[CHD Note: This is Part Three of a four-part series. In Parts One and Two I outline the case for the terrain being the most important consideration when it comes to outcomes from infectious diseases. The terrain represents the health of the individual, their nutritional status, their environmental exposures and surroundings, their access to clean water, personal and public hygiene, etc.]
Enter the spin zone
In the media coverage surrounding COVID-19, why are we hearing nothing about what each individual can do FOR THEMSELVES nutritionally in an effort to build their immune competency to resist and overcome infection? Why is the narrative all about how the pharmaceutical industry is going to “SAVE” us? Could it have something to do with the fact that the pharma-controlled media wants to convince us that we must spend billions of dollars and wait for big pharma to come to the rescue with new, expensive, proprietary and patented anti-viral drugs and a magical vaccine to rescue us from COVID-19 therefore “allowing” us to return to normal life?
I’m not even saying that it’s only nutritional options and natural alternatives that are being shunned. Even inexpensive, easy to access drugs like Hydroxychloroquine and Azithromycin with zinc are being played down, despite studies from around the world showing it’s efficacy. And, with a history of use for over 60 years in millions of people, it has proven to have an excellent safety record as compared to many other pharmaceutical drugs. A course of treatment is under $30 compared to Remdesivir, which costs more than $3,000. You can be sure that the antiviral drugs being developed for COVID-19 will probably exceed that cost. Let’s be honest; inexpensive, safe drugs or natural alternatives like herbal or nutritional compounds won’t provide pharma with the big payday they are banking on from COVID-19. They are opportunists, and you can bet they are going to make the most out of this opportunity.
Opportunistic organisms in biology are those parasites, bacteria, fungi, yeasts and viruses that take advantage of a weak host that offers them a ripe terrain for infection. These pharma opportunists are getting our government to fund the development and production of these drugs and vaccines to the tune of billions of dollars….AND they will potentially reap hundreds of billions of dollars in revenue from the sales (all underwritten by each of us taxpayers). No investment and all profit served up in a liability free environment! Can you think of a better business model and financial windfall scenario for them? In the meantime, as the powers that be, drag their feet on making these inexpensive treatments available to sick patients because they have something better on the horizon, thousands of people are dying. Many unnecessarily. And, since scientists have already said that the virus can and will mutate, the magical vaccine that we have all paid for and millions are relying on, will most likely be largely ineffective in a best-case scenario and outright deadly in a worst-case scenario. Another legitimate concern would be the vaccine’s role in the development of future long-term chronic disease.
A similar situation plays out every year with the flu vaccine and its miserable rate of effectiveness, because guessing which strains will be prevalent the next season to incorporate into the vaccine is a roll of the dice. Three decades of attempts to make a coronavirus vaccine have been a miserable failure, resulting in what is called “pathogenic priming” or sometimes referred to as “immune enhancement”, which is a paradoxical response. This is where a vaccinated person, after later being exposed to the same virus has the risk of acquiring an extremely exaggerated immune reaction. This is something many top scientists and doctors in the vaccine field are warning against. It is not a great scenario when they are bragging about how fast they can get these vaccines to market and taking shortcuts in the safety studies like animal safety studies, followed by long-term human trials to make it happen. Quick to market with a shell-shocked public waiting anxiously for your product. Jackpot!
The scientific basis for nutritional effectiveness
There are thousands of studies published that demonstrate effectiveness of various natural compounds in preventing and treating viral infections. They do that in numerous ways, but the two overarching strategies is first to prime or boost the body’s own ability to attack and destroy the pathological microbes and second, to block key biochemical pathways that the virus needs to enter the cell and proliferate. In COVID-19’s case, these pathways into the cell are called the ACE-2 receptors. The cells lining the lungs and airways are particularly rich in these receptors making the lungs a receptive target for COVID-19. Nutritional compounds can also effectively manage the high levels of inflammation and collateral damage caused by the infection, which is one of the main reasons the COVID-19 infection can reach catastrophic levels and, in some cases becomes fatal. Many reports have discussed a phenomenon that can occur called a “cytokine storm”, which is an example of an out of control inflammatory immune reaction throughout the body. The oxidative stress from this reaction causes massive collateral tissue damage. Incidentally, the cytokine storm phenomenon is not new or unique to COVID-19. The literature is replete with studies discussing it in relationship to severe influenza as well.
One example of a nutritional superhero is glutathione. Glutathione the body’s “Master Antioxidant”, is essential for successfully fighting infection and mitigating the damaging effects of the production of oxidative free radicals that are released during infection. These oxidative radicals wreak havoc on the body if glutathione is in short supply. These oxidative free-radicals are now implicated in the cause of the cytokine storm that often results in the loss of life from COVID-19. Fortunately, there are ways that you can boost your own glutathione levels. Therefore, reducing inflammation and oxidative stress naturally not only decreases the severity of the infection and risk of death, but also the long-term health altering after-effects post infection.
N-Acetyl-Cysteine or N.A.C., is another important and related compound. Studies have also shown that taking N.A.C. will not only help boost glutathione levels but may also help to prevent the formation of what is called von Willebrand Factor, an agent that is responsible for the blood clotting problems that frequently develops in COVID-19 patients.
The incredible partnership between the miraculous human immune system and nature
The biochemistry of how the intelligence of the body operates is truly remarkable. And the immune system is a symphony of players that when all working properly and in concert, make beautiful music together. Beautiful unless you are a pathogen. When working in harmony, the different players in the immune system are truly a formidable force to be reckoned with. They seek, identify and destroy the intruder. Rather than using a drug that often has risks of side effects to “kill” the infection, this approach fortifies and builds the body’s own defenses and mechanisms to fight the offending microbe and then clean up the mess and debris afterwards. This includes upregulating white blood cells and immune regulatory players like macrophages, natural killer cells (NK cells), neutrophils and monocytes. As an example, vitamin C greatly increases numbers, activity and effectiveness of macrophages, NK cells, neutrophils and monocytes. Human beings can’t make our own, so we have to get it from diet and supplementation. Vitamin C demands increase substantially during times of stress, injury and infection. Therefore, it is essential to meet those demands with increased consumption when you want your immune system to work at it’s best.
Another example of key players during infection are cytokines. Cytokines are proteins that act as cell signaling agents. Some cytokines are pro-inflammatory, and some are anti-inflammatory in action. Some pro-inflammatory response is necessary and appropriate during infection, but it needs to be kept in check to prevent raging inflammation or even an autoimmune shift causing the immune system to attack the body’s own tissues. Various natural compounds are shown to regulate these processes and keep them in balance, preventing damaging downstream effects. Those compounds include fish oil, curcumin (the active ingredient in turmeric), vitamin D, resveratrol and quercetin among others.
We will look further into the way the immune system combats infection and ways to optimize its function in the final segment of this four-part series.
© August 4, 2020 Children’s Health Defense, Inc. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of Children’s Health Defense, Inc. Want to learn more from Children’s Health Defense? Sign up for free news and updates from Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and the Children’s Health Defense. Your donation will help to support them in their efforts.