Quercetin and Vitamin C: FLCCC Protocol for COVID-19

Quercetin is a natural antihistamine and anti-inflammatory plant pigment that boosts your immune system and may work to control viral replication, according to some research. It allows zinc to exert its proven antiviral properties; in treating COVID-19, quercetin may also lower inflammation, help clear mucus, prevent ventilator-induced damage and support immunity.

I-MASK+ Protocol

According to the research, quercetin has been shown to help fight obesity, Type 2 diabetes, circulatory dysfunction, chronic inflammation and mood disorders. It has even been found to help lower blood pressure. Researchers have found that quercetin can trigger tumor regression and begin the process of apoptosis. This is programmed cell death, without which cells can grow uninterrupted and develop into cancerous growths.



Quercetin was initially found to provide broad-spectrum protection against SARS coronavirus in the aftermath of the SARS epidemic that broke out across 26 countries in 2003. Now, some doctors are advocating its use against SARS-CoV-2, in combination with vitamin C, noting that the two have synergistic effects.

Quercetin


Incidentally, ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and the bioflavonoid quercetin (originally labeled vitamin P) were both discovered by the same scientist — Nobel prize winner Albert Szent-Györgyi. Quercetin’s antiviral capacity has been attributed to five main mechanisms of action:
  1. Inhibiting the virus’ ability to infect cells by transporting zinc across cellular membranes
  2. Inhibiting replication of already infected cells
  3. Reducing infected cells’ resistance to treatment with antiviral medication
  4. Inhibiting platelet aggregation — and many COVID-19 patients suffer abnormal blood clotting
  5. Promoting SIRT2, thereby inhibiting the NLRP3 inflammasome assembly involved with COVID-19 infection
Similarly, vitamin C at extremely high doses also acts as an antiviral drug, effectively inactivating viruses. 

A molecular docking and pharmacological study, published in Heliyon, March 2021; highlighted that flavonoids such as quercetin was demonstrated to efficiently block the human ACE-2 receptor whereas
hesperidin, naringin, and ECGC were found to be efficient towards the viral spike protein.

There is evidence that vitamin C and quercetin co-administration exerts a synergistic antiviral action due to overlapping antiviral and immunomodulatory properties and the capacity of ascorbate to recycle quercetin, increasing its efficacy.

FLCCC (Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care) I-MASK+ Protocol

The initial MATH+ protocol was released in April 2020. In early July and August 2020, it was updated to include quercetin and a number of optional nutrients and drugs, not only for critical care but also for prophylaxis and mild disease being treated at home.

The FLCCC team has developed the I-MASK+ protocol for prophylaxis and at home treatment of early stage disease.

For prevention (prophylaxis), the Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Working Group, FLCCC recommends (updated Feb 25, 2021):
  • Vitamin D3: 1000–3000 IU/day. Note RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance) is 800–1000 IU/day. The safe upper-dose daily limit is likely < 4000 IU/day. Vitamin D deficiency has been associated with an increased risk of acquiring COVID-19 and from dying from the disease. Vitamin D supplementation may therefore prove to be an effective and cheap intervention to lessen the impact of this disease, particularly in vulnerable populations, i.e. the elderly, those of color and obese. (Amazon)
  • Vitamin C: 500 - 1,000 mg BID (twice daily) 
  • Quercetin: 250 mg daily. It is likely that vitamin C and quercetin have synergistic prophylactic benefit. Quercetin should be used with caution in patients with hypothyroidism and TSH levels should be monitored. (Amazon)
  • Melatonin: 6 mg before bedtime (causes drowsiness). (Amazon)
  • Zinc: 30 - 40 mg/day (elemental zinc). Zinc lozenges are preferred. (Amazon)
  • Ivermectin for prophylaxis in high-risk individuals (> 60 years with co-morbidities, morbid obesity, long term care facilities, etc). 0.2 mg/kg Day 1, Day 3 and then followed by biweekly dosing (one dose every two weeks). (also see ClinTrials.gov NCT04425850). NB. Ivermectin has a number of potentially serious drug-drug interactions. Please check for potential drug interaction at Ivermectin Drug Interactions - Drugs.com. The most important drug interactions occur with cyclosporin, tacrolimus, anti-retroviral drugs, and certain anti-fungal drugs. 
For early outpatient protocol (At Home Treatment if you're COVID-19 positive), the Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Working Group, FLCCC recommends (updated Feb 25, 2021):
  • Vitamin D3 — 4000 IU/day. (Amazon)
  • Vitamin C: 500 - 1,000 mg BID (twice daily) (Amazon)
  • Quercetin: 250 mg twice a day. (Amazon)
  • Melatonin: 10 mg before bedtime (causes drowsiness). (Amazon)
  • Zinc: 100 mg/day. Zinc lozenges are preferred. (Amazon)
  • Ivermectin: 0.2 mg/kg per dose. One dose daily - minimum 2 days, maximum 5 days.
  • Aspirin: 325 m/day unless contraindicated.
  • Pulse Oximeter: FLCCC also recommend monitoring your oxygen saturation with a pulse oximeter and to go to the hospital if you get below 94%.
The medical evidence to support each drug and nutrient can be found under “Medical Evidence” on the FLCCC’s website.

