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Category Archives: COVID-19

Supplements in Trump’s COVID-19 Treatment

COVID-19 Supplements

Last week President Donald Trump revealed he had tested positive for COVID-19 and would begin treatment. His medical team revealed it is using a combination of medications and supplements that are thought to help mediate the virus. Since there is no definitive standard of care or one size fits all therapy for the novel virus, it is interesting to see how his medical team approaches treatment for the leader of the free world. In this article, we examine the nutritional supplements used in his COVID-19 treatment and how they may help.


Zinc: Zinc is an essential trace element involved in most major metabolic pathways. It has a vital role in maintaining immune function, reproduction, healthy skin, and growth. Immune cells must rapidly divide to respond to daily challenges and require adequate amounts of zinc to do so.

As a cofactor of the antioxidant enzyme superoxide dismutase (SOD), zinc is considered an antioxidant nutrient. Supplementation with zinc increases the antioxidant activity of SOD and provide increased free radical protection.

Zinc is thought to reduce viral replication and can be found in many over-the-counter cold supplements. When used in high doses, zinc can deplete copper, another essential trace mineral, so higher dose zinc supplements often contain copper to prevent deficiency.


Vitamin D: Vitamin D, also known as the sunshine vitamin, is an essential vitamin that plays many roles in the proper functioning of the body. Though classified as a vitamin, it is a key regulatory hormone for calcium and bone metabolism. It is estimated that at least 40% of Americans are deficient in vitamin D.

Vitamin D has also been recognized as necessary for normal, healthy cell growth and function and healthy immune function. For COVID-19, vitamin D is thought to lower viral replication rates, boost the immune system, and reduce concentrations of pro-inflammatory cytokines, which product the inflammation that injures the lining of the lungs.

Read More: Can Vitamin D Reduce COVID-19 Infections?


Melatonin: Melatonin is associated with sleep, but it also plays a role in the immune system. Melatonin is a natural hormone synthesized from the amino acid tryptophan by the pineal gland in the back of the brain and is contained in small amounts in food. Melatonin appears to regulate sleep/wake cycles, support normal immune function, and protect cells from free radical damage.

For COVID-19, Melatonin may help reduce the severity of the immune system’s exaggerated inflammatory reaction. Melatonin supports normal immune function by helping maintain the activity of circulating natural killer cells. It also has been found to function as an antagonist for stress-induced immunosuppression. It is also considered a potent antioxidant that enters all body cells to help prevent free radical damage.


  • Vitamin C: Vitamin C is crucial for supporting oxidative stress, energy production, and immune function.
  • Quercetin: Helps reduce inflammatory lung response when used with zinc. It is believed to help zinc penetrate cells to fight COVID-19 at a cellular level.
  • Probiotics: Improves gut health and supports the immune system.
  • Immune Health Support: A comprehensive formula that provides essential vitamins and minerals for immune support along with a generous supply of specialized ingredients that have been shown to promote overall immune health.


The use of supplements by the President during this critical time demonstrates that they play a role even in “conventional medicine.” Nutritional supplements do not need to replace prescription medications. Some medications work better in conjunction with supplements to reduce side effects and alleviate drug-induced nutrient depletions. That said, some supplements should not be used in combination with certain medications, so it is always a good idea to check with a knowledgeable healthcare professional before starting something new. Pharmacists can examine your current medications and check for any contraindications.  They can also recommend an appropriate supplement plan for your health needs and goals. If you are looking to boost your immune system to fight COVID-19, supplements may play a role.

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CBD Oil and COVID-19: What it Can and Can’t Do


By Dr. Stan Headley, natural health consultant for Cypress Pharmacy

In these uncertain times when health is on everyone’s mind, the marketing of CBD oil as a relative cure-all is ramping up. So are false claims about what it can do for you.

Cannabidiol (CBD) is the hemp-derived ingredient thought to have therapeutic benefits to ease the symptoms of conditions including anxiety, sleeplessness and pain. Hemp is a plant that has been used for centuries by many cultures for healing, and unlike its chemical cousin marijuana, hemp-derived CBD oil offers a broad spectrum of beneficial cannabinoids.

