Take these 5 simple steps today –

and be Covid-19 free for all of your tomorrows

If you haven’t got the virus, you still need to minimise your future risk

 Up to now, the focus of my blogs has been on how to treat severe Covid-19 cases, but here I want to discuss the steps you can take to prevent the infection in the community or to stop a mild infection progressing further.  All five of these steps are straightforward, do not involve large cost, effort or time, and you can start them today!  They are:

  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin D
  • Zinc
  • Moving
  • Hydration
  • Breathing

 Bonus: Adopt healthy lifestyles.

 But please read on to ensure that you understand the scientific basis, correct doses and techniques.


Step 1, take vitamin C in the form of ascorbic acid as a supplement and eat vitamin C containing food like bell pepper, kiwi, citrus fruit (lemon, lime, oranges satsumas), berries (blueberry, strawberry, blackberry, cranberry), capsicum, cantaloupe, mango, watermelon and pineapple.

Note: (Do not consume sources with high sugar content if you are diabetic or have a minor blood sugar problem {insulin resistance}.)

Vitamin C is a very important element in supporting the immune system to fight Covid-19 infection, but it is not made internally by humans.

Lack of vitamin C has been a problem for humanity for many centuries.  You will have heard of sailors in earlier centuries developing scurvy.  This condition is very rare nowadays, but I still occasionally see milder cases.

Every flu season there is high consumption of vitamin C, because it reduces the duration and severity of the flu viral infection.  During this pandemic, we have hard evidence that high dose of Vitamin C, reduced mortality & length of hospital stay by 3 -5 days in Covid-19 infection ICU patients. Vitamin C level in seriously ill patients observed to go down like a fuel gauge, while the patient is recovering from the Covid-19 infection.


How much vitamin C should I take?

Fit and well people with normal lungs and healthy immune system would require dose of 1 – 4gm vitamin C taken as supplement to prevent the infection.

For those patients with mild disease who want to prevent a progression to a more severe disease, I would recommend a moderate dose of 4 – 8 grams per day until they feel better but continue taking a lower dose of vitamin C until full recovery.

The best oral form of vitamin C is ascorbic acid, very well absorbed through the gut with great bioavailability.  Sodium Ascorbate is less acidic for intravenous injections and for those with indigestions and heartburn.   I advise my patients to continue consuming rich sources of vitamin C in food, as mentioned above.


Step 2, Vitamin D supports and modulates the immune system function.  Studies show that people with low levels of the vitamin have susceptibility to infections and to autoimmune conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.

Like vitamin C, vitamin D activates both limbs of the adaptive immune system (namely, T and B cells) to work at full capacity as one disciplined army.  It stimulates the T cells to increase their numbers to develop weaponry such as cytokines to destroy cells taken up by the virus.

Vitamin D also prompts B cells to divide rapidly to produce the antibodies necessary to tag infected cells to reduce tissue damage. It also recruits memory cells to prevent future infection from this invader in the future.

The problem is that vitamin D is deficient in people living at 42 degrees latitude north or higher, including the UK.  We are simply not able to synthesise enough vitamin D via the skin during the winter months (November to February).

Vitamin D deficiency caused rickets among children in the past but continues to cause Oesteomalacia and osteoporosis in adults to this day.

Apart from the vitamin D in the UV rays of the sun, its sources include oily fish, salmon, tuna, herring, mackerel, sardines, egg yolks, butter, liver, cheese and mushrooms, especially shiitake.

Cod Liver Oil is also a great source, in addition to Vitamin D it contains Vitamin A & E and Omega 3. You may want to revisit your childhood, when your mother insisted on you taking your daily teaspoon!

Vitamin D is fat soluble, which means that you do not have to worry about taking it every day.  A regular weekly dose with Sunday lunch is fine.  And it is impossible to overdose on it through sunlight and food – nature will adjust!


How long do I need in the sun?

If you are exposing your face, arms and lower legs, a sun exposure of 30 minutes suffices if you are Caucasian (15 minutes in the morning and in the afternoon) but you probably need a double time if you have a darker skin, like African, Afro-Caribbean or South Asian.

On the pharmacological side, the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology has suggested a doses range to cover different ages from 1000IU to 10,000IU per day.

These are just journal guidelines.  Your doses should be determined according to your blood level, your lifestyle and risk level.  Please contact your GP for further help if necessary. I personally take 10,000IU during the epidemic for maximum benefit.


Step 3 take a decent dose of Zinc: a potent antiviral agent that Inhibits viral replication.

