Many people with long COVID have tried a vast array of nutritional supplements, searching for one — or a combination — that will help. “Anecdotally, patients say some of these supplements work, but we have no studies showing any one thing has been superior for all patients,” says UCLA Health Long COVID Program director Nisha Viswanathan, MD.
Gez Medinger, a long-hauler, agrees. “You can find someone for any supplement, saying, ‘This fixed me.’ There’s a list as long as your arm, and you can spend thousands of dollars on them. Do any of them really seem to help consistently across the board? No.”
Nutrients that support mitochondria, such as carnitine, thiamine, riboflavin, magnesium, CoQ10, and alpha-lipoic acid, can help enhance mitochondrial function and energy production.
Still, Evans notes that quercetin (a bioflavonoid found in onions, green tea, apples, and berries) is important for immune function. And nutrients that support mitochondria, such as carnitine, thiamine, riboflavin, magnesium, CoQ10, and alpha-lipoic acid, can help enhance mitochondrial function and energy production (see “The Care and Feeding of Your Mitochondria” to learn more about these “energy factories” that are essential to energy, focus, vitality, and metabolism).
Restoring gut health with probiotics is also important and supported by research. (For more on probiotics and gut health, see “Everything You Need to Know About Probiotics“.)
Just as everyone will have unique supplement needs, dietary approaches work best when personalized. Viswanathan has seen some patients improve on an anti-inflammatory, low-histamine diet that limits carbs and omits meat, lactose, and alcohol.
But this highly restrictive approach can be difficult to maintain over time. Working with a functional nutritionist or doctor can help someone with long COVID chart a sustainable, personalized path forward.
This was excerpted from “How Long COVID Affects Your Ability to Exercise” which was published in the December 2022 issue of Experience Life.