During the coronavirus pandemic, the Internet has been flooded with information on how to protect yourself from contracting the coronavirus – while some sources are credible, many others are not. CBD has been misleadingly listed alongside other inaccurate recommendations for the treatment and prevention for COVID-19, such as taking oregano oil and avoiding cold drinks, milkshakes, ice cream and spicy foods. While CBD provides a host of health benefits that can help boost the immune system, it has not been tested against COVID-19 at this time as a form of treatment or guaranteed prevention method.

Multiple authorities, including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), are working to stop the false marketing of CBD products in relation to the coronavirus. With claims being made quicker than authorities can shut them down, consumers need to be cautious of misleading information, and instead look toward only credible sources during this pandemic.

What CBD oil can do for you now (and all other times, too) is help lessen anxiety, improve sleep and provide anti-inflammatory capabilities, all important to strengthen your overall wellness and immunity.

The benefits of CBD use relates to the Endocannabinoid System (ECS), made up of receptors that act as messengers to give your body specific directions in regulating anxiety, appetite/hunger, depression, immune function, memory, mood, motor control, pain, pleasure and reward, reproduction and fertility, sleep and temperature. Endocannabinoids are the chemical messengers that tell your body to get these processes moving.

If your body does not produce enough endocannabinoids or cannot regulate them properly, external sources like CBD can help to balance and maintain the ECS by binding to receptors, providing therapeutic benefits as well as helping regenerate cells and brain function.

The amount of CBD oil in a product will have a direct effect on its efficacy, and the methods used to manufacture CBD oil impact the safety and quality of products you might buy, all more reasons to get products from reputable sources.

Not all CBD is created equal, so Cypress Pharmacy has launched a CBD education and upgrade program to educate consumers about quality CBD and empower them to navigate the CBD landscape with confidence. The program encourages members of the community to “Trade Questionable for Quality” by bringing in CBD products that they’re unsure about and learn more about the medicinal benefits of high-quality CBD. Those who wish to upgrade their CBD will have the option to purchase any new products at the discounted rate of 20% off.

Also, recognizing the positive effects of CBD on stress and anxiety, Cypress Pharmacy is offering discounted CBD to health care personnel who are working on the front lines during the COVID-19 pandemic. Health care professionals can visit the pharmacy during regular business hours and show their service badge to receive select CBD products for $10 (normally $50-$65).

Now more than ever, it’s important to protect yourself from false coronavirus claims by looking to sources of credible information. Be informed so that you can feel confident in the products you’re putting into your body.

What boosting your immune system really means


Dr. Stan Headley, natural health consultant for Cypress Pharmacy

In the midst of uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus (COVID-19), many people are looking for quick fixes sometimes dubbed “immunity boosters.” But what does it actually mean to “boost” your immune system, and is it really possible?

The immune system is your first line of defense against all infections, including bacteria, viruses, parasites, fungus or mold. It is also the consensus among expert immunologists that white blood cells and their component parts, including T-cell and natural killer cells, play a vital role in combating foreign invaders, whether they are ingested, inhaled or spread by person-to-person contact.

When we consider all the factors that contribute to keeping the body healthy, at the top of the list is homeostasis, or internal balance. “Boosting” just means balancing the immune system. To begin balancing the immune system, it is recommended to first work on lifestyle factors including sleep, stress management, nutrition and maintaining a super healthy microbiome. To ensure these lifestyle shifts are sustainable, the practices should fulfill you, rather than feeling like a difficult chore or something you know will be difficult to be consistent with on a daily basis.

While there is no single fast-acting magic solution, a combination of preventive measures can help ensure your immune system is operating at its peak performance. In addition to washing your hands – an incredibly important practice – there are supplemental activities that help strengthen your immunity, not just temporarily supercharge it.

