited several months to place Wuhan and nearby cities under quarantine and due to the Chinese New Year, millions of visitors were in Wuhan and proceeded to leave China, carrying the virus with them. 

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How Did Covid-19 (Coronavirus) Begin

There are mixed reports on the origin of the Coronavirus. Some believe that it originated from a Wuhan animal market where wild animals, incluing bats, birds, rabbits, snakes and marmots are traded illegally and consumed by the public. Coronaviruses are known to jump from animals to humans so it was surmised that the first people infected with the disease were primarily made up of stallholders from the market who in turn transmitted the virus to the public.

However, a second theory is that the Coronavirus, being a virus encased with a bacteria strain escaped from a Stage 4 containment lab in Wuhan that was studying bat coronaviruses.  The virus, being RNA versus a DHA genome suggests it was lab created versus naturally occurring. Steven Mosher, a social scientist and president of the Population Research Institute in Front Royal Virginia stated that the containment lab is less than 10 miles from the animal market and in 2003 the SARS outbreak virus also escaped from virology labs in China.

What is agreed upon is that the origin came from wildlife and the Wuhan Institute of Virology suggests the Coronavirus' genome is 96% similar to the virus found in bats.

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How Infectious is the Virus

The Coronavirus is an infectious disease and easily transmitted.  Approximately 80% of people infected will experience mild, moderate or no symptoms and recover without any treatment.  However, approximately 20% which include the elderly and those with underlying medical issues (cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease and cancer) are more likely to develop serious complications.  The virus spreads primarily through droplets of saliva (through sneezing, coughing or body fluids), which is why social distancing is essential to control the spread and minimize the load on our medical system.

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Prevottela and Gut Health

Corona Virus: Implications for Gut Health and Nutrition*
Author: Kristina Mitts
The microbiome-corona virus connection and the need to incorporate microbiome considerate treatment approaches was formally established this week (March 20) when the Zhejiang University School of Medicine released the "Handbook of Covid-19 Prevention and Treatment." The handbook was was compiled by a panel of medical experts at the hospital, according to their clinical experience in fighting the pandemic.
The Handbook recommends:
       Microbiome analysis to assess the microbial terrain
       Nutrition and supplemental support to balance the microbiome and reduce bacterial translocation
       Monitoring patients for secondary infections such as Candida
Furthermore, studies are starting to reveal potential characteristic imbalances occurring within the gut microbiomes of COVID-19 patients. The Wuhan University released a retrospective study on three critically ill COVID-19 patients wherein sequencing revealed deficiencies in commensal microbes Bifidobacterium, Lactobacillus and Eubacterium. Pathogenic microbes such as Corynebacterium and Ruthenibacterium were increased.

Sequencing data has found Corona Virus integration in Prevotella bacteria strain A2879. These findings may have implications for those who acquire the virus. A meta-analysis concluded that anti-virals should be supplemented alongside anti-bacterial agents to treat this disease. While confirmation via cross-cultural sequencing on Covid patients would help to confirm this, it could be beneficial to act now. Those experiencing GI symptoms due to the virus, or desiring to get ahead of it, may benefit from nutritional and/or herbal support with anti-bacterial qualities specific to Prevotella.

Prevotella is a genus of Gram-negative bacteria belonging to the Bacteroidetes phyla. You can think of phyla as a family and the Prevotella species as one of the children in the family. The family at large may share some similar characteristics, but each individual within the family may not necessarily behave in the same manner. So while we can extrapolate some information about Bacteroidetes and apply it to Prevotella, it would be better to view Prevotella from a species level. Prevotella species are typical members of the oral and vaginal flora, often recovered from anaerobic infections of the respiratory tract. These infections include aspiration pneumonia, lung abscess, and chronic sinusitis. They have been isolated from abscesses and burns in the vicinity of the mouth, bites, paronychia, urinary tract infection, brain abscesses, osteomyelitis, and bacteremia associated with upper respiratory tract infections. Prevotella species predominate in periodontal disease and periodontal abscesses.

Our clinical experience (along with many studies) indicate that diet is strongly associated with the gut microbiome composition. For example, a diet high in protein and fat will result in Bacteroidetes dominating the gut microbiome. The Bacteroidetes phyla is relatively tolerant to bile, so when it is released by the gallbladder in response to fat consumption it will decrease the bile intolerant microbes while promoting growth of bile tolerant ones.