COVID19 FLCCC Ivermectin Quercetin Zinc Vitamin B C D Melatonin               
Image credit: Covid19criticalcare.com

Quercetin and Vitamin C Work Synergistically

June 19, 2020, Dr Marik published the paper “Quercetin and Vitamin C: An Experimental, Synergistic Therapy for the Prevention and Treatment of SARS-CoV-2 Related Disease (COVID-19)” in the journal Frontiers in Immunology, which notes:

“Ascorbic acid is a crucial vitamin necessary for the correct functioning of the immune system. It plays a role in stress response and has shown promising results when administered to the critically ill. Quercetin is a well-known flavonoid whose antiviral properties have been investigated in numerous studies.

There is evidence that vitamin C and quercetin co-administration exerts a synergistic antiviral action due to overlapping antiviral and immunomodulatory properties and the capacity of ascorbate to recycle quercetin, increasing its efficacy.

Safe, cheap interventions which have a sound biological rationale should be prioritized for experimental use in the current context of a global health pandemic.”


The paper presents evidence for the use of vitamin C and quercetin — based on their biological actions and pharmacokinetics profiles — both as prophylaxis in high-risk populations, and as an adjunct to drugs such as Remdesivir or convalescent plasma in the treatment of hospitalized COVID-19 patients.


About FLCCC Alliance

The Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care (FLCCC) Alliance was initially formed as a working group under “emergency” conditions of the early COVID-19 pandemic in response to multiple early reports of COVID patients with an inexplicably high need for prolonged mechanical ventilation and an excessive mortality associated with the prevailing “supportive care only” recommendations disseminated by the majority of national and international health care organizations.

As a group of highly published leaders in critical care with expertise in therapies directed at severe infections, in particular “HAT” therapy first developed by Dr. Paul Marik for the treatment of bacterial sepsis, and along with published high patient survival rates from our centers, we were contacted by equally concerned and motivated colleagues from other specialties.

With the increasing publications in addition to our rapidly accumulating personal clinical experiences and investigations into the pathophysiology of COVID-19 patients, FLCCC formulated the MATH+ Hospital Treatment Protocol in March 2020. On August 5, 2020, FLCCC published their findings in the rationale paper Scientific Review of COVID-19 and MATH+.

In October 2020, the FLCCC Alliance identified, based on a review of the recent and rapidly emerging clinical trials evidence, that ivermectin, an anti-parasitic medicine, has highly potent real-world, anti-viral, and anti-inflammatory properties against SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19. This conclusion is based not only from multiple in-vitro and animal models, but from numerous clinical trials from centers and countries around the world showing repeated, consistent, large magnitude improvements in clinical outcomes when ivermectin is used not only as a prophylactic agent but also in mild, moderate, and even severe disease states. Further, data from large “natural experiments” that appear to have occurred when various regional health ministries and governmental authorities within South American countries initiated “ivermectin distribution” campaigns which then led to temporally associated decreases in case counts and case fatality rates.

Based on these findings, the FLCCC team has developed the I-MASK+ protocol for prophylaxis and at home treatment of early stage disease. You can read the FLCCC Scientific Review of the Emerging Evidence Supporting the Use of Ivermectin in the Prophylaxis and Treatment of COVID-19.

A more detailed story of the inception and evolution of the FLCCC Alliance can be read here.


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Supplements you can purchase from Amazon for COVID-19 prevention based on the FLCCC prevention protocol >
  • Vitamin D3: 1,000 - 3,000 IU daily (Amazon)
  • Vitamin C: 500 - 1,000 mg twice daily (Amazon)
  • Quercetin: 250 mg daily (Amazon)
  • Melatonin: 6 mg before bedtime (causes drowsiness) (Amazon)
  • Zinc: 30 - 40 mg/day (elemental zinc). Zinc lozenges are preferred. (Amazon)
Be aware that most of the dosages are above the recommended daily value and therefore should not be taken on a long term basis. 

Related item: Fingertip Pulse Oximeter (Amazon)

Disclaimer: Always see your doctor before taking these supplements. Be aware that most of the dosages are above the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) and therefore such dosages should not be maintained on a long term basis. 

Our aim here isn't to replace your doctors' advice. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information. Do take note that supplements are not 100% protective or curative against COVID-19. 

Although ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine are relatively safe drugs, they are still synthetic chemicals that can have side effects. Vitamin D, C, Zinc and Quercetin are nutrients that your body require for optimal health. Nutrients are safer alternatives especially if your risk is low e.g. age below 50 and no other chronic illness. Discuss with your doctor on the benefit vs risk for each treatment.

Nutritional supplements are meant to tip the scales in favour of you in terms of your immune system and to improve your probability of a smooth recovery, if at all you do get COVID-19. 

You still need to follow the advice given by CDC, WHO and your local authority in terms of local guidelines such as mask wearing, social distancing and avoiding crowds. If you combine multiple strategies, it's going to be difficult for the virus to spread and survive.

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