Pulse Check Special Feature: The Coronavirus
Season 1, Episode 10
Dr. Drew Sinatra
Dr. Stephen Sinatra
On this Pulse Check Special Feature, Drs. Drew and Steve Sinatra give a timely update on the Coronavirus (COVID-19). They discuss which populations seem to be most affected and preventative measures that you can take. The doctors also share their perspective on this virus and offer a calming voice on the increasing hype that is taking place.
Dr. Drew Sinatra: Hey, everybody. This is a Pulse Check special feature where today we're going to be talking about something that all of you have been hearing about recently, this coronavirus or COVID-19. Dad, there is just so much we could dig into here. I want our viewers to know that today is March 6, as information around this coronavirus does change daily, so we're going to give you the most accurate information that we have up to date.
Dr. Steve Sinatra: Yeah, Drew, I think what listeners really need to know is how can you improve your own endogenous immune system. Let's face it, it looks like this virus is affecting people in the sixth, seventh, and eighth decades of life so to speak. The younger children seem to have a little protection and younger adults have some protection. I believe that a weakened immune system, whether it's heart disease, arthritis, cancer, any of the chronic illnesses, emphysema, lung disease, people are at more risk.
Dr. Steve Sinatra: So, I think the focus of this discussion is really how can we improve our immune system. What can we do to make our immune system stronger? These are the pearls that we want to give our listeners.
Dr. Drew Sinatra: You said it right from the beginning, dad, in terms of the stats. It seems like many of us will likely get coronavirus. I think that's the reality now. It is spreading. It is like the flu but it's a little bit more intense, and that, yes, it certainly is affecting people in their fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth decades more than it is younger people. Like you said, if there's comorbidities present, if they've got some immune suppression, if they're on medications that might suppress their immune system, those are the ones that really need to be extra careful about protecting themselves and boosting their immune system, which we'll get into.
Dr. Steve Sinatra: So how do you strengthen your immune system? You're a naturopath. This is your area. What would you tell your patients? Get your immune system in order.
Dr. Drew Sinatra: First off, the most obvious thing is prevention. So let's talk about prevention first. Hand washing with soap and water for 15 to 20 seconds is going to be your best friend. If you need to sing a song while you're washing your hands to make sure you've been in there long enough, do that. Now if you don't have access to a hand washing station, make sure you use some sort of cleaner that has alcohol in it and maybe some aloe in it that might act as a disinfectant. Because we know that this coronavirus can stay on surfaces for a while.
Dr. Drew Sinatra: Let's say if you're on an airplane, let's say you're work, you might want to clean off the doorknob, you might want to clean off the tray table, bathroom handles. Whatever it is, you want to make sure that you're really cleaning down surfaces regularly to make sure you're preventing the spread of it.
Dr. Drew Sinatra: Now, for prevention purposes, I would not recommend people go to large events, let's say like a big convention center. That might not be the best thing to do in the next coming months because, when you're in a closed space like that, if someone coughs or sneezes there's going to be airborne particles of that virus in the air. The airborne virus gets essentially picked up by your mucus membranes via your eyes, your sinuses, your nose, and your mouth. You really want to protect yourself in that sense.
Dr. Drew Sinatra: If you are feeling like you've got a cough, you might have a fever or you feel like you've got the flu, well then don't go out. Really, you don't want to go outside. Don't go to your doctor's office unless you absolutely have to. If you do, wear a mask, because I believe that people that might be contagious, they can benefit others by wearing a mask. Now, dad, for you and I who don't have coronavirus, it's not going to benefit us to wear a mask per se, but it will benefit people that are already sick that might have either the flu or the coronavirus, which look very similar in symptoms, to wear a mask.
Dr. Drew Sinatra: So, I like hand washing, I like preventative things in terms of being smart around not getting involved in large groups. If you're going to shake someone's hand, wash your hands right after that, because you want to get the virus and the dirt and such off your hands.
Dr. Drew Sinatra: Now you asked me about immune support. Now this is what I'm recommending to people. I like vitamin D.
Dr. Steve Sinatra: Me too.
Dr. Drew Sinatra: I think everyone should be taking around five to 10,000 units per day of vitamin D. I like vitamin C.
Dr. Steve Sinatra: Me too.
Dr. Drew Sinatra: There's also certain things like NAC. You and I talk about NAC all the time time, dad, right?
Dr. Steve Sinatra: I love NAC. You know, Drew, people need to know that the greatest support to our immune system is glutathione peroxidase. The way you form glutathione peroxidase is with N-acetyl cysteine and vitamin C and selenium. Basically, those are the raw materials. You mentioned a multivitamin with selenium. I think N-acetyl cysteine is incredible. There's great research to show that taking a mere 1,000 milligrams a day supports the immune system to the point where, if you do get the flu, it's going to shorten the duration and shorten the symptoms. Taking NAC is great. We love NAC. We love quercetin. Quercetin's another one of these anti-inflammatories. Astragalus as an adaptogen I think is really good. It really preserves the integrity of our own immune system. Make it stronger, make it better. One of the things I like for kids are these elderberry gummies. I think adults can take them as well.
