Archive for December, 2020

HBN’s Natural Approach to Covid-19

A fever is no longer thought to be an effective way to screen for covid-19. However, the guy in the photo has some kind of serious problem (unless his temperature of 36 is in centigrade which translates to 96.8 in Fahrenheit).

I have run into some folks who have had covid-19 or who who have had family member get. Although there is useful information on the HBN Library’s Covid-19 Summary Page (which I will update in the next couple of days), not everyone knows about that and or even has a computer. Sometimes I wish I had printed out information about the natural essentials and had it with me. So, I repeat that information here in the blog, and I also made into a covid pdf document which might be easier to print and hand out as you have the opportunity. Wish I had thought to do this sooner, but unfortunately, we are not at the end of this thing yet.

I should start by explaining that “not proven” is vastly different than “disproven”. The FDA only considers a substance “proven” if it is (a) a drug, (b) has gone through many years and hundreds of millions of dollars in testing and (c) will not be a natural alternative to one of their precious pharmaceuticals. Understand that no nutrition supplier can pay for FDA level “proof” because it can never get back that investment. Nutrients cannot be patented, so, all their competitors will also be able sell the item. Never mind all that, nutrients can be as powerful as drugs and are much safer. The following is based on a consensus of several nutrition experts and was taken from the periodically-updated more comprehensive document,

WHAT TO DO IF YOU BECOME ILL WITH COVID-19. Obviously, stay home and away from people you might infect. Read, for diet and lifestyle factors that will help. Below are the most important supplements to take right away:

  • Vitamin D3 take 50,000 IU per day for at least 3 days or until you feel better hopefully in a week or so. Then taper back to 10,000 over a few days. Yes, these are large doses compared to government guidelines, but there is a lot of science showing that they are safe, and the plan works! For this short-term emergency use, any brand Vitamin D3 will work. (See below for routine supplementation.)
  • Zinc lozenges – Studies show that zinc in the lozenge form works best for respiratory infections. The total intake for the day should be 75 mg. There is one lozenge so intelligently designed that it contains an ingredient to help get zinc into infected cells where it can stop viral replication. (800-247-5731) has the only lozenge that does that.
  • Vitamin C – C activates sluggish immune cells and protects from oxidative damage. I take 500-1,000 mg every few hours. Check the label, e.g. the Emergen-C brand powder may contain zinc, which when combined with the zinc lozenges, might send you over the recommended 75 mg intake.
  • Selenium and Resveratrol can help. These are not as first line perhaps as the D, C and zinc but worth considering. Among other benefits, Selenium keeps zinc available. Resveratrol is amazing and protect the lungs and heart. See articles on both in the Library.

For respiratory distress. Consider using hydrogen peroxide in a nebulizer. To get the protocol specifics and more ideas from Tom Levy, MD and Dr. Joseph Mercola, visit

Virus Prevention. Prevention is far better than trying to cure anything. In addition to (not instead of) the standard advice about distancing, masks and hand washing, these supplements will help:

  • Vitamin D. Blood levels should routinely be at 70-100, not the pitiful 20-30 often shown as “normal” on test reports. Achieving optimum levels typically takes daily doses of D3 in the 8,000-10,000 range. For the long term, it is best to also take vitamin K2 because D3 increases calcium uptake and the vitamin K gets calcium into the bones rather than hanging around causing trouble in the blood vessels. Now Foods makes a spray combination balanced in D3 and K2, it is highly absorbed and easy to dose. Ask your natural food store to get it or you can find it online. You can save money, with powdered nutrients. Those are available on
  • Zinc. It is good to take from 30-50 mg a day routinely. I think the best way to get that amount and in an easy to absorb form is to take Molecular Multi from (800-247-5731) . (It also contains other nutrients we need and is the best multi I’ve ever found.) If you are happy with your multi and need extra zinc, T-cell zinc™ is a unique form that for one thing helps the thymus gland. The thymus produces the Tcells which are the long term immunity to covid-19. T-cell Zinc is available from 866-405-4000
  • Vitamin C – Because vitamin C quickly washes out of the body, I think it is smart to take Formula 216 for routine daily use. This unique formula protects you with C around the clock and encourages the body to make more when there is a stress. New science—no other product does that. Available from 833-848-2216.

Copyright December 2020 by Martie Whittekin, CCN

Who knew that B1 was such a BIG deal?

Leave it to our favorite deep-dive investigative journalist and truth seeker, Bill Sardi, to notice that a whole bunch of common health complaints, (including many that are associated with covid-19) are also known signs of beriberi. Beriberi is a disease caused by a deficiency of vitamin B1 (a.k.a. thiamine). It has been off the radar in modern times because it has commonly been thought to only affect alcoholics and the malnourished poor folks in 3rd world countries. Because the practice of medicine is so compartmentalized into specialties, no one doctor may even see the pattern of problems that would suggest beriberi. Mr. Sardi wrote this recent article about how the deficiency of vitamin B1 was even once mistaken for a viral epidemic.

