Dr. Zelenko's Z-Stack Vitamin Cocktail: Review 2021

The Zelenko COVID-19 Protocols was developed by Dr Vladimir Zelenko. The protocol has as its centerpiece, but not exclusive piece, the combined use of Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) and Zinc as a means by which a person can both help to prevent or mitigate the contraction of COVID-19, or can actually treat the disease once it has been diagnosed. 

retrospective study analyzing Dr Zelenko's patient data was accepted for publication after a rigorous peer review process. The study finds that early intervention and treatment of high-risk patients with COVID-19 resulted in significantly fewer hospitalizations and deaths. The treatment consisting of zinc, low-dose hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), and azithromycin, is also referred to as "The Zelenko Protocol." Dr Zelenko has since updated his protocols to incorporate new evidence.
Z STACK Zelenko

He has since evolved his protocols to include a quercetin, zinc, vitamin D and C protocol for low-risk patients as well as guidelines for COVID-19 prevention. 

In an effort to make it easier for patients, Dr Zelenko has developed an oral supplement that contains all four key ingredients: vitamin C, quercetin, vitamin D3 and zinc. It’s referred to as 'Z-Stack Supplement'. 

Z-Stack Vitamin cocktail provides key ingredients needed in order to help your body fight off this deadly invader. 

The cost of the Z-STACK vitamin cocktail is $55 per bottle for a one month supply. 

 

Similar product with same key ingredientsQuercetin, Zinc, Vitamin D3 and C Supplement (VitaRaw)

Dr. Zelenko is now investigating the use of nebulized hydroxychloroquine, which could very well prove to be the final nail in the coffin for the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. If you are interested in the inside story of how Dr. Zelenko discovered the Zelenko protocol, it is best told in his interview with Dr. Breggin [backup]. Dr. Zelenko has been banned from twitter, but you can keep up with him on Telegram.

Update: Recently, Ivermectin has come to the fore as a more effective (also long standing, cheap, generic drug), in all three stages of COVID-19. Dr Zelenko has also updated his protocols to incorporate ivermectin as an option for both the prophylactic and treatment protocols as shown below.

The Science behind Zinc, Quercetin, Vitamin D and C to Optimize the Immune System to Fight COVID-19

Recent data, from peer reviewed studies, scientific data and clinical trials show that synergistic supplement combinations involving zinc and the zinc ionophore quercetin may be effective antiviral prevention and therapeutic agents against COVID-19. An ionophore transports molecules inside cell membranes. COVID-19 viral entry and replication in cells is inhibited by zinc - significantly reducing COVID-19 infection and mortality (Source). Generally, the more zinc that can be brought into respiratory cells, the better off a COVID-19 patient will be.

Quercetin, a natural anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory compound contained in abundance in various fruits and vegetables, is a zinc ionophore. Zinc ionophores help transport zinc inside the cells COVID-19 attacks - respiratory cells, providing significant antiviral action against COVID-19. Additionally, Quercetin has been shown to be a potent inhibitor of coronaviruses by inhibiting cellular entry as well as inhibiting proinflammatory cytokines. One of the hallmarks of COVID-19 is an imbalanced immune response cascading to cytokine storms and then hyper inflammation which then can lead to acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).

Quercetin has been shown to inhibit proinflammatory cytokine production as well as inflammation due to its antioxidant properties, amongst others. By inhibiting destructive inflammation and potentially the entire cascade, quercetin may prevent severe damage to the respiratory system amongst other organs (source). 

Recent clinical trial data shows that the combination of Vitamin C and Quercetin provided strong preventative protection against COVID-19 infection of healthcare workers when compared to the control group as shown below (source). Specifically, 1.4% (1 out of 71 healthcare workers) of healthcare workers using Quercetin and Vitamin C combination were infected with COVID-19 vs. 21.4% (9 out of 42 healthcare workers) of healthcare workers in the control group were infected with COVID-19 (Total Subjects, n = 113).


Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant, likely immune system optimizer and has been shown to work synergistically with quercetin, likely increasing quercetin’s bioavailability (source). As per Integrative Medicine’s 4th edition, quercetin is a poorly absorbed nutrient but Vitamin C increases the absorption of quercetin and recommends that Quercetin should be blended with Vitamin C (source). Specifically, 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 (source). It has been shown that Quercetin and Vitamin C markedly inhibited mRNA expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines - as the release of inflammatory cytokines are behind acute respiratory distress syndrome (source). The quercetin and vitamin C combination can prevent the exacerbation of inflammation. 

