COVID19, Immunity, And Prevention
Here is some information to educate and empower you about the novel coronavirus and COVID19. I am updating this article periodically to make sure it provides the latest research on this topic, immunity, and prevention. Most people (50%) who get the virus recover from it or do not get symptoms at all. 5% of people get very severe symptoms and 1% experience death from the virus. People who die from the virus have a weakened immune system to start with. Different symptoms occur between people because each person's ability to heal and fight infection is different. This is due to our microbiome, the bacteria in us that regulate inflammation, immunity, mood, and pain. I have compiled the latest research on why this is, how the novel coronavirus works, how to kill it, its origin, symptoms, how it spreads, prevention, and treatment.
Immunity: To be immune means to be protected and self healing. The body uses vitamins to operate several natural systems to protect and repair itself from tiny invaders (called pathogens) such as viruses, bacteria, and parasites. The ability to fight infection comes from beneficial bacteria that live in us and on us known as the microbiome. The microbiome develops the immune system and brain. The first line of defense is the skin. When we get a cut on the skin, tiny invaders can enter the cut. The body responds by alerting the immune system to kill the tiny invaders, clean out the cut, and grow new skin. This is how the body defends and rebuilds itself naturally. The second line of defense is the digestive system. This system is made up of your mouth, stomach, and intestines. This system turns the foods you eat and the drinks you have into vitamins for the body to function. Medications, processed foods, processed meats, sugar, dairy, corn, flour, chronic stress, alcohol, trauma, toxins, suppressed emotions, and recreational drugs all weaken this system and leave the immune system deficient in vitamins. When the digestive system is weakened, immunity weakens.
When a tiny invader gets into the body, the immune system triggers a fever. A fever is a great thing! This means that the body is working to fight tiny invaders. After the immune system kills the invader, it creates a memory of it so that it knows what to do if it comes across it again. This is called natural immunity. Another line of defense is the sirtuin family of proteins. These are molecules that repair DNA, slow down viral replication, and slow down aging. The body is always working for us but when it has to race against a deadly virus without proper nutrients, hydration, rest, exercise, or beneficial bacteria, it is not equipped to win. When the body becomes imbalanced for an extended period of time, the burden accumulates, and the body's ability to heal weakens. This leads to chronic inflammation, illness, and symptoms.
Most people who develop severe COVID19 symptoms have pre-existing inflammation or weakened immunity. Fear also weakens immunity. What we think has a serious effect on our immune system's ability to fight infections. Feelings of fear and chronic stress raise inflammation, insulin resistance, blood pressure, and slow the body's ability to heal. Research has shown that plant based nutrition, hydration, sleep, exercise, fasting, nature time, gratitude, positivity, processing suppressed emotions, meditation, fresh air, sunshine, cold showers, yoga, qigong, breath work, and time in silence can all enhance immune function. Research has also shown that we can activate our sirtuins by reducing our calories by 30%, exercise, extra virgin olive oil, turmeric, kale, berries, broccoli, mushrooms, green tea, red onion, parsley, Vitamin D, NAD+, Resveratrol, Quercetin, and Walnuts. We all have a natural ability to enhance immunity but it takes work. It begins with what we eat, drink, think, and do. If we fail to support our bodies, minds, or spirit, then our ability to fight viruses or any other infection weakens.
Origin: According to the latest research, the novel coronavirus also known as Sars-Cov2 virus is believed to be an ancient RNA virus of bat origin. How it got into people in the first place is still up for debate and might always be. However, viruses that jump from animals to humans are very common. Wet markets in China have been shown to breed infectious disease for years.