Dr. Drew Sinatra: Elderberry's so good as an antiviral. I couldn't agree more.
Dr. Steve Sinatra: As a naturopath, I'm in your area right now, but elderberry is good.
Dr. Drew Sinatra: Well, dad, another herb too you were using this when I was shadowing 20 years was liquorish root.
Dr. Steve Sinatra: Oh, I love it. I love it. The only contraindication is if you have high blood pressure.
Dr. Drew Sinatra: Correct.
Dr. Steve Sinatra: In other words, if you have high blood pressure, you want to limit liquorish root to maybe one or two weeks. If you don't have high blood pressure, sure, you can take it four weeks. Liquorish root tincture is great. That's another one of my favorite remedies for improving immune system support.
Dr. Drew Sinatra: A couple other things too, I mentioned the NAC, and I'll go back to dose really quick for that. I like to do anywhere from five to 1,000 milligrams two or three times per day in situations like this, especially with all the lung involvement with COVID-19. Zinc's also good, so let's not forget about basic mineral here, zinc. I think 50 milligrams, even as high as 75 milligrams a day, would be warranted. Make sure you do consume your zinc with food or else you might get nauseous.
Dr. Drew Sinatra: I also like thymic protein A. You know that product, dad, ProBoost is the name.
Dr. Steve Sinatra: Yeah, wasn't I the one that told you to take that a couple years ago?
Dr. Drew Sinatra: I think years ago you may have been the one to tell me that.
Dr. Steve Sinatra: That's right.
Dr. Drew Sinatra: I think that's phenomenal.
Dr. Steve Sinatra: I think protein A I do like, yep. That rockets the immune system as well, yeah.
Dr. Drew Sinatra: Then I'm also thinking about that thymosin alpha-1, which is a peptide that really can have immune modulating effects. I feel like that could be really effective for people as well right now.
Dr. Steve Sinatra: Right. I think the takeaway that we have to give our listeners is, number one, don't get caught up in fear. That's the most important thing, because fear weakens the immune system. Be optimistic, be positive. If you get an exposure, remember, you can take all these targeted nutritional supports that can rocket your immune system. Self-talk can be very, very supportive. In other words, you say to yourself, oh, I'm taking NAC, I'm taking AHCC, I'm taking quercetin or astragalus. My immune system is working. I think having a positive attitude and not getting engulfed in fear is the way to go. And how do you have a positive attitude? Well, you be optimistic, you take your targeted nutritional supplements, you eat healthy, like a Mediterranean diet. You get the rest that we all need, wash like you mentioned. It's simple stuff, it's simple stuff.
Dr. Drew Sinatra: That's right. Unfortunately, the media has really propagated a lot of this panic and fear.
Dr. Steve Sinatra: Awful, awful.
Dr. Drew Sinatra: It's unnecessary, because the reality is this, dad. And I think we need to talk about this myth. COVID-19, this coronavirus, has been here for at least six to eight weeks. It's been in the United States for that long, we're thinking. People may have been exposed to it and they had no idea that they even had it and they're recovered already. Unfortunately, the stats that we have right now may not be the most accurate, first off, especially if the stats are coming in China. We don't know if they're accurate or not, and even our stats as well, because a lot of people may have already had it but yet we don't even know it.
Dr. Drew Sinatra: Secondly, testing for this virus is not easy at this point. I know for our clinic, we don't even have access to any of the testing methods. If someone thinks they have it, they have to go to the state department of health and contact them and get a swab of their sinuses or the throat and send that in, which takes a couple days to back. In the meantime, you do need to be quarantined to make sure you're not infecting pound. Unfortunately, the testing method for it right now is not as available as we'd like it to be.
Dr. Steve Sinatra: Right, right. I would just tell people to get on with their lives, don't live in fear, take your targeted nutraceuticals.
Dr. Drew Sinatra: Dad, it comes down to this. Prevention is easier than cure.
Dr. Steve Sinatra: Correct.
Dr. Drew Sinatra: So let's do all these preventative measures to not get this virus.
Dr. Steve Sinatra: Well said, son. Thanks for listening, folks. I'm Dr. Steve Sinatra.
Dr. Drew Sinatra: And I'm Dr. Drew Sinatra, and this is Be HEALTHistic.
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Meet Dr. Drew Sinatra
Dr. Drew Sinatra is a board-certified naturopathic doctor and self-described “health detective” with a passion for promoting natural healing, wellness, and improving quality of life by addressing the root cause of illness in patients of all ages. His vibrant practice focuses on treating the whole person (mind, body, and spirit) and finding missed connections between symptoms and health issues that are often overlooked by conventional medicine.
Meet Dr. Stephen Sinatra
Dr. Stephen Sinatra is a highly respected and sought-after cardiologist and nutritionist with more than 30 years of clinical practice, research, and study. His integrative approach to heart health focuses on reducing inflammation in the body and maximizing the heart's ability to produce and use energy.