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The Functional Medicine Approach to COVID-19: Virus-Specific Nutraceutical and Botanical Agents

Joel M. Evans, MD; Thomas G. Guilliams, PhD; Patrick Hanaway, MD; Robert Luby, MD; Dan Lukaczer, ND; Helen Messier, MD, PhD; Kirsten Ramsdell, MS, CN; Robert Roundtree, MD; P Michael Stone, MD, MS, IFM-CP; Sam F Yanuck, DC

As the novel infection with SARS-CoV-2 emerges, objective assessment of the scientific plausibility of nutraceutical and botanical interventions for prevention and treatment is important. We evaluate twelve such interventions with mechanisms of action that modulate the immune system, impair viral replication, and/or have been demonstrated to reduce severity of illness. These are examples of interventions that, mechanistically, can help protect patients in the presence of the prevalent and infectious SARS-CoV-2 virus. While there are limited studies to validate these agents to specifically prevent COVID-19, they have been chosen based upon their level of evidence for effectiveness and safety profiles, in the context of other viral infections. These agents are to be used in a patient-specific manner in concert with lifestyle interventions known to strengthen immune response (see related article in this issue of IMCJ).

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