Consider these tips for boosting your immune system:

  1. Stay hydrated – Drinking good quality water will help keep your lungs moist and mucus flowing, which clears the lungs of the gunk that can collect and create conditions for opportunistic infections to thrive.
  2. Drink green or black tea – Studies show that certain teas have tremendous antioxidant polyphenols that have been shown to support the immune system by fighting off free radicals.
  3. Limit your sugar intake – Eating a healthy diet and limiting (or eliminating) inflammatory foods, like sugar, not only helps the body recover faster, it also helps build up your immunity so it is more resilient and dynamic.
  4. Get good quality sleep – Sleep is fundamentally one of the most important practices in self-care. Quality REM (rapid eye movement) sleep where one achieves several cycles of REM deep sleep helps to boost the immune system and keep hormones in balance.
  5. Manage your stress levels – Deep breathing from the abdomen several times in a row, meditation, prayer, mild exercise and other stress-reducing activities can keep cortisol levels in check and help to maintain a healthy immune system.
  6. Take pharmaceutical-grade supplements to boost immunity – Recent clinical studies are suggesting that taking a nutritional supplement protocol may be as effective in preventing various forms of bacteria and viruses as prescription medication. Immune-boosting supplements including probiotics, vitamin C, vitamin D3, selenium and zinc can help support a healthy immune system.
  7. If you are feeling ill – Stay home!

Since this has been an active viral season with colds, flu, and now the coronavirus, it is more important than ever to take steps to strengthen your immune system. Be vigilant in following the latest recommendations from credible sources including the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) for preventing the spread of viral illnesses. While there isn’t a magic fix, preventative measures to protect and support your immune system plays an important role in promoting optimal health.

Seven natural approaches for anxiety and depression


By Dr. Stan Headley, natural health consultant for Cypress Pharmacy

This year has been filled with sources of stress that are likely taking a toll on your mood and mental well-being.

As COVID-19 cases began to rise across the country, a survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that nearly half of adults in the U.S. felt the pandemic is affecting their mental health. Fear surrounding personal health and the health of loved ones, loss of employment, financial worries and feelings of isolation resulting from the pandemic are prevalent. These stressful conditions can also lead to new or increased symptoms of anxiety and depression.

The Census Bureau recently reported that 34 out of every 100 American adults are showing signs of anxiety, depression, or both. With so many factors impacting our state of mind, it is more important than ever to take an active approach toward promoting mental wellness.

There are many natural approaches that can help boost your mood and alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression.

  • Eat a healthy diet. A proper diet is as important to mental health as it is to physical health, yet nearly 40% of Americans report overeating or eating unhealthy foods as a result of stress. Studies have shown that a diet that is high in overly processed food and low in micronutrients can lead to greater levels of anxiety and depression. Instead, follow a diet that is rich in vegetables, fruit, meat, fish and whole grains. Balanced meals and drinking enough water can be a great start to helping reduce stress. Keeping your blood sugars stable creates a feeling of calm with less worry.
  • Correct nutritional imbalances. Nutrient deficiencies can lead to an array of health issues, including changes in mood. The CDC says over 95% of the population has serious nutritional deficiencies. For a mental health boost, consider introducing supplements like omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B-12, vitamin D, amino acids, probiotics, iron, GABA and CoQ10. A blood test can be performed to determine nutrient levels, helping identify areas where nutritional support may be needed.
  • Exercise regularly. Beyond its many physical health benefits, exercise also serves as an all-natural mood booster. When we exercise, our bodies release feel-good endorphins, which can result in improved mental well-being. In fact, many experts believe that exercise can be as effective as antidepressants for those with mild to moderate depression.
  • Get enough sleep. Sleep is a critical factor for health and wellness, and lack of sleep can worsen symptoms of anxiety and depression. Disconnect from your electronic devices and create a bedtime routine that calms your mind and relaxes your body so that you can get a restful night of sleep.
  • Consider CBD. Full-spectrum, pharmaceutical-grade cannabidiol, or CBD, is linked to a variety of mental health benefits, including relief for anxiety and depression. Derived from the hemp plant, CBD works by interacting with the endocannabinoid system. We have cell receptors everywhere in our bodies, and CBD will bind to the brain receptors responsible for controlling your nerves, which ultimately keep you feeling less anxious and more in control.
  • Practice self-care. Create balance in your life and pursue your passions. Small steps such as meditating, learning something new or enjoying a hobby can help bring joy. When we are feeling fulfilled and at our best, we are better prepared to handle life’s stressful situations.
  • Maintain your community. Friendships can bring new perspective and keep us grounded. Even while distancing physically, you can remain connected with friends and loved ones by phone or online. Consider creating a buddy system with a friend that will keep you accountable and ensure you are interacting regularly.

