10 MAR, 2020

Coronavirus (COVID-19) is spread from person to person by close contact, via droplets from an infected person’s body fluid such as saliva or mucus.  Person-to-person infections are also believed to occur from dispersed particles in the air or on surfaces that have come in contact with infected individuals through coughing and or sneezing.  The spread of the infection is similar to other respiratory illnesses including the flu and although the level of immunity is currently unclear, persons with a compromised immune system or aged individuals have a significantly increased susceptibility and are at increased risk of infection with a flu-like virus that can be fatal.

To self-protect from the virus, hygiene practices are imperative such as washing your hands thoroughly and covering your face with an effective mask if coughing and sneezing. Whilst physically protecting yourself from transmission is crucial, consumption of vitamin C, Lactoferrin and Zinc will actively strengthen immunity and natural defenses against the virus.

Currently there are two dozen studies registered on, these studies aim to test multiple different remedies including Vitamin C that re investigating a possible positive response

Vitamin C and it’s role in Immunity

  • Vitamin C supports various cellular functions by reducing inflammation in turn boosting the immune system [1][2][3]
  • Vitamin C has crucial influence in the production of the anti-viral immune response during the early phase of viral infection through the production of type I interferons, which up-regulate Natural killer (NK) cell activity [1][6][7]
  • Vitamin C supports the production of interferons, necessary for cells to initiate protective defences [[7]
  • Vitamin C supports the production of large quantities of nitrogen oxide by phagocytes, necessary to capture and neutralize pathogens [2][7]
  • Vitamin C enhances the production of T lymphocytes, necessary for cell mediated immune responses [1][6][7]
  • Vitamin C increases the production of B lymphocytes, crucial for the early phase response to infective [7][10]
  • Vitamin C deficiency may result in a weakened immune system with a higher risk of infection[1]
  • Findings have indicated that ascorbic acid can be used as an inactivating agent for both RNA and DNA viruses, lessening viral infectivity[7]

Zinc and it’s role in Immunity

  • Zinc deficiency has been shown associated with impaired cellular mediators of the innate immune system such as phagocytosis and natural killer cell activity [1]
  • B cells and T cells depend on zinc for proliferation, zinc deficiency will reduce antibody-mediated immune defense[5]
  • Increased intracellular zinc impairs replication of a number of RNA viruses by interfering with viral polyprotein processing [12]

Lactoferrin and it’s role in Immunity (Anti-Viral activity)

  • Lactoferrin displays antiviral activity against both DNA and RNA viruses, and similarly to vitamin C the antiviral effects lie in the early phase of infection [6][13]
  • Lactoferrin binds to the hosts surface cell receptors inhibiting viral pathogens from entering the cell.  By competitive inhibition lactoferrin can reduce endocytosis of micro-organism entry into host cells, where they can evade the immune system [14]
  • Lactoferrin contributes to the suppression of pro-inflammatory cytokines and type 1 interferons.[13][14]
  • In the presence of viruses, Lactoferrin can increase phagocytic activity of macrophages. These cell types play an important role during the early phases of viral infection, before the specific immune system is upregulated and takes over the antiviral response [8][13]
  • lactoferrin encourages gut-associated immune functions by production of interleukin-18, type I interferons and increased natural killer cell activity.[8][11]
  • Lactoferrin promotes maturation of T lymphocytes… and under different host conditions promotion of either Th1 (pro-inflammatory) or Th2 (anti-inflammatory) cytokine profiles occur[11]