Chattanooga Functional Medicine - The Healthy Human

Smart Boosting Your Immune System

Making smart decisions to keep you healthy

Dr. Avery Carpenter

Here’s what I cover in the video:

  • How this new virus is different from the flu
  • How the virus actually works
  • Why do some people get this and not others?
  • How can you be in the group that doesn’t get it?
  • What about the Elderberry controversy?
  • If you do get COVID-19, how do you keep it from progressing to the serious stage and how do you get well faster?
  • What if you have an existing autoimmune condition?


5 things you can do at home to become a bad host for viruses


Sugar and processed foods take your immune system down - avoid fried, hydrogenated fats, processed foods. Think foods in bags and boxes. Avoid manmade sweeteners like aspartame and high-fructose corn syrup.

Eat more vegetables and fruits – get a lot of colors because they have immune-boosting flavonoids.

2. SLEEp 

Sleep primes the immune cells. Shoot for 7-9 hours a night. If you can’t sleep, get some help finding the root cause of that and fix it.


Sunlight energizes the T cells that fight infection.


Having enough water increases your immune resilience. Cut down on caffeine and alcohol.


This can physically wash away virus cells that have recently gotten into your nasal passages before they take hold. Use something like NeilMed, XClear, or a Netipot.

Even better, use a copper-based nasal spray like Sterimar Stop & Protect because copper is toxic to this virus. Sterimar has been sold out on Amazon, so the next best thing would be to use Trace Minerals Research Ionic Copper drops. Dilute in water and gargle to target viruses in the mouth and throat. You can get that through the online dispensary, Fullscript.

Bonus tip: Get adjusted by a chiropractor. Studies show that adjustments can boost the immune system by up to 200%. There is evidence from the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic that people who got adjusted regularly were less likely to get sick.

My recommended supplement strategies 

The nutraceutical-grade supplements that I recommend are not available in stores, only through doctors' offices and a few online distributors like Fullscript. If you don’t already to have access to Fullscript, you are welcome to set up a free account here.

Unlike sellers on Amazon, Fullscript is guaranteed to be an authorized distributor of these products. The products will not be fake or expired, and they are often cheaper than on Amazon. They offer free shipping on orders over $50 and have great customer service.

For prevention
Vitamin D3

Vitamin D enhances immune system function, reduces viral growth, and can reduce upper respiratory infections.

5000 IUs is a good maintenance dose for most adults, but if your are deficient in D, you may be able to take 10,000 IUs for a while to get your levels up faster. Target is 50-80 on your labs.

Vitamin C 

Vitamin C contributes to immune defense by supporting various cellular functions of the immune system. Vitamin C has been used in hospital ICUs to treat COVID-19 infection.

Most people take this as an ascorbic acid powder. Look for a non-GMO source. Or try a liposomal version. 


Zinc inhibits two of the proteins involved in the replication of SARS-CoV, so it puts a stop to the virus growing more.

Use as zinc capsules to improve a deficiency if you have one, and use zinc lozenges to target zinc right to the throat tissue where the infection really gets started. Most adults can take 30mg for a while as a prevention. If you take zinc long term, take a little copper with it so the zinc doesn’t deplete your copper levels.


Elderberry is packed with vitamin C, dietary fiber, and antioxidants. It has been used extensively in the prevention of influenza.

There has been controversy over whether or not this will contribute to the “cytokine storm” that can happen in severe cases of COVID-19. Bottom line, it’s not likely to be a problem and I’m comfortable using it. 700-1000mg extract per day is a decent preventative dose for adults. 


NuMedica ImmunoG PRP to support the immune system. Anywhere from 4-12 capsules per day depending on the person. Available on Fullscript.

Pure Th-1 Support* 

Great for enhancing your body’s ability to fight viruses if you are a healthy adult.

*If you have an autoimmune condition, there is a chance this can make you feel worse, so use caution. Available on Fullscript.

For Symptoms

These three supplements are known to have anti-viral properties against similar viruses.

It's okay to take 1-2 doses a day for prevention, but I take very frequent doses if I am beginning to have symptoms.


5 drops in water is a dose. I take a dose every 30 minutes for up to 1 day if I’m getting sick. That usually stops it. If I do get sick, though, then I drop down to 6-8 doses per day. This has shown to fight against enveloped viruses like this one. Available from my office. $25. Get free shipping by telling us you watched the webinar. Text or call 423-521-0502 or email

Oil of Oregano 

1 every hour when symptoms start for up to 1 day. If you do get sick, drop down to 6-8 per day. An in vitro study showed good results against a different coronavirus. It completely stopped replication of the virus within 20 minutes of exposure. I like the Designs for Health brand at Fullscript. Also have some available in the office.

Nutramedix Houttuynia 

Shown to have activity against enveloped viruses like coronavirus. Available on Fullscript.

For decreasing risk of the dangerous COVID-19 breathing problems, ARDS

Magnesium has been the subject of a few studies as a nutrient that can help prevent the development of ARDS.

Vitamin C. Some studies say that high dose IV Vitamin C improves survival rates of ARDS and sepsis, and some don’t. Until there is a definitive answer, I don’t see how it can hurt. Your immune system does need vitamin C to work right, after all.

Zinc. Low zinc levels are a predictor of who develops acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).

Vitamin D.  A study found that Vitamin D3 levels under 50 on blood work contributes to the development of ARDS.

Melatonin seems to decrease the inflammatory and damaging parts of the immune system that contribute to ARDS. It only takes .3 mg to achieve these effects. Take 2-4 hrs before bed. *Caution if you have severe hypertension.

If you do get sick

Call your doctor and tell them your symptoms. They’ll keep tabs on you, but don’t go in to the office unless they ask you to.

Self-isolate. Keep yourself away from others. Maybe you have a spare bedroom with a bathroom? Ask someone to bring you food and water. Maybe you send your kids to stay with family or friends.

Breathing: Here’s the key thing. If you start feeling like you can’t breathe, call your doctor immediately. You may need to get to the ER right away.

The CDC says "you can leave home after these three things have happened:

  • You have had no fever for at least 72 hours (that is three full days of no fever without the use medicine that reduces fevers)
  • other symptoms have improved (for example, when your cough or shortness of breath have improved)
  • at least 7 days have passed since your symptoms first appeared"

If you want some extra help on knowing how to increase your immune resilience, or you’d like guidance on any health issues, feel free to set up an online appointment with me.

Disclaimer: This is not medical advice. If you do get sick, this is a medical issue. Talk to your doctor. This is intended to be educational information on prevention only.