Nature: The virus looks like a round ball with spikes sticking out of it. The virus has proteins that make it deadly and allow it to get into human cells called spike proteins making it six to ten times deadlier than the flu. The virus is not a living organism and is very fragile; the only thing that protects it is a thin outer layer of fat. Since it is made of fat, soap or detergent are the best remedy, because the foam from these substances cuts fat. This is why we are recommended to rub our hands for 20 seconds when washing our hands; to create foam. By dissolving the fat layer, the protein molecule disperses and breaks down on its own. Soaps, detergents, alcohol over 65%, bleach, hydrogen peroxide, windex, and listerine all disintegrate the virus. Heat melts fat which means that hand washing with hot water, regular sweating, sunlight, humidity, and saunas are shown to be beneficial. Summer months may provide some relief but it it is expected to ramp up in the fall. Social distancing, hand washing, and wearing cotton face masks are essential practices going forward for some time until more of us build antibodies to this virus.
Spread and Incubation: The virus is spread through respiratory droplets through sneezing, coughing, or talking. The virus is also spread by fecal-oral transmission which can happen with contaminated food or water. It lasts on fabric between 3 hours, copper and wood for 4 hours, cardboard for 24 hours, metal for 42 hours, steel and plastic for 72 hours. Sunlight, temperature, and humidity have been proven to reduce the viruses ability to survive on door knobs and surfaces. After exposure, it takes 8-14 days to develop symptoms however, research is showing that the virus begins changing things within the gut bacteria in 2-4 days.
Mode of Attack: The virus gets into human cells through spike proteins and possibly gets help from a certain bacteria within the body known as Prevotella. More research needs to be done on this but it does give us insight to how bacteria play a role in our ability to fight infections. If we have too much Prevotella or any bacteria in the body, it can lead to illness. We do know that the virus can cause an upregulation of bacterial pathogens, microbiota that can cause upper respiratory disease. We can test our the bacteria within us and see if we have high levels of Prevotella or other bacterial pathogens. Dr. Felty provides at home microbiome testing and at home stool testing for Sars-Cov2 which can be tested for 5 weeks in stool after it leaves the respiratory tract.
Once the virus is inside, it heads to the outside of our cells that have small binding sites on them called ACE2. The virus binds to this site and then triggers it to let it in. Imagine putting a key into a lock and opening a door. The virus' spike protein acts as the key and binding site acts as the lock. This triggers the door to open and let the virus in. In a healthy person, the ACE2 is part of the blood pressure pathway. ACE2 is now found everywhere in the body, in the mouth, lungs, kidney, heart, nose, and digestive system. All of these are entry sites for the virus. Blood pressure medications such as ACE inhibitors may increase ACE-2 receptors on our cells which gives the virus more places to enter but it also may confuse the virus and be protective. Once the virus is inside the cell, it replicates itself, and releases hundreds of thousands viral particles in 1 day. The pathway it replicated on is called Mtor pathway. This pathway can be slowed down by Sirtuin proteins in the body. Sirtuin proteins help DNA repair itself and slow down viral replication. It is a race between the immune system and the virus.
While bacteria is being upregulated by the virus, the immune system is sending out cytokines, proteins that can cause inflammation. While this is happening, the virus attacks the hemoglobin in red blood cells which reduces oxygen and carbon dioxide. When oxygen exchange is reduced in the lungs and in the tissues, they suffocate. All of these processes lead to trouble breathing and multi organ failure which is seen in COVID19. The overreactive immune response leads to a flood of immune cells called neutrophils and macrophages. These cells combined with upregulated bacterial pathogens leads to thick mucus in the lungs. All of this inflammation and dysfunction in a weakened individual, can cause a "cytokine storm", a storm of immune cells that can be fatal.
COVID19 Symptoms and Risk: Most people who get the virus never need treatment and recover at home. Asymptomatic people are able to spread the virus without knowing it such as young and healthy people. This is why isolation and social distancing is important. COVID19 most common symptoms include: fever, dry cough, and shortness of breath. Then people get aches and pains. Other symptoms include gastrointestinal complaints such as diarrhea, abdominal pain, vomiting, loss of appetite, and confusion. Doctors that I have spoken with have said that symptoms are affecting elderly people the most, however, they are seeing young healthy people get symptoms too. Some survivors say that the symptoms make them feel horrible for two weeks, worse than any flu exp