The Protocol: what do I take but will not prescribe (consult your doctor)

When years ago we assembled an unprecedented international effort to define diets that could prevent several chronic disease conditions, it was surprising to many of us that similar guidelines and recommendations were appropriate to prevent not only diabetes, but also cardiovascular disease, neurodegenerative diseases, autoimmunity, or cancer.

I believe we are now in a very similar condition when addressing strategies that could prevent  severe complications of viral infections, autoimmunity, allergies and age-related diseases.

Type 1 Diabetes is just the tip of the iceberg of the Autoimmune Disease Epidemic, that with approximately 100 disease conditions is now affecting almost 20% of the population in the USA.

We are also facing an increased incidence of chronic diseases, with over 90% of Americans over age 65 are affected by at least one chronic degenerative conditions, and over 75% of them have 2 co-morbidities.  It is now evident that these increased co-morbidities together with advanced age are formidable risk factors for developing deadly complications of Coronavirus infections, such as COVID-19.

Diet induced chronic inflammation is emerging as a significant factor that can affect the incidence and progression of many degenerative conditions, including obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular, osteo-articular, neurodegenerative, autoimmune disease conditions and cancer, to name a few.  Lifespan has been increasing in recent decades, but not necessarily healthy lifespan (Healthspan).

The Fit4Lifespan / Fit4Pandemic Protocol is not a medical prescription, nor it represent a consensus from medical experts. Years of rigorous randomized controlled trials will be necessary to determine if my assumptions are correct, but I don’t have the luxury to wait for the results of these trials. Besides working every day to find a cure for diabetes, I am also on the frontline of the battle against Covid-19, I am exposed to the risk of viral transmission every day when I go to my hospital, and I have to confess that I have passed 60 years of age. Therefore since I would like to see my grandchildren graduate from college, while remaining relatively healthy for as long as possible, I will share what I do and what protective substances I take every day, with the absolute awareness that this may not work for you and that you should always consult your own physician.

This is what I take and what I recommended to my family and friends, based on what I learned and what I believe, not necessarily what has been scientifically proven beyond any reasonable doubt.

Randomized controlled trials (RCT) are in progress in several disease conditions including  Type 1 Diabetes, to determine the effect of high dose Omega 3 and Vitamin D on disease progression in both pediatric and adult subjects, in early and late onset T1D. Unproven wellness-based healthspan practices cannot replace rigorous RCT for validation of possible long-term benefits. Nevertheless, an increasing number of subjects are considering selected protective substances, while waiting for the long-term, also because emerging diseases could pose an immediate threat (e.g., COVID19) to our health. Recent data indicate how appropriate nutrition and selected protective substances could be of assistance to prepare our body to better resist viral infections such as COVID19, and in case of infection how to decrease the risk of severe disease progression.

Waiting for an effective and safe vaccine, and in any case even after the vaccine, we are launching the “fit4Pandemic” initiative (fit for pandemic), with the objective to help strengthen our immune defenses, while modulating exaggerated inflammatory and immune reactions, which can lead to a series of problems, from autoimmunity to allergies, and the hyper-inflammatory and hyper-immune reactions present in severe COVID-19.

Waiting for rigorous scientific validation through RCTs (Randomized Controlled Trials) and in consideration of the safety of the molecules described, several subjects at risk of contagion and front line health care workers are following these common sense suggestions, to keep our immune system “fit” even if under no circumstance they can be considered therapeutic interventions.



What do I take?



Low Vitamin D levels have been associated with the severity of Type 1 Diabetes at onset, with all-cause mortality in Diabetes and with severity of COVID19 progression.

7,000 UI a day, or 50,000 UI once a week (e.g., DIBASE  in Italy or equivalent products Worldwide. My target range for 25 OH Vitamin D in the blood is 40-70 ng/ml (most doctor will tell you that if you have more than 30 ng/ml you are fine, but the immunomodulatory effects starts above 40 ng/ml).



1gram a day (I take liposomal Vitamin C from HMS Nutrition, for better absorption, but there are a lot of other similar products).



15 mg a day, because 10 mg are already included in SIRT500 Plus.