Source Meat, shellfish, legumes: chickpeas, lentils, beans, seeds: Hemp & Pumpkin & Squash, Nuts, dairy, eggs, wholegrain). Take 30mg up to 60mg during the epidemic or more. Beware taking too much Zinc is going to lower the level of copper (best taken as duo)

Zinc needs to be transported to a certain location inside the cell to stop viral replication and abort infection. Agents proven to increase cell zinc concentration include hydroxychloroquine, currently used to treat acute COVID-19 cases. other agents include Quercetin & EGCG in green tea.

 It has become absolutely crucial to develop a high-level cardiopulmonary fitness to avoid Covid-19 infection and prevent progression to severe lung disease. This is particularly important in the Elderly people and those with underlying health conditions.


Step 4 move: You should aim to achieve cardio-pulmonary fitness, which is your ability to extract oxygen from the environment and to pump oxygenated blood around your body to meet your organs’ needs.

To achieve this, you need to engage in steady, continuous exercise for a reasonable duration of time (30 to 60 minutes.)  This improves the absorption of oxygen across the lung membranes into the blood stream to be distributed to the rest of the body. As a bonus side effect, you also get your respiratory mucous membrane and the ciliary action actively working to get rid of invading viruses.

In addition, this process would make your heart and circulation more efficient.  As you know, the heart output equals the stroke volume multiplied by the number of beats per minute.  Your heart does not need to beat fast if it contracts strongly enough to circulate more blood with each beat.  That is why elite athletes have very low resting heart rate.

A good circulation helps to mobilise the immune system cells from all around the body to resolve the lung infection.  Increasing reports suggest blood clotting in the blood circulation is the culprit in severe lung disease and kidney failure.  Giving a small dose of blood thinning agent heparin (5,000 units, twice daily) has helped many patients to recover, and now this become a routine treatment.


How do I exercise during lockdown?

Gardening, DIY and tidying and cleaning the house are all excellent exercises.  You can also upgrade to running on the spot, squats, push-ups, pull-ups and lunges.  (Nelson Mandela performed 45 minutes of running on the spot, as well as other exercises, each day of his incarceration in a 2.1 metre2 cell – so it is possible!)  www.youareyourowngym.com , provides methods and videos on how to do a lot of exercise using the environment at home.


Step 5, hydration is a key tool to get through the hard times.  Taking frequent warm fluids will not only hydrate you but will also wash any microbes that reach your throat, down to be killed by your stomach acid.

We are all aware of the importance of avoiding dehydrating fluids such as alcohol, tea and coffee, and taking warm drinks such lemon, lime and hibiscus, which are also rich in vitamin C. Cinnamon and garlic are potent antiviral agents.

Recent reports suggest that a few cups of citrus tea (Citrus Incanus) a day prevent the attachment of the virus to the mucus membranes.  Propolis, in the form of an inhaler or spray, was found to do the same and an effective treatment of COVID-19 cough.

Liquorice was found to inhibit viral replication during the 2003 SARS pandemic, and a recent report found that glycyrrhizin, the active ingredient in liquorice, increases intracellular zinc, a very potent anti-viral agent.  EGCG in green tea seems to have the same property.


Your prescription for a healthy immune system:

  • Take whole real food rich in Vitamin C & Zinc
  • Regular sun exposure is a rich source of Vitamin D
  • Go to bed 1 hour earlier to help the body build & repair
  • Destress for a healthy gut to ensure good nutrition
  • Exercise improves your cardiopulmonary fitness
  • Breathing exercises strengthen your lungs further


Breathing exercises are absolutely essential, because they keep the muscles supporting the lungs strong, as well as oxygenating the body, helping you to fight the virus. I normally practice Pranayama breathing but  I pleased to learn some of my patients use the Wimhof method: It is a great breathing exercise, working as follows:

a) Relax by sitting or lying down

b) Take 30 breaths – breath in through the diaphragm, through the chest to the top and then release but not all the way out, and then breath again, repeating 30 times

c) On the 30th breath, release but not all the way out and hold for 60 seconds

d) After 60 seconds, inhale and hold for 15 seconds

e) That was round 1. Repeat for round 2 and at part c) hold for 90 seconds

f) Repeat for round 3 and again hold for 90 seconds

g) Allow your breath to return to normal and move slowly, starting with fingers and feet.

OR you can be guided through these steps at : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tybOi4hjZFQ


As the last few weeks have gone by, we have found out more about the threat of Covid-19, and what we can do to minimise our risk of being infected or progressing to a severe case.  This blog summarises our knowledge so far.  Please, my friends, take these five simple steps – and I will see you on the other side!

*Please leave a comment below on this article we would love to hear your views on this subject.