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Emergency COVID Kit

-Photo: CDC Courtesy

By Tami Stevenson

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, people are searching for solutions to protect themselves from the virus by using hand sanitizers, social distancing and wearing masks. But what about taking supplements to boost your immune system to fight against it? Do they work?


Former president of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, Lee Merritt, M.D., says supplements do work in helping to ward off the virus. She keeps what she calls a COVID emergency kit that contains six things people want to make sure their bodies have enough of:

VITAMIN D
ZINC
VITAMIN C
SELENIUM
NAC (N-acetyl cysteine)
QUERCETIN

Doctor Merritt said that in Indonesia they looked into the people that were most seriously affected by COVID-19 and found that if their vitamin D levels were below 30 percent, “…they were in trouble.” She went on to say one of the biggest things is to get your vitamin D level up and the sun does not do the job. She encourages everyone that can take supplements (physician approved) should do so.


Vitamin D, Zinc and vitamin C are pretty self explanatory, but what about the other three supplements listed in her emergency kit?


This is what we found researchers are saying:

SELENIUM: According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), selenium is a powerful mineral that is essential for the proper functioning of your body. It plays a critical role in metabolism and thyroid function, helps fight cancer, cardiovascular disease, cognitive decline and helps protect your body from damage caused by oxidative stress. However, too much selenium can have adverse effects, including death in rare cases, so be sure to follow the recommended Daily Value (DV) for selenium supplements.

NAC (N-acetyl cysteine): Is a supplement form of cysteine. It is important for a variety of health reasons — including replenishing the most powerful antioxidant in your body, glutathione. These amino acids also help with chronic respiratory conditions, fertility and brain health. In a clinical study posted on the NIH website, NAC inhibits virus replication and expression of pro-inflammatory molecules. Cysteine is a sulfur-containing amino acid that is important for making protein, and other metabolic functions. It is found in beta-keratin. This is the main protein in nails, skin, and hair.

QUERCETIN: Quercetin is a pigment that belongs to a group of plant compounds called flavonoids. It is found in many plants and foods, such as red wine, onions, tomatoes, green tea, apples, berries, Ginkgo biloba, St. John’s wort, cranberries and others. According to the NIH, quercetin has been linked to several health benefits, including reduced risks of heart disease, cancer, and degenerative brain disorders. The body does not absorb quercetin supplements easily. The supplements may include other compounds, such as vitamin C or digestive enzymes like bromelain, as they may increase absorption.

For anyone wanting to boost their immune system, these six supplements can certainly help. Please remember to follow recommended dosages and contact your physician before taking supplements.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has some tips and reminders to make sure your family emergency kit is always ready to go:
•Keep canned or packaged food in a cool, dry place (check the expiration dates at least twice per year)
•Store boxed food in tightly closed plastic or metal containers
•Replace water supply every six months
•Review your needs every year and update your kit as your family’s needs change (update medical and personal records at least once per year)
•Prepare separate kits for your home, work, and your vehicle since you never know where you’ll be when an emergency happens
•If you can’t contact your doctor or pharmacy in a disaster, ask for help from emergency responders or staff at emergency shelters or service centers.