Everyone perceives and reacts differently to stressful situations. However, a proactive approach to promoting both physical and mental health can help prevent or reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Before introducing new lifestyle changes or supplements into your routine, it is important to speak to a medical professional or pharmacist that can help determine any risks, side effects or negative interactions with other medications you may be taking.

Feeling helpless? Make a difference by getting a flu shot


By: Justin Ceravolo, PharmD, assistant pharmacy manager for Cypress Pharmacy

This year has resulted in unprecedented change and uncertainty with a pandemic, domestic unrest and record-breaking natural disasters.

Study after study has shown the economic impact, stress and anxiety is having a significant impact on the mental health and stability of many people, who are feeling loss of control over so many aspects of their lives.

But there is one thing that everyone over the age of 6 months can do to help the health care system and even the economy this year: Get a flu shot.

It’s a familiar refrain every fall, but last year less than 50% of people who could get shots protecting for influenza got them. This year is different with the circulation of COVID-19.

Flu season peaks from December to February, with 40 to 50 million Americans catching it and some 800,000 requiring hospitalization. The flu kills 30,000 to 60,000 Americans every year.

One challenge this year is overlapping symptoms of influenza and COVID-19, including fever, chills and body aches, upper respiratory symptoms like runny nose and sore throat, cough and pneumonia, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

Because the flu vaccine does not use live viruses, you cannot get the flu from the vaccine. Most people have no symptoms after getting the shot, although some can have soreness at the injection site or a headache, stuffy nose and sore throat that generally only last for a day.

Influenza antibodies from a shot take about two weeks to develop and can last four to six months. The immune system can support a memory of the vaccine for more than a year. While a shot won’t guarantee you won’t get the flu, as there are various strains not covered by the vaccine, it will lessen the severity and length of time you are ill.

If that’s not reason enough, here are more reasons why getting a flu shot this year is so important:

  • Health care officials worry that a surge in COVID-19 cases that coincides with the influenza season will strain health systems and resources.
  • The same group at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 are also at risk of getting the flu.
  • The only way to tell the symptoms of the flu and COVID-19 apart is with testing. Tests for the flu use essentially the same approach as COVID-19 tests and that could cause shortages in reagents needed to run both tests.
  • Influenza accounts for 111 million lost workdays and nearly $7 billion in lost productivity and sick days annually, which could hit hard our economy already made fragile by effects of the pandemic.
  • Since so much is unknown about COVID-19, no one really knows the risk of getting the influenza and COVID-19 at the same time. A study in England, which is just finishing its flu season, has shown it is possible to get both respiratory illnesses simultaneously. The study found that people who contracted both the flu and COVID-19 were six times more likely to die than with neither COVID-19 or flu or from COVID-19 alone.
  • Both the flu and COVID-19 target the lungs. Contracting influenza can make you more susceptible to contracting other pathogens.
  • Widespread flu vaccination is credited with saving around 100,000 lives each year. Research shows that even during a non-pandemic year, a 1% increase in flu vaccinations can save around 800 lives and prevent the loss of about 14.5 million work-hours due to illness and absenteeism.
  • Getting a flu vaccine also contributes to the wider public health effort. It’s not just for you, it’s also to prevent spreading the virus to others. The more people who are vaccinated, the fewer overall cases.

There is an increased demand for the vaccine this year, and some places are reporting shortages in vaccines. According to the CDC, manufacturers are projected to supply a record-breaking 198 million doses this year over last year’s 174.5 million.

The good news about this year’s flu season is that COVID-19 precautions could make it milder. Other parts of the world that have gone through peak flu season already have noted a milder season, but experts are not sure that will be the case in the U.S., where COVID-19 precautions like wearing masks and social distancing have already lessened with phased reopening and the opening of schools and universities.

Given all the evidence of the benefits of getting a flu shot this year, plan to get one. Often free with most insurances, flu shots are one less thing to worry about.

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