Dr. Al Danenberg ● Nutritional Periodontist
March 27, 2020 [printfriendly]
Statistics from around the world have helped to formulate some new and impressive facts about COVID-19. Above all, stay away from people; wash your hands; and don’t touch your mouth, nose, or eyes with your hands. But the newest facts will give you a heads-up going forward.
Who is at Risk?
Everyone is susceptible to becoming infected – even children and young adults. The population most at risk are the elderly and anyone who has compromised lung function and/or a depressed immune system.
Surface Killing of COVID-19
The New England Journal of Medicine has tested how long the virus can remain stable on different kinds of surfaces within a controlled laboratory setting. They found that it was still detectable on copper for up to four hours, on cardboard for up to 24 hours, and on plastic and steel for up to 72 hours.
Fortunately, coronaviruses are considered “enveloped viruses”. That means they have minimal self-protection and are one of the easiest types to kill. Therefore, washing your hands after exposure to the virus with soap and water for as little as 20 seconds will kill it. If you can’t wash with soap and water, apply 70% isopropyl alcohol on your hands and rub it in. In addition, spraying surfaces with this alcohol or other disinfecting sprays and letting the surface dry by itself will take care of coronavirus. Again, this virus is easy to kill before it gets into your body.
Innate Immune System
Your innate immune system is probably the most important mechanism to help your body fight any infection. A healthy person’s immune system will use many different “weapons” to effectively fight any invading pathogens, including invading viruses. Also, specific antibodies (Immunoglobulin G and Immunoglobulin M) will be produced and rushed through the systemic circulation in the battle. Since COVID-19 is a virus, anything that could destroy this virus or prevent a virus from duplicating would help prevent and possibly cure a viral infection.
A specific probiotic is known as Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis JCM 5805 (i.e. LC-Plasma). LC-Plasma is a strain of lactic acid bacteria that activates human plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs), which play an important role to fight viral infections. Plasmacytoid dendritic cells produce large amounts of interferons (IFNs) which inhibit viral replication. Also, pDCs activate downstream immune cells (i.e. B Cells, NK Cells, Helper T Cells, Killer T Cells, etc).
Studies have shown that a daily 50mg oral dose of heat-killed LC-Plasma cells will have prophylactic effects against viral infections in humans,,,,, and is safe long-term. These studies show that LC-Plasma metabolites provide benefits against several viruses including rotavirus, dengue, influenza, and the common cold. The metabolites of LC-Plasma are what activates pDCs. It is important to note that NO studies have proven LC-Plasma to be effective against COVID-19. However, LC-Plasma’s mechanism of action to stimulate the innate immune system to kill other viruses is impressive. (Enviromedica just released a spore-based probiotic called TerraFlora Deep Immune. It contains several spore-based probiotics along with 50mg of heat-killed LC-Plasma per daily dose.)
Diet & Healthy Gut
Another study just published in March 2020 reviewed various investigator’s results concerning the importance of the gut’s microbiome and its epithelial barrier on the immune system’s ability to fight viral infections. As I have described in many of my previous Blogs, a nutrient-dense diet as well as supplements to support a healthy gut are vital to support a healthy and functioning immune system. These critical elements are part of my Unconventional Cancer Protocols, which I’ll send to anyone who wants a copy. (Email me at Dr.Danenberg@iCloud.com if you would like it.)
1 – Didier Raoult, MD, Ph.D, specializes in infectious diseases in France. He and other authors published a study on March 17, 2020. In this study, 36 patients in the hospital with COVID-19 were divided into three groups. There was a control group of 16 patients who did not receive any experimental medications at their request. Another group of 14 patients received hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil) 250 mg three-times-a-day for 10 days. The other group of 6 patients received Plaquenil 250 mg three-time-a-day for 10 days in addition to azithromycin (Z-Pak) 500 mg on Day 1 and 250 mg for Days 2-5. The results were impressive. At the end of Day 6, only 15% of the control group got better. At the end of Day 6, only 55% of the group receiving Plaquenil got better. But at the end of Day 5, 100% of the group taking both medications got better. I believe this protocol of Plaquenil along with Z-Pak is being investigated currently in New York.
2 – There are other drugs and vaccines in the pipeline, but they will take time to go through the necessary trials before being approved as treatment options. One important fact is this: Most recent medical research suggests that COVID-19 is hardly mutating. That is good on two fronts. On one front, if you contracted coronavirus, you most likely will have immunity for an extended period of time – maybe lifetime immunity. On the other front, if a vaccine is developed and released in a year or so for the general population, it most likely will be effective since it would have been created to treat the current strain.
3 – An additional treatment option that is being investigated has to do with patients who have had COVID-19 and recovered successfully. The treatment is called “convalescent plasma”. The plasma from patients who have recovered could be infused into patients with active disease. There has been good success with this treatment for other types of viral infections, and the future looks bright for this intervention.
4 – Here is a controversial therapy that is undergoing deep study in China – high-dose intravenous (IV) vitamin C infusions. ZhiYong Peng, MD of the Department of Critical Care Medicine at Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University recently registered a phase 2 clinical trial to test the efficacy of vitamin C infusions for the treatment of severe acute respiratory infection (SARI) associated with COVID-19. In the study, participants in the experimental group will receive 24 grams of IV vitamin C per day for 7 days. That’s more than 260 times the Daily Value (DV) for vitamin C for adults and children age 4 years old and up, which is 90 mg per day. Richard Cheng MD, PhD, Chinese Edition Editor of the Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, states there are at least three clinical trials in China studying the effects of high-dose IV vitamin C for the treatment of COVID-19. However, you should know that this is a controversial therapy. In this article published in Nutrition in 2019, the authors conclude that there is promise but the science hasn’t proven the benefits of high-dose vitamin C infusions for the critically ill.
5 – New evidence is showing that the virus can attach to a specific site on the surface of a cell called angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptors. ACE2 receptors are present throughout the body. However, they are abundantly present in the cells of the lung, blood vessels, and small intestine. ACE2 receptors are the designated “landing-sites” for ACE hormones, which play a role in constricting blood vessels that in turn raises blood pressure.
Once the virus attaches to the ACE2 receptor, it “hijacks” the cell and makes copies of itself. When the virus is done, it kills the cell and spreads. Some people have reported digestive problems as their only symptom before testing positive for COVID-19. The reason is that the virus attached to the ACE2 receptors in the gut. Research is investigating a way to interfere with the virus’s attachment to the ACE2 receptor.
We are all in the same storm but in different boats – financially, medically, and emotionally. This coronavirus has disrupted all of our lives. But don’t go to the place where blame is being placed on individuals, individual countries, or political parties. Moving forward, I believe our country and the world are experiencing a wakeup call that eventually will be positive for our future health. All of us must share in the lack of preparedness. Especially, it seems to me that almost no one in the conventional medical community is emphasizing a nutrient-dense anti-inflammatory diet or lifestyle changes to begin to improve our body’s innate immune system. Our innate immune system is critical for preventing this viral disease and improving overall health and wellbeing.
As I stated in the beginning of this article, those with a compromised immune system are at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19. Some individuals in this high-risk category are taking prescription medications to reduce ACE hormone. These medications are collectively called ACE inhibitors, which are used to reduce inflammation and blood pressure. It is suggested that ACE inhibitors may increase the availability of ACE2 receptors as landing-targets for the COVID-19 virus. I already described how the coronavirus attaches to the ACE2 receptor to get into the cell. So, if there were more ACE2 receptors available, then there could be an increased risk for this viral infection to manifest.