Viral Protocol from IFM

The IFM has a substantial list of supplements that have anti-viral properties. Here is the link:

I have reproduced some of the information here. Omitted are any suggestions that are not vetted with what I consider adequate research. I also added olive leaf extract at the bottom of the IFM list.

To view Dr. Carter's supplement recommendations, please go here...

Background and Introduction

Health professionals and the public must be well informed about the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the disease it causes (COVID-19), and how it spreads. This information is readily available and not within the scope of this document. At this time, there are no specific vaccines or uniformly successful treatments for COVID-19. In this context of insufficient evidence, the scope of this document will be to assess the scientific plausibility of promising prevention approaches and therapeutic (nutraceutical and botanical) interventions and then to offer clinical recommendations. This article is part one of a series. Click here to view part two.

With respect to interventions, the practice of Functional Medicine emphasizes the primacy of safety, validity, and effectiveness. In the novel context of COVID-19, validity in the form of published evidence is lacking. Therefore, “validity” relies upon inferences from the mechanisms of action of individual agents and/or published outcomes data supporting their mitigating effects on illness from other viral strains. Likewise, data for the “effectiveness” of interventions targeting the viral mechanisms of COVID-19 are nascent and rapidly emerging. In this context, the following recommendations represent the Functional Medicine approach to the COVID-19 crisis:

  • Adherence to all health recommendations from official sources to decrease viral transmission.

  • Optimizing modifiable lifestyle factors in order to improve overall immune function (an introductory document on boosting immunity is available here). This should reduce progression from colonization to illness.

  • Personalized consideration of therapeutic agents that may:

  • Favorably modulate cellular defense and repair mechanisms.

  • Favorably modulate viral-induced pathological cellular processes.

  • Promote viral eradication or inactivation.

  • Mitigate collateral damage from other therapeutic agents.

  • Promote resolution of collateral damage and restoration of function.

  • Treatment of confirmed COVID-19 illness (as per conventional standards and practice):

  • May reduce the severity and duration of acute symptoms and complications.

  • May support recovery and reduce long-term morbidity and sequelae

Note: All supplements are available through Fullscript


Various mushrooms species have been shown to possess broad immunomodulatory effects. They possess multiple mechanisms of action, including increasing the number of circulating B cells,5 increasing gut immunity,20 stimulating host immunity,21 activating innate immune cells,22 and increasing cytotoxic activity of NK cells.23


Berberine is an alkaloid that is found in the roots, rhizomes, and stem bark of various plants, including goldenseal, goldthread, and Oregon grape. Berberine has been shown to have anti-viral activity across a broad range of viral targets.90-95 Berberine also activates 5′ AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), 96,97 which is directly anti-inflammatory. Berberine’s anti-inflammatory effects also include suppression of inhibition of IkB kinase and downregulation of NFkB, IL-1alpha, and TNF-alpha.98 Berberine also acts to lower blood glucose,99 thus helping with furin inhibition, as well as preserving ACE2 receptors, possibly through aldose reductase inhibition.


Melatonin has been shown to have an inhibitory effect on the NLRP3 inflammasome.138 This has not gone unnoticed by the COVID-19 research community, with two recent published papers proposing the use of melatonin as a therapeutic agent in the treatment of patients with COVID-19.139,140


Quercetin has been shown to have antiviral effects against both RNA (e.g., influenza and coronavirus) and DNA viruses (e.g., herpesvirus). Quercetin has a pleiotropic role as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, modulating signaling pathways that are associated with post-transcriptional modulators affecting post-viral healing.94


Activated vitamin D,1,25(OH) D, a steroid hormone, is an immune system modulator that reduces the expression of inflammatory cytokines and increases macrophage function. Vitamin D also stimulates the expression of potent antimicrobial peptides (AMPs), which exist in neutrophils, monocytes, natural killer cells, and epithelial cells of the respiratory tract.31 Vitamin D increases anti-pathogen peptides through defensins and has a dual effect due to suppressing superinfection. Evidence suggests vitamin D supplementation may prevent upper respiratory infections.32 However, there is some controversy as to whether it should be used and the laboratory value that should be achieved. Research suggests that concerns about vitamin D (increased IL-1beta in cell culture) are not seen clinically. The guidance we suggest is that a laboratory range of >50 and < 80ng/mL serum 25-hydroxy vitamin D may help to mitigate morbidity from COVID-19 infection.


Zinc contributes to immune defense by supporting various cellular functions of both the innate and adaptive immune system. There is also evidence that it suppresses viral attachment and replication. Zinc deficiency is common, especially in those populations most at risk for severe COVID-19 infections, and is challenging to accurately diagnosis with laboratory measures. Supplementation with zinc is supported by evidence that it both prevents viral infections and reduces their severity and duration. Moreover, it has been shown to reduce the risk of lower respiratory infection, which may be of particular significance in the context of COVID-19.

VITAMIN A - Best from Cod Liver Oil

Vitamin A is a micronutrient that is crucial for maintaining vision, promoting growth and development, and protecting epithelium and mucus integrity in the body. Vitamin A is known as an anti-inflammation vitamin because of its critical role in enhancing immune function. Vitamin A is involved in the development of the immune system and plays regulatory roles in cellular immune responses and humoral immune processes through the modulation of T helper cells, sIgA, and cytokine production. Vitamin A has demonstrated a therapeutic effect in the treatment of various infectious diseases.64


Vitamin C contributes to immune defense by supporting various cellular functions of both the innate and adaptive immune system. Vitamin C accumulates in phagocytic cells, such as neutrophils, and can enhance chemotaxis, phagocytosis, generation of reactive oxygen species, and ultimately microbial killing. Supplementation with vitamin C appears to be able to both prevent and treat respiratory and systemic infections.78 Vitamin C has been used in hospital ICUs to treat COVID-19 infection.