The COVID-19 virus pandemic is literally scaring everyone in the world because of the unknowns that are associated with this virus. So, I would like to provide some scientific information that most people have found useful in these uncertain times.
First – what is the difference between a bacterium and a virus and why is a virus so much harder to kill?
This is a great question and once you understand the difference, it will make complete sense. The primary reason these two pathogens are different is due to their structure. A bacterium as a membrane or a cell wall, like all the cells of the human body. Whereas a virus, like the one pictured, does not contain a cell wall. The lack of a cell wall is what makes a virus so different and potentially deadly.
Look at the picture again and you’ll notice that there are red spikes attached to a body. These spikes are how the virus enters your own cells. That’s right, viruses enter your cells and will start releasing toxins and damaging the cells they have penetrated – your cells. But then they replicate, or grow, within the cell and as your body produces new cells, the virus is inside of those cells also. This is one of the reasons it can take several weeks for someone to become symptomatic. The lack of a cell wall is also the reason it is so very difficult to kill a virus. To kill a bacterium, anti-biotics attack the bacteria cell wall and that destroys the bacteria and thus the damage it is causing. But to kill the virus, inside your cell, means the drug developed, would literally have to destroy your cells – that doesn’t make a lot of sense. This is also why there is a new Flu shot every year, because viruses mutate – they change.
So why do some people who contract the virus have no symptoms, some have mild symptoms, while others become very sick and some will even die?
Another great question with a relatively simple answer. Immunity! The reason people respond differently to different pathogens (bacteria/viruses), has to do with their own immune system. Think for a moment about the people, the CDC says should be extremely careful regarding exposure to this virus – the young, the older and those who are immunocompromised. What do all three groups have in common – generally speaking, they have weaker immune systems. The weaker someone’s immune system is, the more likely they can not only contract the virus, but that the virus can cause damage to their cells, because that person’s immune system cannot destroy the virus on its own.
What can the average person do, if anything, to limit exposure, or if exposed, to reduce symptoms and the likelihood of becoming very ill or dying?
Limiting exposure, is what the US Government has been suggesting during this entire pandemic; so, following their guidance is paramount. However, the other aspect about reducing symptoms or the likelihood of becoming ill, is where I believe there is substantial room for improvement. While the CDC and Big Pharma are concentrating on finding a drug that may or may not work for this virus (what about the next virus that comes along??), why are they not telling and recommending scientifically factual mechanisms, with proven results, so people can strengthen their own immune systems? This is the approach I take with my patients.
Many Americans have a weak immune system, that is simply a fact. As many as 60% of Americans are on some type of pharmaceutical drug, all with side effects and many that will reduce the effectiveness of their immune system. So, what is the answer? Strengthen your own immune system, thus reducing the likelihood of contracting the virus or if exposed, sharply reducing the virus’s ability to harm the host – and you are the host!
So how does one strengthen their immune system?
There are several methods that can be utilized to build a stronger immune system. Exercise, quality sleep, hydration, reduce stress, and a big one is to change from the Standard American Diet (SAD), to a diet that is more wholesome and nutrient dense. Stopping eating processed food, things in a can, box, package; basically, anything that can stay on your pantry shelf for more than a few days will be processed and these foods are typically full of chemicals, sugar and don’t have a lot of nutrition. Stop eating so many fast foods, they taste great, but really are not good for you, would be a major step in the right direction.
But for those who wish to take a more aggressive approach, there are also supplements that can boost your immune system. Two in particular, Vitamin D3 and N-Acetyl-Cysteine, have scientific research, proving that they stop the replication of the virus, as mentioned above. There are also other commonly known nutrients that will boost your immune, like Vitamins A and C, Zinc and many of the B Vitamins will improve cellular function, thus aiding all cellular defenses.
I hope this information has been helpful. I wanted to provide some information that anyone can utilize in their efforts to stay or become healthy. If you have any questions about this article or other health-related issues, don’t hesitate to call the clinic and we will do our best to assist during the pandemic.
Please contact us today at (713) 667-6656 to set up an appointment.