Are you treating patients with coronavirus disease? The following interventions – popular in the biohacking community – may be of use to manage COVID-19 infections as well as post-COVID conditions.
From a biohacking perspective, optimizing the immune system is the best strategy against the SARS-CoV-2 virus. However, once infected, some people develop complications that can be fatal – like kidney failure or acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). In this blog I describe 10 interventions that may decrease the severity of or cure coronavirus disease, by turning down hyperinflammation (‘cytokine storms’), strengthening the immune system and/or reducing viral load. These interventions may sound either obscure or too simple, but they are all time-honoured, backed up by at least some studies/clinical trials and being used by some of your colleagues. It’s time to start biohacking covid-19!
Please find the interventions hereunder, in no particular order. | Contact me. | Last updated: August 14 2023
Table of contents
1. Ultraviolet Blood Irradiation
Ultraviolet Blood Irradiation (UBI) is a form of light therapy where blood is irradiated with UVA, UVB and/or UVC light. This can be done inside the body – intravenously with a laser – or outside the body. The latter method involves guiding 6% of the patients blood through an UBI device and then lead it back to the patient. The light kills viruses directly by damaging their DNA and also aids the immune system. There is a special form of ultraviolet blood radiation called ‘extracorporeal photopheresis’ (ECP), where only the white blood cells receive light with a photodynamic agent.
UV light is applied in many areas to kill microorganisms. In hospitals it is being used to sterilize operating rooms. Most likely it is also effective against SARS-CoV-2.
Review article by Michael Hamblin: Ultraviolet Irradiation of Blood: “The Cure That Time Forgot”?
Introduction video (24 min) by Tom Lowe: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sr3ti1p0uMQ&t
Introduction video (7 min) by Philip Oubre: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ufZ6dfVNic
Springer Nature (2020): ‘Use of Ultraviolet Blood Irradiation Against Viral Infections‘
Almanac of Clinical Medicine (2020): ‘Extracorporeal photopheresis in the treatment of the novel coronavirus disease COVID-19‘
Journal of Clinical Medicine (2023): ‘Extracorporeal Photopheresis as a Possible Therapeutic Approach for Adults with Severe and Critical COVID-19‘
Ultraviolet blood irradiation is an FDA approved treatment for T-Cell Lymphoma provided by Therakos clinics (backup link) in the USA. It is also used for pathogen inactivation in blood transfusion products, by companies like Macopharma. Furthermore, in integrative medicine UBI is often combined with ozone therapy, see topic 6 hereunder.
2. Molecular Hydrogen
Hydrogen (H2) is a gas that can be used therapeutically. Dissolved in water it can be consumed orally, but in combatting corona disease it is used by inhaling a mixture of hydrogen and oxygen in a 2:1 ratio – called Brown’s gas or oxyhydrogen – via a nasal cannula. Hydrogen works as an antioxidant that can regulate the excessive inflammation (cytokine storm, ROS) inside the lungs. It is successfully being used in China. Hydrogen medicine has a high safety profile and many positive health effects.
The seventh edition of the Chinese Clinical Guidance for COVID-19 Pneumonia Diagnosis and Treatment, issued by the China National Health Commission, recommended the inhalation of Brown’s gas.
Explanation of the biochemistry of H2 in corona disease by Tyler LeBaron:
Molecular hydrogen basics: http://www.molecularhydrogeninstitute.com/articles
Studies per application / diagnosis: https://molecularhydrogeninstitute.org/scientific-studies/
Discussion thread on Researchgate: ‘Potential Cheap and effective Drug for COVID-19‘
Frontiers in Medicine (2021): ‘Molecular Hydrogen – A Promising Adjunctive Strategy for the Treatment of the COVID-19‘
European Medical Journal (2021): ‘Oxy-hydrogen Gas – The Rationale Behind Its Use as a Treatment for COVID-19‘
Environmental Research and Public Health (2022): ‘Molecular Hydrogen Positively Affects Physical and Respiratory Function in Acute Post-COVID-19 Patients‘
3. Nitric Oxide
Nitric oxide (NO) is a another gas with interesting properties. It stops the reproduction of viruses and also increases vasodilation, which in turn improves blood flow. It is naturally produced by the body. Therapeutically it can be administered to the lungs and is then called ‘inhaled nitric oxide’ (iNO). The antiviral effect of iNO was tested and demonstrated during the SARS-CoV-1 pandemic in 2003.
