Nutritional medicine and COVID-19, By John Tor-Agbidye


There is a dearth of knowledge on nutritional medicine and the immune system as the body’s major defense against disease in particular. While we know that nutrition gives the immune system its firing power, it is important to explain the need for the form in which the body gets the nutrients and the associated conditions or challenges, especially under oxidative stress or disease state.


The innocuous belief that we can get all the nutrients our body needs  from “good food” is not tenable under our present age or state of civilization. More so, this school of thought will fly in a normal healthy person only, if the so called “good food” is from an  “adequate diet”. Note the term “adequate” is used these days in place of “balanced diet”.
Due to modern agricultural practices accompanied by use of chemical fertilizers and herbicides, our foods no longer contain the same amounts of micronutrients compared to several decades back. Twenty six minerals that our body requires come from the soil. However, every year a farmer puts only 3 minerals back via fertilizers (NPK). Thus with the NPK fertilizer, you are having 3 minerals only put back into the soil. Overtime there is bound to be a depletion of these minerals.
A published study that was conducted over a period of 50 years by the University of Texas showed a time-dependent decrease in measured micronutrients like Magnesium, Calcium, Zinc by 60% (reduction),  retrospectively over the period of the study (50 years).
Secondly, oxidative state caused by over stress (e. g during a pandemic like COVID-19) the body exerts an overwhelming demand in the amounts of micronutrients it requires for metabolic functions. It is no longer the Average Daily Requirements (ADR) that is needed, the body demand is ten times higher. And to deal with a disease, the demand is even as high as a hundred fold.
A good example is the level of Vitamin D in the body. Clinically (depending on the Lab), the level of Vitamin D should not be less than 70 ng/mL. It is noteworthy, most people that come to us have Vitamin D levels of less than 20 ng/mL. What amount of exposure in the sunlight will correct this deficiency within a reasonable time to allow the person to optimally maintain their immunomodulation status? So nutritional infusions are required to quickly correct micronutrients deficiency.
Vitamin D can be given in high doses intravenously to attain a quick and fast pharmacokinetic plasma levels. Thereafter, we can maintain the patient on oral supplementation and advise them to be in the sun especially during the morning hours for at least 30 mins daily as well as take oral Vitamin D at maintenance dosage. A change of lifestyle is also important, that is to be exposed to sunlight considerably and not to be under the air conditioners or indoors most of the time.
Another fact that we have to appreciate is the limitation of oral dosing. Oral dosing achieves only 30% absorption (bioavailability factor). Also under disease state the body or the GIT is altered and there is malabsorption and poor assimilation of the micronutrients into the blood system. This is another reason why IV infusions as a mode of administering these nutrients is most appropriate, superior and lends to quick and good clinical outcomes.
Micronutrients are not easily available and not cheap to come by. The USA and Germany are major producers of micronutrients and they are mainly sold to licensed medical practitioners in the country of manufacture. This explains why their cost to end users should not be expected to be cheap no matter the good intentions or compassionate values.
In summary people should be encouraged to take immune boosters intravenously for quick and fast Immunomodulation under the guide of  medical doctors in a pandemic era like this. General wellbeing checks are also necessary periodically and the government must sustain efforts on public health education especially on fundamentals of wellbeing and disease prevention.
Dr John Tor-Agbidye is a Neurotoxicologist, Founder/CEO IML.
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