Zinc is a well known supplement that is generally contained in standard multivitamins. It provides immune support amongst other functions. Zinc inhibits coronavirus replication and is a general stimulant of antiviral immunity (source). Higher levels of intracellular zinc showed to increase intracellular pH; which affect on RNA-dependent RNA polymerase and decreases the replication mechanism of RNA viruses (e.g. COVID-19). Therefore, zinc ionophores (e.g. Quercetin) can likely be used with zinc supplement to act as antiviral against many RNA viruses including influenza and COVID-19. Suggested benefits of zinc supplementation along with zinc ionophores to prevent and treat COVID-19 and other respiratory tract infections are supported by countless studies (source). In most cases, prophylactic and early use of zinc supplementation was more effective than late therapeutic proceedings. Up to 30% of the everyday respiratory infections, briefly named “common cold,” are due to infections with coronaviruses. Studies showed reduced symptom severity, reduced frequency, and duration of the common cold after zinc administration depending on dosage, zinc compound and the start time after initial symptoms (source).

Zinc deficiency is very common especially in the elderly, diabetics, cancer patients, asthma, immunosuppressed and obese - all of which have higher levels of mortality for COVID-19. Furthermore, zinc deficiency is associated with increased risk of infectious disease, pneumonia and severity of COVID-19. Conversely, zinc supplementation is associated with a significant decrease in COVID-19 mortality as long as it is delivered with a zinc ionophore (source).

In short, a balanced zinc homeostasis is essential. Zinc supplementation improves the mucociliary clearance, strengthens the integrity of the epithelium, decreases viral replication, preserves antiviral immunity, attenuates the risk of hyper-inflammation, supports anti-oxidative effects and thus reduces lung damage and minimizes secondary infections. Especially older subjects, patients with chronic diseases and most of the remaining COVID-19 risk groups would most likely benefit.

Vitamin D is essential to a healthy immune system as it initiates the adaptive immune response. Clinical trial data shows that Vitamin D supplementation is safe and protects against acute respiratory tract infection mortality whereas low levels of vitamin D are associated with higher risk for infection and mortality (bmj.com). In addition, a meta-analysis of COVID-19 studies shows that over 90% of studies report positive effects of Vitamin D against COVID-19 (vdmeta.com).

The link between vitamin D and viral infections arose from the observation of the seasonality of vitamin D with lower levels in the winter and concomitant increases in influenza. Conversely, in summer, serum levels of Vitamin D increase and influenza virtually disappears, except during pandemics. Even in pandemics, most deaths occur during cold months.

Zelenko Covid-19 Prophylaxis Protocol

Prophylaxis is an action taken to prevent or protect against a specified disease. Greek in origin, from the word "phylax", meaning "to guard" and "watching." 
  
Low Risk Patients

Young healthy people do not need prophylaxis against Covid 19. In young and healthy people, this infection causes mild cold-like symptoms. It is advantageous for these patients to be exposed to Covid-19, build up their antibodies and have their immune system clear the virus. This will facilitate the development of herd immunity and help prevent future Covid-19 pandemics. However, if these patients desire prophylaxis against Covid-19, then they should take the protocol noted below.

Moderate Risk Patients

Patients from this category are healthy but have high potential viral-load exposure. This group includes medical personnel, caregivers of high-risk patients, people who use public transportation, first responders and other essential personnel who are crucial to the continued functioning of society. These patients should be encouraged to take prophylaxis against Covid-19 in accordance with the protocol noted below.

High Risk Patients

Patients are considered high risk if they are over the age of 45, or if they are younger than 45 but they have co-morbidities, that is, they have other health conditions that put them at risk. These patients have between a 5 to 10% mortality rate if they are infected with Covid-19. These patients should be strongly encouraged to take prophylaxis against Covid-19 in accordance with the protocol noted below.