In this video Nobel Prize winner Dr. Louis Ignarro talks about iNO as an intervention against SARS-CoV-2.
Dr. Van Dyken explores the use of nitric oxide as a potential preventative agent and treatment for SARS-CoV-2.
The University of Alabama at Birmingham (Division of Cardiovascular Disease) is doing a clinical trial, to assess the use of iNO to improve outcomes for COVID-19 patients with severely damaged lungs. Several other international universities and hospitals are participating. More info and details.
Journal of Medical Sciences (2021): Nitric Oxide: The Missing Factor in COVID-19 Severity?
Devices: Beyond Air | Inopulse
Alternatively, nitric oxide levels can be increased locally in the lungs (or any part of the body for that matter) via the application of pulsed electro-magnetic fields (PEMF) or near infrared light (also known as photobiomodulation or low level laser therapy). See topics 9 and 10 hereunder.
Nitric oxide can als be delivered via a nasal spray. This application is called NONS (Nitric Oxide Nasal Spray) and is being developed by the Canadian company SaNOtise. The Israelian company Nextar Chempharma Solutions Ltd has started to produce it under the brand name Enovid.
4. Intravenous vitamin C
Intravenous vitamin c therapy (IVC) has successfully been used against influenza and herpes (simplex, zoster) for many decades. A first step to open up to its therapeutic relevance is to realise that critically ill patients often have very low vitamin c plasma levels. High doses of vitamin C in the blood are known to reduce viral load. Vitamin c is a powerful antioxidant that can enhance the immune system. However, at high intravenous doses, vitamin c breaks down and generates hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). This reactive oxygen species in turn destroys viruses. So, at these high levels vitamin c becomes an oxidant.
Applications & protocols
Video by Dr. Anton Janse van Rensburg with studies and treatment protocols: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xgLAQmeEpLw
Presentation by Alpha A. Fowler about iv vitamin c and ARDS: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HXs5Xzr6qCI
PharmaNutrition: ‘Intravenous vitamin C for reduction of cytokines storm in ARDS‘
Journal of Intensive Care: ‘Vitamin C may reduce the duration of mechanical ventilation in critically ill patients’ (meta-analysis)
Journal of Manipulative & Physiological Therapeutics: ‘The effectiveness of vitamin C in preventing and relieving the symptoms of virus-induced respiratory infections‘ (high oral doses)
Medicine (2021): High-dose vitamin C intravenous infusion in the treatment of patients with COVID-19
China: ‘Vitamin C Infusion for the Treatment of Severe 2019-nCoV Infected Pneumonia’
Italy: ‘Use of Ascorbic Acid in Patients With COVID 19‘
USA: ‘Administration of Intravenous Vitamin C in Novel Coronavirus Infection‘
There may also be a role for liposomal vitamin c. This is a lipid-encapsulated more bioavailable form of sodium ascorbate for oral administration.
5. Methylene Blue
Methylene blue (methylthioninium chloride) is a synthetic compound that was first synthesized in 1876. It is used in chemistry and human medicine. Methylene blue is a photodynamic agent with a biphasic dose response. It can be administered orally (sublingual), intravenously or inhaled in nebulized form. It is both an oxidant and an anti-oxidant. In the biohacking community it is mainly used as a nootropic, but there are many other applications. It it is a very suitable substance for biohacking COVID-19.