OMEGA3 Fatty Acids (EPA+DHA)

Depending on your baseline diet induced inflammation test, the AA/EPA ratio (surrogate marker for Omega6/Omega3 ratio), you can adjust the dose. I take 6 grams Omega3 a day and I prefer the liquid form that I keep in the freezer. It is important to make sure the Omega 3 are highly purified because coming from fish the can contain heavy metals and other dangerous contaminants. I take ZoneRx Omega3 in the US or where available (Enerzona Omega3 in Italy). The target level for AA/EPA ratio is 1.5 – 3.0 … you will be surprised to learn that in diabetes is often above 25 and in severe Covid-19 is over 45. The highest is the ratio, the highest is the inflammation level in your blood.



Recently a particularly powerful combination of sirtuin activator molecules, analogues and precursors of resveratrol, combined with other protective molecules was developed (SIRT500 Plus – These plant derived, natural molecules were initially considered only in the anti-aging field, but surprisingly are now under study for some additional functions, as they have been shown potential effects for enhancement of insulin secretion, neurodifferentiation and also protection against some viral infections.

The research on sirtuins began in 1991 with Leonard Guarente at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology). More recently, David Sinclair began study sirtuins as possible new molecules with anti-aging effects. These proteins begin to decrease after 35 of age, and after 60 years of age they are really minimally produced by the human body. The progressive decrease of sirtuins leads to a series of overall inefficiencies in the human body, contributing to the loss of personal autonomy, with deterioration and shortening of healthy lifespan, and overall longevity.

Sirtuins can be activated by calory restriction, resulting in a doubling of lifespan in preclinical model systems. However, sirtuins can also be activated by plant-derived natural compounds, that can mainly be found in Asia, such as Pterostilbene, Polydatin and Honokiol.  

These natural plant based supplements could help decrease the massive daily intake of fruit and vegetables containing natural activators of sirtuins, that would be necessary to be consumed to benefit from a similar amount of purified protective factors, while eliminating the extra calories consumed.

Recent research findings from the University of Rome Tor Vergata, and from the La Sapienza University, have shown how these supplements are able to inhibit the replication of the flu virus, and studies are underway to determine their effect on SARS-CoV-2 replication.

The results of these studies (unpublished studies – manuscript in preparation) demonstrated how an increase in sirtuins can also improve and modulate the responses of the immune system, and could represent not only an anti-aging remedy, but could also be of assistance to help our immune system to respond adequately and effectively to viral infections.


If someone becomes positive for SARS-CoV-2 or is at high risk for COVID-19 I also suggest to consider:


DISCLAIMER: What Prof. Camillo Ricordi presented is just the protocol he is following, what he is taking and what he has recommended to his family and friends. It is in no way to be considered medical advice for the public, without consultation with your own doctor. He has an interest in nutrition and in the possible effects of protective substances on disease prevention, mitigation of progression, or therapy, to promote healthy lifespan (healthspan).  Ricordi has waived any royalty from the sale of any product he is supporting, and has encouraged companies to make donations to The Cure Alliance or to the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation, also encouraging them to offer discounts to patients, followers and friends. He is a compensated scientific advisor Zone Labs, with no royalties and no equity, and an unpaid scientific advisor of SIRT500 Sagl and he does not receive any royalty, but he holds some equity in the company. What he offers are only suggestions to maintain health, that will need to be validated by rigorous scientific studies that will require years. While hoping that his suggestions may be of assistance to prevent diseases, or to mitigate disease progression. Always consult your doctor before considering any protective substance or product. There are many alternatives and similar protective substances on the market, that may even be more cost effective. Just keep an eye on the disclosed potency (e.g., how many milligrams of active substance there are for every gram of product sold) and purity (e.g., how many contaminants like heavy metals and PCBs, in the case of Omega3). Also check if the products offered are obtained following cGMP (current good manufacturing) guidelines

The table indicates what would be the volume of selected fish, fruit and vegetables you would have to consume every day to get the amounts of protective substances above suggested, and the calories that they would introduce.

40 mg RESVERATROL 10-12 Liters of red wine 27 Liters of white wine 33-60 Kg of black grapes 22 Kg of peanuts 13 Kg of cocoa 6.000 – 7,800 17,550 21,650 – 39,000 124,740 2,964
60 mg PTEROSTYLBEN 10 Kg of blueberries 16 Kg of black currants 5,700 10,800
200 mg POLYDATIN 200 grams of Sophora Japonica Difficult to find and to digest
5 g OMEGA3 (EPA + DHA) 6 Kg of lobsters 2 Kg of tuna 600 g of salmon 8,580 2,588 1,236
1 g Vitamin C 2.25 Kg of oranges 0.750 Kg fresh red peppers 1,012 300
7,000 UI Vitamin D3 159 eggs 11,448