Excerpts with good news and tips in Dr. Moondust’s recently published chapter on Coronavirus includes: How to limit exposure – Top risks – Her personal contact story –Plus links to video
What can we do personally to help reduce our risk of infection from the new Coronavirus? What do we know now about the top risk factors if we do get exposed? What does it feel like to be wondering if we have been infected?
These questions and many interesting points came up in a recent conversation with Dr. Moondust, cancer biologist, biochemist, and founder of Moondust Cosmetics®. She shared some good news that came from her contribution to the just published book: Some RNA Viruses from INTECHOPEN Press. Her chapter is entitled: “Assembling an Anti-COVID-19 Artillery in the Battle Against the New Coronavirus”
Q. Dr. Moondust, we’ve all heard so much about the science surrounding this virus for a year now. Can you review the basics so we can have a fact refresher?
A. Yes, let’s start with what we now know about the lifecycle of the virus.
In order to invade a human cell, the SARSCoV2 virus attaches itself to something called an ACE-2 receptor on the cell surface (only certain organs in the human body have these receptors). These organs are the lungs, heart, kidneys, small intestine, testes (in men), and blood vessels.
Q. Then, what happens next?
A. It uses something called a spike protein to dock at the receptor. Then, once it’s inside the cell, it hijacks all the cell’s machinery to replicate itself and make more virus particles. Finally, it exports these outside the cell to invade more vulnerable cells within the body and beyond.
Q. Can you share your personal experience with Coronavirus?
A. Well, I had a sort of a brush with it. I was in India in January 2020 when a few of us met with a friend who had just returned from a business trip to Wuhan.
Q. You mean in China, the epicentre of the start of the pandemic?
A. Exactly, where the pandemic began. It’s not far – India and China are actually neighbours.
The next morning, I woke up with a very sore throat that developed into a very bad flu with sinus congestion and a cough that lasted two weeks. I also had some abdominal symptoms and a minor case of diarrhea. Then, I was extremely weak and dizzy for another two weeks after the flu.
Q. We’ve been given to understand that Coronavirus can take a couple of different forms – one attacks the lungs, while the other is centred more in the gastrointestinal tract.
A. That’s right.
Q. Did you take any medication?
A. Well, actually, I only took a herbal medicine with a licorice-root base (a potent anti-inflammatory) during the day; aspirin (another anti-inflammatory) at night; and, an electrolyte solution to prevent dehydration from the diarrhea.
Q. You said you met with a few friends. Were you the only one got what you felt was ‘the flu’.
A. Now, another person who had been present at this same meeting also developed similar symptoms about a week after me. Interestingly, the friend who had travelled to Wuhan had not displayed any symptoms of illness. However, there was no reason to suspect he was carrying the coronavirus because neither of us had the pneumonia-like symptoms coronavirus had been reported to cause at that time.
The GI tract symptoms were not known.
Q. Did you think it could be something else?
A. It could have been any of the flus that are endemic in India like H1N1 (Swine flu) or another seasonal Asian flu.
But, I continued to feel weak & apathetic for months after the infection & started to wonder if it could have been coronavirus. When I had a relapse of the abdominal symptoms in March & azithromycin cured these, my suspicions were heightened.
Q. How did you make your final diagnosis in this case?
In August/September, after …
1. A negative coronavirus nasal swab (extremely painful, by the way),
2. A negative SARSCoV2 antibody test, and,
3. A negative C-reactive protein test,
I was finally convinced it was something else. Incidentally, C-reactive protein is an inflammatory marker that seems to be increased for quite some time following COVID-19 infection. So, even if, I had had coronavirus & antibodies were no longer detectable, there’s a good chance my C-reactive protein would still be elevated.
To view this portion of the interview in video format please visit part ONE here: Assembling an Anti-COVID-19 Artillery in the Battle Against the New Coronavirus – YouTube
As the conversation with Dr. Moondust continued we moved from a review of how the virus behaves in our bodies, to the top risk factors for COVID-19?
Well, they can be divided into internal and external risk factors that increase your chances of contracting the virus.
The top internal risk factors appear to be – age (although that demographic seems to be shifting somewhat with the new variants), obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, smoking, male, cancer patient, certain Neanderthal genes.
For the fascinating account of the Neanderthal connection taken from Paleo anthropology please view video TWO: How to Protect Ourselves From COVID-19 Variants – YouTube. Dr. Moondust explains that people with Neanderthal genes have been found to have some respiratory difficulties with exposures to Coronavirus.
The top external risk factors include urban environments with high levels of air pollution, crowded living conditions in slums such as in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and Mumbai, India as well as degrees of exposure for people such as doctors and nurses.
Q. Now, what about symptoms and complications?
A. This is the puzzling thing about the new coronavirus – there seem to be so many different symptoms. First, we heard it was pneumonia-like, then that it could include gastrointestinal symptoms, and, finally, that it could cause respiratory failure, septic shock, and multi organ failure.
Then we learned there could be thrombotic complications like blood clots that could lead to strokes, neurological symptoms like loss of smell, and it could possibly trigger diabetes in some patients. Then, there are the long haulers and long-term symptoms like anxiety, depression, fatigue, even damage to the lungs.
Q. Dr. Moondust, all over the word, people are holding out for the great hope. Right from the start the focus has been on vaccines? Any updates from you?
A. There definitely seems to be some evidence from countries like Israel and the U.K. that vaccines are helping by decreasing mortality rates. But, as you know, rarely there have been some side-effects like extreme allergic reactions with P/M and the blood clots with AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson then, there are the rapidly evolving mutated variants from the UK, SA, Brazil, India – some seem to be able to evade the immunity provided by the vaccines, but it’s still better to have some protection rather than none.
At the conclusion of our conversation, Dr. Moondust, cancer biologist, biochemist, and founder of Moondust Cosmetics® answered the question we all ask.
Q. What else can we do to protect ourselves from the variants?
A. Ok, so there’s the basic hygiene of regular hand washing, the masks, and social distancing.
Then, there are the supplements. And, the nice thing about regular use of supplements is that once your immunity from the vaccine wears down, you’ll still be protected.
Q. Can we start with Vitamin D?
A. Yes, so there’s a lot of data to suggest that vitamin D deficiency is correlated with severe COVID-19 cases and those with sufficient D levels are not the majority of ICU patients because vitamin D plays a role in boosting levels of antimicrobial peptides in the lungs and increasing concentrations of anti-inflammatory enzymes in the body.
Q What else do we have at our disposal, in our arsenal?
A. Well, then there’s zinc, which can interfere with the reproductive ability of the virus when it enters your body – if it can’t duplicate itself, it can’t colonize more cells and it’s in trouble.
Q. Is there anything else?
A. There are soy isoflavones like genistein in fermented soy products that have potent anti-viral properties and there’s also glycyrrhizic acid in licorice root with antiviral and antimicrobial activities
Q. All right, well, thanks for sharing that with us and this new book sounds like it has some good information and in particular your chapter, aptly titled “Assembling an Anti-COVID-19 Artillery in the Battle Against the New Coronavirus.”
A. You’re most welcome – we really need to get people out there being proactive about protecting themselves in this pandemic.
Thanks for joining us everyone. Please hit subscribe before you mask up and go out into the outdoors – we hope into some fresh air and sunshine.
Be safe, be well. From the science and social team at Moondust Cosmetics.
Learn more at the Moondust Cosmetics® website: Moondust Cosmetics® – Zinc Oxide Sun Protection
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