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Micro-Nutrient Status and Post-Covid Syndrome

As cases continue to rise, yet so does our knowledgeon treatments and more.  Regardless of severity of infections, persons infected with COVID are experiencing lingering symptoms for months after diagnosis. This phenomenon is being labeled as Post-COVID Syndrome. The depletion of nutrients and immune system cells as a result of this virus, are leaving us vulnerable to nutrient deficiencies and immune deficiencies causing lingering and challenging symptoms

Typical symptoms:

  • brain fog
  • depression & anxiety
  • dyspnea
  • hair loss
  • loss of smell
  • vision changes
  • body/joint aches

The depletion of nutrients have shown to be a significant risk factor for severity of Post-COVID syndrome.(1)

Post-influenza syndrome is not unusual as there are many viruses that cause chronic issues in susceptible populations. However, because the coronavirus has the ability to affect different organ systems other than just the respiratory system (normal to influenza)through the strong inflammatory response, it can be longer lasting with more severe symptoms.

Post-viral syndrome typically can last 3-4 months. You are definitely more prone to more severe Post-COVID syndrome if you were in the hospital or on a ventilatory to experience lingering symptoms up to 1 year, called post intensive care syndrome.

Why are some people affected?

It is not known why some people’s recovery is prolonged. Persistent viraemia due to weak or absent antibody response, relapse or reinfection, inflammatory and other immune reactions, deconditioning, and mental factors such as post-traumatic stress may all contribute. Long term respiratory, musculoskeletal, and neuropsychiatric sequelae have been described for other coronaviruses (SARS and MERS),and these have pathophysiological parallels with post-acute covid-1

Why Do We Need MicroNutrients ?

Micronutrients are vitamins and specific minerals that are critical to the proper structure and functioning of numerous proteins, enzymes, physiological processes, and signaling pathways within the body. Without these micronutrients, these essential processes cease to function properly, and this contributes to morbidity and, in cases of severe deficiency, mortality. Micronutrients are needed to properly use our MACRONUTRIENTS like protein, fats, and carbohydrates.

Because of the depletion of T-cells, the type of immune cells needed to fight the virus, the immune system is also left depleted from the strong virus. If all your immune workers aren't able to show up for their daily job, you may experience flares of other chronic latent viruses that were in your body before like Epstein Bar Virus, Herpes Virus and many more. It will also be harder to fight off daily invaders like parasites, bacteria, allergies, and more. It may also be hard to fight off any other viruses that you may come into contact with.

Coronavirus, because of its inflammatory response the body, also devoids your body of all the nutrients that were needed to fight the inflammation, along with the T-cells, the main type of immune cells needed to fight the virus. Because of the depletion of all these nutrients after such an inflammatory response, recovery can be slow and you can manifest symptoms related to not having these nutrients anymore. The most potent anti-inflammatory depleted with COVID is glutathione. Other common nutrients depleted are glutathione, vitamin C, and Vitamin D


Not only can certain immune/inflammatory markers be helpful in assessing your response to an infection but assess possible risk of contracting significant symptoms after the coronavirus. Ask your naturopathic doctors to run these markers at your next follow up and monitor every 3 months:

  • WBC
  • CRP
  • BNP
  • IL-10, TNF-ALPHA, IL-2, IL4, IL-6


Many natural anti-inflammatories can worsen or decrease the inflammatory response from COVID-19. Many medications that are approved continue to not be reliable treatments and often end up having contraindicating studies and are NOT reccomended for most cases of COVID. Remdesivir, also known as Veklury, and steroid dexamethasone are the only drugs authorised to treat COVID-19 patients across the world. But the largest study on remdesivir's efficacy, run by the World Health Organization (WHO), showed it had little or no impact, contradicting previous trials. This is why its essential to continue to have basic nutritional and inflammatory markers tested and monitored, as a way to monitor your overall health status.  There is no cure natural or synthetic, but we can try to be the healthies version of ourselves! Education through information is power. 

How do you prevent depletion or replete of T-cells?

  • Glutathione - The most important anti-inflamatory agent in the human body.  as it can re-balance the immune system. This is the most important yet most powerful anti-oxdiant at activating SPECIFIC CELLS to attack the virus (not just boosting all the cells) and quelching inflammation at the same time. Important to re-up your levels after recovering from any major illness as it gets depleted.  Often not absorbed well through diet or vitamins, it can take a while to replete your levels. 
  • Vitamin C - highly correlated with overall disease risk
  • Vitamin D - also highly correlated with overal disease and hospitlization risk.  
  1. Shi Y, Yu X, Zhao H, Wang H, Zhao R, Sheng J. Host susceptibility to severe COVID-19 and establishment of a host risk score: findings of 487 cases outside Wuhan. Crit Care. 2020;24(1):108. doi: 10.1186/s13054-020-2833-7. [PMC free article] [PubMed] [CrossRef] [Google Scholar]
  2. Carr AC, Rosengrave PC, Bayer S, Chambers S, Mehrtens J, Shaw GM. Hypovitaminosis C and vitamin C deficiency in critically ill patients despite recommended enteral and parenteral intakes. Crit Care. 2017;21:300. doi: 10.1186/s13054-017-1891-y. [PMC free article] [PubMed] [CrossRef] [Google Scholar]
  3. Carr AC. Vitamin C in pneumonia and sepsis. In: Chen Q, Vissers M, editors. Vitamin C: new biochemical and functional insights. Oxidative stress and disease. Boca Raton: FL CRC Press/Taylor & Francis; 2020. pp. 115–135. [Google Scholar]
  4. Carr AC, Spencer E, Dixon L, Chambers ST. Patients with community acquired pneumonia exhibit depleted vitamin C status and elevated oxidative stress. Nutrients. 2020;12(1318):10. [PMC free article] [PubMed] [Google Scholar]
  5. Carr AC, Rowe S. Factors affecting vitamin C status and prevalence of deficiency: a global health perspective. Preprints. 2020;28358.


Cynthia Preston, ND

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