Not much is known of the A2879 strain of Prevotella, besides the association with Corona Virus, but if we look to research at the species level there is additional information on Prevotella. Some research claims that Prevotella species are increased with a diet high in fibre, however, a detailed review reveals that the increase is related specifically to grains, not necessarily fibre in general. Dr. Jeff Leech goes to the trouble of analyzing a number of studies and sharing the results in an article on his website "The Human Food Project". A few of the studies are cross-cultural, comparing the diet and microbiome of non westernized peoples to those of the westernized; while others compare diets, specific food items and microbiomes of animals. The implication being of course, that in order to reduce Prevotella one would want to reduce whole grain intake and include more legumes, starches, vegetables and fruit.
*My own investigations reveal that reduction of Prevotella species may be accomplished by consuming the following:
       Green tea catechins
       Lauric Acid from coconut oil *also anti-viral
       One study found that Prevotella was decreased when subjects followed a gluten free diet
       Luteolin found in celery, thyme, green peppers and chamomile
       DGL or licorice root powder for Prevotella in oral microbiome
       Bacteriostatic effects of chicory on Prevotella in oral microbiome
       Berberine decreased Prevotella
       Chicory reduced Prevotella in pig gut microbiome
       An omnivorous diet, rather than vegetarian or vegan, will help to reduce Prevotella

Items/conditions that increased Prevotella included:
       Wheat and refined grains, barley, rye
       Beta-Glucans (barley, oats, seaweed, algae, whole grains, shiitake, reishi)
       High Fat Diet
       A diet where millet/sorghum make up 50% with low vegetable intake increases Prevotella

Diversity is always worth a mention. On a study done on macaques, reduced microbial diversity was found to be associated with greater presence of Prevotella species.  This is typical of the North American Gut Microbiome and something we often counsel our clients on.

More specifically, the gut microbiome – lung connection is apparent as the Corona Virus is impacting respiration and lung function. In the case of COVID, bacteria are migrating from the gut to the lungs. With this in mind (and per the Handbook for COVID prevention) we need to consider methods to reduce translocation of bacteria.

Gut translocation of bacteria is defined as the passage of gastrointestinal microbes across the intestinal mucosa to local lymph nodes and from there to external sites. To reduce bacterial translocation we want to consider upstream causes as well as nutritional and supplemental support.
       Balance your microbiome; identify deficiencies or excesses of key players and remediate
       Restore diversity to your microbiome; eat 40-50 different foods per week
       Toxins impair gut barrier function; rule out mold, chemical or metal toxicity. My favorite way to approach toxicity is with a Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis
       High intensity and endurance exercise increase gut barrier permeability, while low-moderate exercise will improve gut barrier homeostasis
       Reduce histamine, salicylate or oxalate overload if these are an issue for you
       Circulation of endotoxins is shown to increase bacterial translocation. Use the following to reduce endotoxemia:*

1. Support nutrient breakdown via promotion of HCL, bile or enzyme production if required

2. Bacillus Subtilis HU58 found in Megaspore Probiotic can reduce post meal endotoxaemia

3. Consider mucosal strengtheners such as Zinc Carnotine, Slippery Elm, Marshmallow root, Colostrum, MegaIgg2000, Camel’s milk


1. L. Rhamnosus GG has been shown to reduce Intestinal Permeability.

2. B. Longum BB536 can increase beneficial microbes such as bifido and lactobacilli. It can be found in Bioclinic Naturals or Life Extension Bifido GI Balance

3. L. Reuteri DSM 17938 has been shown to protect against upper respiratory and GI symptoms.

4. B. animalis subsp lactic BB-12 decreased respiratory infections in infancy.

       Turmeric and L-glutamine have both been shown to reduce bacterial translocation.
       Phenols, flavonoids, quinones, tannins and terpenoids can reduce pathogenic microbes while boosting friendly ones. These items tend to be prolific in colorful fruits and vegetables, herbs, tea and cacao. Particularly rich items include green tea, saffron, garlic, moringa, pomegranate, berries, flowers, cinnamon, apple.
       Hyperbaric Oxygen can be extremely helpful for reducing inflammation and restoring gut barrier integrity

 Kristina is the lead nutritionist at Taymount Canada clinic in Duncan, where they specialize in gut health and microbiome restoration.  

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*While great care has been taken in organizing and presenting the material throughout this website, please note that it is provided for informational purposes only and should not be taken as Medical or Health Advice. Always consult your healthcare practitioner before implementing any dietary regimens.

*These statements on this website have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The products mentioned / sold are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or illness.

*Always consult with your healthcare professional before starting any diet, exercise or supplementation program, before taking or stopping any medication, or if you have or suspect you might have any health problem.  More...