Introduction video with Dr. Scott Antoine & Ari Whitten:
German review article in Neurobiology of Aging (2010): Lest we forget you – methylene blue…
Chinese study (2005): Inactivation of SARS coronavirus in human plasma by methylene blue
Vox Sanguinis (2020): Inactivation of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus in plasma by methylene blue plus visible light
Frontiers in Pharmacology (2021): Methylene Blue Inhibits the SARS-CoV-2 Spike–ACE2 Protein-Protein Interaction
Journal of Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy (2021): Repurposing methylene blue in the management of COVID-19
Nature (2021): Methylene Blue has a potent antiviral activity against SARS-CoV-2 and H1N1 influenza virus
MDPI Antioxidants (2022): ‘Combining Methylene Blue Photodynamic Inactivation, Photobiomodulation and Methylene Blue in COVID-19 Management‘
Antoine’s research article (pdf, 2020): A Literature Review Supporting the Addition of Intravenous Methylene Blue to Standard Care for Hospitalized COVID-19 Patients
Protocol of Dr. Deepak Golwalkar
Protocol of the Iranian group (Mashhad University of Medical Sciences): The Application of a Reduced Dye Used in Orthopedics as a Novel Treatment against COVID-19
Ozone (O3) is a powerful oxidant that has been used medicinally for more than 100 years. Not without controversy however. Ozone therapy (OT) can be applied in various ways: intravenously, as insufflations, as local injections, in the form of ozone saunas (transdermal), or as ozonated water. For dealing with covid-19, ozone therapy utilizes a mixture of ozone and oxygen as a gas directly administered intravenously. There are many anecdotal reports that it is effective against viruses like herpes, hiv and ebola. Mechanisms of action are: decimating viruses by oxidation and activation of the immune system.
Journal of Natural Science, Biology, and Medicine: Ozone therapy: A clinical review
The role for ozone therapy in treating covid-19 is described in detail in this article by Robert Rowen (MD) and Howard Robins (DPM) published in the Journal of Infectious Diseases and Epidemiology: ‘A Plausible “Penny” Costing Effective Treatment for Corona Virus – Ozone Therapy‘.
Some hospitals in Italy, Spain, China and several South American countries are using ozone therapy for Covid-19.
In Italy Dr. Paolo Tordiglione is succesfully treating Covid-19 patients with ozone therapy. See this interview on youtube for details.
Informal introduction video (61 min) with Dr. Howard Liebowitz: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-UoLB6SprdM
Book: ‘OZONE – A new medical drug‘ by Velio Bocci
Online training: https://sopmed.org/video-training/
Devices: Herrmann | Zotzmann
7. Supplements & Nutraceuticals
In conventional medicine supplements and nutraceuticals are often not considered useful or effective. Many of them, however, are supported by a growing body of scientific research. Hereunder I list some that are relevant in biohacking COVID-19.
Study published in the journal Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases: Nutraceuticals have potential for boosting type 1 interferon response to RNA viruses including coronavirus
Fisitin is a plant (strawberry, apple) polyphenol that in concentrated form is being studied for therapies that target senescent cells (senolytics). It may also be used against Covid-19.
Wikipedia | Clinical trials | Foresight Institute interview with researcher Dr. James Kirkland
Vitamin D3 is to be taken very seriously. Therefore it has its own section – see below.
Melatonin is an effective treatment for COVID-19, according to this meta analysis: Melatonin for COVID-19
N-acetylcysteine (NAC) is a precursor to the antioxidant glutathione. It has various medical applications (paracetamol overdose) and is also used as a supplement.
Study: N-Acetylcysteine to Combat COVID-19: An Evidence Review | Video introduction by dr. Yang.
Panax Ginseng (Korean Red Ginseng)
Journal of Ginseng Research (2015): Protective effects of Korean Red Ginseng against viral infection
Details on examine.com and drugs.com.
Zinc may have a role in preventing the SARS-CoV-2 virus from progressing into severe disease. Dr. Seheult discusses the science of using zinc in combination with hydroxychloroquine – as ionophore – in this video. Zinc is also part of the Zelenko protocol.
BMJ Nutrition Prevention & Health (2020): Zinc as nutritional intervention and prevention measure for COVID–19 disease
Other supplements that probably can play a therapeutic role are vitamine A (high dose), selenium and glutathione.
8. Vitamin D
Vitamin D deficiency in the western world often occurs in the elderly, the obese and people with dark skin. Is it a coincidence that these groups are also overrepresented in the mortality rates of Covid-19? I think not. Vitamin D supplementation has a high safety profile. A first step can be to start measuring serum calcifediol levels of incoming patients. It looks like vitamin D can be used both as a prevention as well as therapeutically. Raising levels is usually done with a vitamin D supplement, but using a UVB lamp may be more effective (source).
British Medical Journal (2017): Vitamin D to prevent acute respiratory tract infections: systematic review and meta-analysis
The Lancet (2020): Vitamin-D and COVID-19: do deficient risk a poorer outcome?
The Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (2020): Effect of Calcifediol Treatment and best Available Therapy versus best Available Therapy on Intensive Care Unit Admission and Mortality Among Patients Hospitalized for COVID-19: A Pilot Randomized Clinical study | Explanation of this study on Medium
Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis (2022): Effects of Vitamin D Supplementation on COVID-19 Related Outcomes
Hospitals in the Netherlands are using vitamine D therapeutically for Covid-19. (source)
Great in depth article on vitamin D and Covid-19 by Ronald L. Conte Jr.
Details and nuances of vitamin D therapy discussed by Amy Proal in this interview with the Foresight Institute.
Dr. Seheult discusses the evidence for the use of vitamin D in both the prevention and treatment of Covid-19:
Pulsed Electro-Magnetic Field therapy (PEMF) uses time-varying magnetic fields to modulate tissue biochemistry. It has various beneficial effects, one of which is the reduction of inflammation. Most likely this can be useful against organ failure (kidney, liver, lungs), that frequently occurs in severe covid-19 cases. PEMF is non-invasive, low cost and has few contraindications or unwanted side-effects. It can be applied locally or using a large mat for whole body treatment.
Review article (2019) in Bioelectricity: The Use of PEMF to Modulate Inflammation and Improve Tissue Regeneration
Review article (2018) Frontiers in Public Health: Immune-Modulating Perspectives for Low Frequency Electromagnetic Fields
Russian clinical trial (2020): Efficacy of Low-Frequency Magnetic Therapy in Patients with COVID-19 Pneumonia
Journal of Communicative & Integrative Biology (2021): Therapeutic application of light and electromagnetic fields to reduce hyper-inflammation triggered by COVID-19
Photobiomodulation (PBM) is the medical use of visible and infrared light, generated by LED and laser devices. Based on current studies and understanding, it can increase white blood cell count and stimulate the release of nitric oxide – which inhibits the replication of SARS-CoV-2. Moreover, shining near infrared light on bone-marrow (sternum, shins) increases the production of stem cells. These can in turn become T-cells that aid the immune response. Photobiomodulation influences the treated local tissue, but can also have systemic effects, especially when blood is targeted – usually on the wrist or inside the nose. Photobiomodulation may play a role in reducing inflammation in the lungs. Post-ICU recovery may also be supported by PBM. Biohacking covid-19 with PBM is a non-invasive and safe intervention.
Nature: ‘Beneficial effects of Red Light-Emitting Diode treatment in experimental model of acute lung injury induced by sepsis‘
Clinical trial (Brazil 2020): ‘Photobiomodulation Therapy Combined With Static Magnetic Field in Patients With COVID-19‘
Canadian Journal of Respiratory Therapy (2020): Low level laser therapy as a modality to attenuate cytokine storm at multiple levels, enhance recovery, and reduce the use of ventilators in COVID-19
Journal of BioPhotonics (2021): Whole-Organ Transdermal Photobiomodulation of COVID-19: A 50-Patient Case Study
In this paper (pdf download) Dr. Lew Lim and Dr. Michael Hamblin describe photobiomodulation therapy for Covid-19 using the Vielight-X Plus device. (Please be aware that other PBM devices may be equally able to elicit the required therapeutic effects.)
Vielight is starting a clinical trial of their RX Plus device.
Frontiers in Immunology (2022): ‘Photobiomodulation Improves Serum Cytokine Response in Mild to Moderate COVID-19‘
Other promising interventions for biohacking COVID-19 from the health optimisation community and other fields:
- Ketone esters: Proposing a Ketone-Based Metabolic Therapy as a Treatment to Blunt the Cytokine Storm
- Mesenchymal stem cells: Mesenchymal stem cells and exosome therapy for COVID‑19: current status and future perspective
Author of Biohacking COVID-19
‘Biohacking COVID-19’ was written by Dutch biohacker Tjeerd Verbeek between March and August 2020. It is being updated irregularly.
Virus photo by NIAID’s Rocky Mountain Laboratories (RML) in Hamilton, Montana.
‘Biohacking COVID-19’ on social media: LinkedIn | …
Keywords & hashtags
Biohacking covid-19, biohacking SARS-CoV-2, #covid19research, #coronahack, #biohacking.
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