After reviewing the chart below that Sardi prepared, I think most readers will want to know more about how we get vitamin B1 and why we might not have enough. No one person would have all of these symptoms, but if you have ANY of them, think about B1.

How does B1 work?
You can add morning sickness in pregnancy and probably many more items to that already impressive list. To better understand how powerful B1 is, it may help to remember that we have 2 nervous systems. One is our consciously controlled nervous system (the sympathetic system). It is the one you use to tell your legs to walk or your arms to swing a golf club. The other one works in the background automatically (the autonomic system), for example to keep your heart beating in rhythm, your lungs breathing regularly and your intestines moving food along. B1 controls that autonomic nervous system and it helps the mitochondria in our cells convert food into energy. Its effects are understandably widespread in the body and so are the symptoms of its deficiency.

Where do we get B1? Medscape lists these dietary sources: whole-grain foods, meat [especially pork]/fish/poultry/eggs, milk and milk products, vegetables (ie, green, leafy vegetables; beets; potatoes), legumes (ie, lentils, soybeans, nuts, seeds), orange and tomato juices. Note that the list does not include Doritos, gummy bears, bagels, donuts, Rice Krispies, or a whole host of other things that Americans eat. The more a food like a vegetable is cooked, the more the B1 is degraded. E.g. a potato may have some B1, but not by the time it becomes a Pringles chip. The bacteria in our intestinal tracts make some B1 and so we need to keep them in good shape. (They love fibers from vegetables.)

Why could we be low in B1? The Standard American Diet (SAD) is not high in B1 rich foods. Even under ideal circumstances, we can absorb only a small amount each day, e.g. 5 mg. Worse yet, most of us are not in the ideal circumstances for absorption because alcohol, coffee, and sugar all particularly interfere with B1 uptake. That is why doctors watch alcoholics for beriberi symptoms. If emotional stress does not deplete vitamin B1 directly (and it very well may do that), stress can drive us to eat sugary comfort foods and drink alcohol—both of which deplete thiamine. Then there are many medications that deplete B1. Diuretics are suspect. The diabetes drug, metformin, depletes B1 as well as vitamin B12, which is another important nerve protector. (That makes me wonder if the drug is contributing to the peripheral neuropathy experienced by many diabetics.) One reason that minorities have more health worries is in part due to living in neighborhoods where there is a lack of fresh wholesome foods and they are more likely to block B1 with the sugar in processed foods and by drinking alcohol. The elderly in long term care facilities are more frequently deficient in thiamine…presumably because of the diet.

What about supplements? Most people probably take a multivitamin that contains some B1. For example, Centrum Silver (which I do NOT recommend) contains 1.1 mg. but in a form that is not especially easy to absorb. What is more, if you take that pill with a typical IHop breakfast of pancakes with syrup and coffee, you might not absorb much if any. For comparison, Molecular Multi contains 20 mg. I don’t recommend taking it with a bad breakfast, but at least it contains enough to allow for some absorption interference. B vitamins are typically water-soluble, but there is a fat-soluble variety of B1, benfotiamine, that seems to be better absorbed and utilized. It has been found useful for diabetic vascular problems and is being researched for helping with diabetic nerve damage, Alzheimer’s and arthritis. Bill Sardi was so motivated by the apparent need, that he recently formulated Nerve Guardian which contains 10 mg. of benfotiamine  and 5 more nutrients to help the nervous system. I am impressed with the product and that he made it affordable. With his “Buy one/get one free” offer, the price works out to just $3.12 a month!!! Available from Lifespan Nutrition at 800-247-5731.

Testing / Safety? As is the case with most nutrients, normal blood testing is relatively useless. The more accurate tests are expensive and unnecessary. It is better to just try supplementing B1 and see if it helps. (That is called a “therapeutic trial”.) According to Harvard, there has never been a toxic level of thiamine (B1) discovered. The body stops absorbing it when it has enough and flushes out the excess.

Back to covid-19. Whatever you believe about the source and nature of the pandemic, it stands to reason that a great many people are suffering symptoms related to insufficient B1 with or without a virus. It can only help everyone to be well nourished.

This links to the government’s professional information sheet on thiamin.(Just remember that when the feds set nutrient intake levels, they are of a drug mindset and are not thinking about optimum function or allowing for the fact that we might do something to interfere with absorption.)




