Who Are We?
We are a group of long haulers who have spent years researching various routines, hacks, and supplements in an attempt to alleviate the debilitating symptoms of long COVID. Our experiences have been similar to those reported on Reddit, with temporary relief often followed by a complete relapse. Recently, we discovered two lesser-known, widely available food supplements that have shown consistent and significant results in reducing physical fatigue, depression/anhedonia, and brain fog within our small group. We have decided to conduct a survey to gather more data on the effectiveness of these supplements, with the ultimate goal of encouraging government and health officials to fund clinical trials if our findings are promising.
As an independent, self-funded group with no affiliation to any brands or manufacturers, we have no financial interest in the outcome of this survey. We would like to clarify that this study is not conducted by a licensed medical professional or institution. Participants will be asked to complete an initial questionnaire, purchase the recommended food supplement, take the supplement for at least five days, and then complete a follow-up questionnaire. Each survey should take about 10 minutes to complete. The supplements are generally recognized as safe, but participants should consult with a healthcare professional to ensure the supplement is appropriate for them. Participation is voluntary, and all information provided will be kept confidential but may be shared in an anonymized form in the future.
Based on our research thus far, the following supplements could have the most impact in long COVID recovery or in reducing its symptoms. Please note that, as an informal group of researchers with no medical background, we do not give medical advice and we highly recommend you consult with your doctor before taking any new supplements. That being said, the supplements we have found to be useful are widely available over-the-counter supplements that are generally considered to have a good safety profile. We are not associated with any brands or manufacturers who produce these supplements.
This is a widely available supplement and a hormone precursor that your body naturally produces which is essential for its production of steroid hormones. Beyond this, research has also shown it tends to help with ATP levels, suggesting that it may be key in healthy mitochondrial function. This is noteworthy because long COVID anecdotes as well as early research has pointed towards mitochondrial dysfunction being a potential fundamental cause for the condition. While its effects will vary per individual, we found pregnenolone to show the most promise for long COVID as some have reported an almost complete return to normal energy levels, mood and cognitive function when taken daily.
Dosage and regimen: ideal dosage may highly vary per individual and as little as 50mg per day can be enough for a dramatic effect. While much more research is needed on the safety of long-term pregnenolone consumption, one promising study showed it may improve depressive symptoms while resulting in no significant side-effects over a course of 12 weeks at high doses (500mg per day). In our research however, we have found that due to pregnenolone's hormonal influence, a minority of people may experience side-effects similar to those often associated with slightly excessive estradiol or testosterone levels. We recommend you monitor your symptoms carefully and consult your doctor for guidance.
A naturally occurring simple sugar and carbohydrate with unique properties that can greatly aid mitochondrial function as ATP is derived from ribose, which means that the cells in your body rely on it to produce energy.
Dosage and regimen: Overall, 5g per day, preferably taken in the morning together with breakfast, is generally considered to have the best effects. People who have experimented with taking more have generally not seen further improvement beyond this dosage. Importantly, since d-ribose uniquely tends to decrease blood sugar levels for a short period of time, we recommend always having it with a meal or with fruit, as it can otherwise yield mild symptoms that are often associated with low blood sugar.
A new study (January 2023) has found that the combination of glycine and n-acetylcysteine (NAC), which is now sometimes referred to as 'GlyNAC' may help older adults with glutathione deficiency, oxidative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction, inflammation, physical function and overall aging hallmarks
Dosage and regimen: In our research, we found that a daily high dose of GlyNAC (around 4g of glycine combined with 4g of NAC) taken early in the day can significantly increase overall sense of well-being and energy levels throughout the day. Some have seen increased effects from taking this dosage twice per day. However, we advise caution with NAC. While it is generally considered very safe and well-tolerated, there are some reports of mild stomach discomfort as well as slight anhedonia symptoms from taking NAC. Monitor the effects carefully and adjust your dosage and regimen accordingly.
Beyond these supplements, if you are looking to further address symptoms that persist, we have also found some significant benefits in taking the following popular supplements at the generally conventional/recommended doses: acetyl l-carnitine (ALCAR), creatine, citicoline or alpha GPC, l-tyrosine. But whenever introducing any new supplement into your regimen, carefully monitor and keep track of its effects. Some have reported, for example, that a daily use of 5g of creatine may reduce quality of sleep when taken consistently for more than a week and that consistent use of alpha GPC may lead to anhedonia when it is not cycled (taking time off) over the course of several weeks.
How To Participate
Fill Out Survey
Fill out the short survey (1 minute) on this page to determine if you are eligible to participate.
You will receive further instructions by email, and you must buy the recommended food supplement and take it for 5 days.
Complete a follow-up questionnaire on how the supplement might have impacted your long-covid symptoms.
If you have any questions, you can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that this is an unpaid trial, and participants are responsible for purchasing their own supplements. However, these supplements are inexpensive and can be found over-the-counter in most countries.
We have already had 50 participants in the study, but participation is at your own risk. While we are not health professionals and cannot provide medical advice, we encourage you to consult with a qualified healthcare professional to ensure the supplement is right for you. Our primary objective is to determine whether these unknown supplements can relieve specific long-COVID symptoms and garner the attention of health officials and researchers for further investigation.