Protocol for Low and Moderate Risk Patients:
If Quercetin is unavailable, then use Epigallocatechin-gallate (EGCG) 400mg 1 time a day

Protocol for High Risk Patients:
  • Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) 200mg once a day for 5 days, then HCQ 200-400mg one time a week (ScienceDirect) (Find a Doctor)
  • Vitamin D3 5000 IU/day or 50000 IU once a week (Amazon)
  • Vitamin C 1000mg once a day (Amazon)
  • Zinc 25-50mg/day (Amazon)
OR
  • Ivermectin 0.2 mg/kg — one dose on day 1 and day 3, then take one dose weekly (ivmmeta.com) (Find a Doctor).
  • Vitamin D3 5000 IU/day or 50000 IU once a week
  • Vitamin C 1000mg once a day 
  • Quercetin 500mg/day 
  • Zinc 25-50mg/day
Caution: 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.

Zelenko Protocol - Treatment Plan for Patients with Covid-19 symptoms

Fundamental Principles (Dr Zelenko Protocol When to Start)

Treat patients based on clinical suspicion as soon as possible, preferably within the first 5 days of symptoms. Perform PCR testing, but do not withhold treatment pending results.

Patient Categories

Low risk patient - Younger than 45, no co-morbidities, and clinically stable
High risk patient - Older than 45, younger than 45 with co-morbidities, or clinically unstable

Treatment Options

Low risk patients - over the counter options:


Supportive care with fluids, fever control, and rest

1. Elemental Zinc 50mg 1 time a day for 7 days (PubMed) (Amazon)

2. Quercetin 500mg 2 times a day for 7 days (PubMed) (Amazon

3. Vitamin C 1000mg 1 time a day for 7 days (Amazon)

4. Vitamin D3 5000 IU 1 time a day for 7 days (Amazon)

If Quercetin is not available then Epigallocatechin-gallate (EGCG) 400mg 1 time a day for 7 days (J. Agric. Food Chem. 2014) (Amazon)

Moderate / High risk patients


Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) 200mg 2 times a day for 5-7 days (ScienceDirect) (Find a Doctor)


and/or

Ivermectin 0.4-0.5mg/kg/day for 5-7 days (ivmmeta.com) (Find a Doctor)

Either or both HCQ and IVM can be used, and if one only, the second agent may be added after about 2 days of treatment if obvious recovery has not yet been observed etc.

If HCQ is not available, Quercetin 500mg 3 times a day for 7 days OR
EGCG 400mg 2 times a day for 7 days


In combination with the above (AND):


1. Elemental Zinc 50 - 100 mg 1 time a day for 7 days (Amazon)

2. Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) 200mg 2 times a day for 7 days (Find a Doctor)

3. Azithromycin 500mg 1 time a day for 5 days OR Doxycycline 100mg 2 times a day for 7 days

4. Vitamin C 1000 mg 1 time a day for 7 days (Amazon)

5. Vitamin D3 10,000 IU 1 time a day for 7 days (Amazon)


Both protocols can be viewed from his website.

About Dr Vladimir Zelenko

He graduated with a B.A. degree with high honors in Chemistry from Hofstra University. After receiving an academic scholarship to attend S.U.N.Y. at Buffalo School of Medicine, he earned his M.D. degree in May 2000. Dr. Zelenko completed his family medicine residency at South Nassau Communities Hospital in Oceanside, N.Y. in May 2004. Since then, Dr. Zelenko has practiced family medicine in New York’s Hudson Valley. He has been described by his patients as like a family member to thousands of families, and is a medical adviser to the volunteer ambulance corps in Kiryas Joel, New York.

When asked about studies that seemed to discredit the efficacy of HCQ in treating the coronavirus, Zelenko explained “You don’t fire a gun without a bullet in it and then say the gun doesn’t work when you don’t kill the target. The studies that were done on HCQ did not include the use of Zinc.  HCQ is what opens the cell and enables Zinc to attack the virus. One is not effective without the other, or without a suitable substitute for HCQ. The studies were designed to fail.”

Dr. Zelenko says that both prophylaxis measures and actual case treatments need to be customized to the individual. As a general rule, he says, those people who are in the higher risk groups, both by age and by other pre-existing conditions, require more aggressive actions on both the preventative and diagnostic side.

“This virus remains relatively stable inside the host for about the first five days,” Zelenko says. “After that it starts to multiply rapidly. It also starts to migrate from sinus to lungs and cardio areas where involvement becomes more severe and treatment becomes more difficult. The key is early intervention.” Zelenko again mentioned his 84% success rate in high-risk patients.


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