Last week, our founder, Sunna Van Kampen, parcelled up and posted 500 drinks of Tonic Health to key workers in NHS hospitals across the UK, including Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children. With our NHS being so close to the frontline of the coronavirus, here at Tonic we wanted to ensure that we were doing our part to help – with immune-supporting high doses of Vitamin C, Vitamin D and Zinc.
There are various ways in which vitamin C helps our immune system to function more efficiently, read in detail on our blog here. Vitamin C is even being trialled as a potential treatment to COVID-19. Doctors throughout New York are giving their critically ill coronavirus patients significant doses of vitamin C, a treatment said to have helped those hit the hardest in China. Despite these articles, there is no scientific evidence for any kind of benefit for these treatments, though. Dr Andrew Weber, a Long Island based pulmonologist and critical-care specialist, commented that he has been immediately giving his intensive-care patients 1,500 milligrams of intravenous vitamin C. Those patients are then re-administered the doses of the powerful antioxidant three or four times a day, the doctor explained to the New York Post. Each dose is more than 16 times the daily dietary vitamin allowance of vitamin C advised from the National Institute of Health.
In addition to this, the BBC is now recommending that certain members of the public should try to supplement with Vitamin D, during the Spring and Summer, as we will not be soaking in the sunshine version of this powerful vitamin. The sunshine vitamin, along with others, can help our body stay fit to ward off illness and infections - important during a pandemic. Spanish and French researchers are doing clinical trials to see if vitamin D helps coronavirus patients. Prof Jon Rhodes, emeritus professor of medicine in the UK, says vitamin D has anti-inflammatory effects and there is some research that suggests it may dampen down the body's immune response to viruses. In coronavirus patients, severe lung damage can result from an inflammatory response to the virus, so the vitamin could help, although much more research is needed.
Zinc is a key micronutrient and mineral too, that is essential for the body. A lack of zinc can make a person more susceptible to disease and illness. It affects how our cells respond to infections and can help keep inflammation under control. Our bodies cannot make zinc, which means that it must come from our food or from supplements. Researchers say they have gained a key insight into how zinc helps the immune system fight infection. A study shows that zinc stops the immune system from spiralling out of control. The researchers say the findings could also explain why taking zinc supplements at the start of a cold can stem its severity. There are a number of ways zinc helps the immune system, but primarily it activates enzymes that break down proteins in viruses and bacteria, so they are less able to spread. Zinc also increases the activation of cells responsible for fighting infection.
The word 'thank you' doesn't seem enough, and yesterday, a minute's silence was been held across the UK to commemorate the key workers who have died with coronavirus. More than 100 NHS and care staff have died with the virus, as have many transport and other key workers. The latest daily figures on Monday show a further 360 people died with the virus in UK hospitals, taking the total number of deaths to 21,092, and the prime minister stated on Monday that our country has not dealt with something of this kind since the world wars. We hope to keep helping our NHS and staying inside for as long as we can.
The image above is of our wonderful NHS superheroes at Great Ormond Street Hospital. We are so glad to have been able to play a small part in helping their immune systems stay strong during this time of need.