Following up Jeff Bowles’ amazing interviews

Last week’s interview with investigative health journalist,Jeff T Bowles and the show the week before that were exciting and a bit shocking. They covered his fascinating book, The Miraculous Cure For and Prevention of All Diseases—What Doctors Never Learned.  In case you haven’t yet heard those shows, the simple yet powerful cure he discusses is vitamin D3. Mr. Bowles kindly answered listeners’ follow up questions by email and provided additional resources of which I want to make readers aware. High dose vitamin D3 can be very powerful and it is quite safe if the other nutrients that it works with are kept in balance.

  • This is a nifty interactive “calculator” to determine the amount of sunlight exposure needed to maintain a healthy vitamin D status without sunburn
  • Taking a calcium supplement when taking high dose D3 is generally NOT a good idea. That is because the only danger of high dose D3 is that is can promote too much calcium in the blood and/or aggravate a magnesium deficiency.
  • After Mr. Bowles took 20 to 25,000 IUs of D3 per day for a few months, his D3 blood level was 125 ng/ml. He says people do not get the healing results, disease cures and resolution of chronic issues unless their D3 level is about 125 to 150 ng/ml (The so-called “normal” range is 30 to 100 ng/ml. Of course, that is computed by averaging a sick population.)
  • A good place for blood tests is this linked website. They will send you a form that you take to the nearest Labcorp office which will draw your blood. You will then get test results by email in 3 days. Note that some locations are busier than others.
  • The most important test is blood calcium. If it is in the normal range, you have nothing to worry about because D3 itself is nontoxic. Its only risk is that it can elevate calcium too high. The blood panel for $140 provides D3, calcium levels and many others. Do not worry about the magnesium results because the usual serum blood tests tell you nothing useful about how much magnesium is in the tissues.
  • DOSING suggestions from Jeff Bowles.
    • Vitamin D3. Take D3 based on your body weight and test results. The bigger a person is, the more they need. With each 10,000 IU, also take the following:
    • Vitamin K2 helps calcium go into the bone and get out of the arteries where it can cause trouble. Bowles recommends 800 mcg (micrograms) of the mk7 type of K2 for each 10,000 IU of D3. OR 4 mg (4,000 mcg) of the weaker but more natural mk4 type of K See for information about saving money by buying D3 and K2 in bulk. The vitamin D3+K2 spray that I use has a good balance.
    • Magnesium. Magnesium* is required to covert the D3 into other needed forms.Jeff thinks that it is likely that 75% of diseases can be cured with vitamin D3 and the other 25% with magnesium. So,another of the great reasons to take it. Mr. Bowles says to take anywhere from 250 mg 2x per day of extended-release magnesium up to 500mg 2x a day or even 750 mg 2x a day. He recommends the magnesium from He says to take as much as you can handle for a 1-year period if you think you are magnesium deficient or are taking high dose D3. The reason for the extended release kind is that it stays in the blood for 6 hours at a time and it is important to have high blood levels of magnesium all the time to reverse a deficiency in the tissues. If you have a loose stool after 1week or so, cut down the dosage until you are ok with it.
    • Boron. If you get the little 3 mg pills, take 18 mg 2 x per day with some zinc picolinate 50 mg 2 x a day. Or, if you use 20 Mule Team Detergent Booster Borax Powder (NOT the detergent containing borax) take 1/8th a teaspoon 2x per day (presumably in water).
  • One listener wanted to know the highest Jeff’s blood levels ever reached. He replied, “the highest level I have ever reached on a test was about 175 ng/ml after I had been taking 70,000 IU’s a day for many months. But, I have heard from people who have hit the 200’s and one guy at 320 ng/ml  that were fine….They were just alarmed at the high number. My advice to them was to stop the D3, keep taking K2 until the D3 comes back down to the 125 to 150 ng/ml range…They did that and everything was fine.”
  • HBN Library resources – Benefits and Basics this section and in this one on Vitamin D supplements, safety, testing and doses. (I’ve been working to update those, but if there are any conflicts, consider this blog more current.)

*“Magnesium deficiency is common in our society. The RDA used to be 800 mg, but practically no one was getting that much from the food supply. And because many entitlement programs, such as Food Stamps, require that RDA amounts be obtained from food rather than from supplements, the FDA realized that giving people enough food to provide 800 mg/day of magnesium was prohibitively expensive. So they reduced the RDA to 400 mg—a triumph of politics over science.” “A few years ago the FDA proposed reducing the magnesium RDA from 400 to 200 mg. There was such an outcry about it that they backed off. Four hundred (400) milligrams is about the lowest amount an adult ought to consider taking, and most people aren’t getting even half of that in their diet.” Source: Durk Pearson and Sandy Shaw article, Putting More Power Into Your Life.



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