CORONA VIRUS UPDATE: WHAT WE’VE LEARNED
When I wrote my March blog a month ago, the U.S. had just been affected, then Spring Break happened and that seems to spread the virus like a wild fire. As of March 2, 2020, when I wrote my blog, there were less than 100 cases of Corona virus in the U.S. and zero deaths at that time. As of today, April 1, 30 days later, there are over 188,000 cases of Corona virus and just over 4000 deaths in the U.S. However there are roughly 7200 people that have fully recovered from the virus with no lasting effects. The statistics and rate of increase worldwide date are staggering and relentlessly mounting. As of March 25, 2020, there have been more than 430,000 individuals in more than 170 countries with confirmed COVID-19, of whom more than 19,000 have died. As I brought to your attention last month, there are some people that are more susceptible to infection and getting worse symptoms and dying from Corona than others. Part of this increased susceptibility, I hypothesized was due to insufficient nitric oxide production.
A recent joint statement from American College of Cardiology, American Heart Association and Heart Failure Society confirms what I thought. Patients with underlying cardiovascular diseases appear to have an increased risk for adverse outcomes with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Although the clinical manifestations of COVID-19 are dominated by respiratory symptoms, some patients also may have severe cardiovascular damage. Angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptors have been shown to be the entry point into human cells for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Many Americans are currently taking angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors or angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs). Studies have shown ACE inhibitors and ARBs have been shown to upregulate ACE2 expression in the heart, thereby increasing the risk of entry of the virus in the body. ACE inhibitors are drugs like lisinopril (any drug ending in “opril” is a ACE inhibitor). ARBs are drugs like losartan (any drug ending in “artan”). These are very common blood pressure medications and if you are currently taking these drugs you may want to consult with your prescribing physician to see if there are better options to manage your blood pressure. I would suggest increasing your nitric oxide as that is the best way to manage and normalize your blood pressure.
A study was just published on March 2020 in the Journal of the American Medical Association that gives further insight into susceptibility of illness and death from the virus. In a study conducted on patients in Wuhan China, the epicenter of the outbreak found that the median time to symptom onset was 10 days after exposure. Of the group studied, about 20% had some type of cardiac injury or some form of cardiovascular disease. It became apparent as the study went on that patients with cardiac injury and COVID-19 fared worse than the patients with COVID-19 but no history of cardiac injury. Patients with cardiac injury or other form of cardiovascular disease with diagnosed COVID-19, compared with patients without cardiac injury, had a higher mortality rate (51.2% vs 4.5%) and risk of death.To summarize, 20% of the infected patients that had cardiac injury had a 10 times higher mortality or simply stated, died from the infection than those that did not have any cardiac issues. This is more than a 10 time increased risk of death if your heart and cardiovascular system was compromised in any way.
Together these data reveal to me, someone who has studied cardiovascular disease for more than 20 years, that decreased nitric oxide production is a serious problem when dealing with immune challenges. Below is a graph of the age related decline in nitric oxide production. The clinical consequences and clinical manifestations of insufficient nitric oxide production are as follows:
- Erectile Dysfunction
- Vascular Dementia – Alzheimers
- Peripheral Artery Disease
- Small vessel disease (Raynauds, Neuropathy, etc)
- Atherosclerosis – Coronary artery disease
- Blood clotting disorders
- Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS)
- Heart Failure
- Acute Kidney Injury – Renal Failure
- Immune Dysfunction
These are the exact patient populations that get really sick and eventually die from Corona virus and even the influenza virus. Older people are more susceptible to sickness and death. The graph shows why. Older people make less nitric oxide. This should tell you all something. If you want to avoid getting sick, DO NOT LOSE YOUR ABILITY TO GENERATE NITRIC OXIDE.
The government has approved the use of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin to treat the chronically ill from Corona virus infection. Hydroxychloroquine is an old drug used to treat malaria. Neither of these drugs are designed against viral infections. Hydroxychloroquine is used to treat Malaria, a plasmodium infection. Azithromycin is an antibiotic used to treat bacterial infections. However, if the physician indicate that anecdotally they make people better then I think they are useful tools. Most people who get respiratory distress from viral infections end up with secondary bacterial infection so the antibiotic may be providing benefit from secondary bacterial infections but clearly will not affect the viral infection and replication.
Our best offense against the Corona virus and other infectious agents is a strong defense. We know this every year from the seasonal flu virus. Some people get the flu and others who are clearly exposed to people with the flu never get sick. I have not been sick from the flu or other illness in over 17 years. I fly over 120,000 air miles every year to all parts of the world and in many cases sit next to sick people on a 12 hour plane ride. Yet I do not get sick. I practice these principles and it seems to work for me and my family. Back in 2005, a study was published showing that a nitric oxide donor can actually inhibit the Corona virus from replicating. I have developed product technology that can deliver the same amount of nitric oxide as used in that study.
So how do you prevent the loss of nitric oxide and supplement or increase your nitric oxide? You have to stop doing things that are disrupting your nitric oxide production and start doing things that are known to effectively improve nitric oxide production.
Things that disrupt nitric oxide production
- Antiseptic mouthwash. Stop using mouthwash
- Antacids. Stop using antacids, specifically proton pump inhibitors
- Stop eating high carbohydrate and highly processed junk food. High glucose causes glycation of the enzyme that makes nitric oxide and stops it from working.
Things that promote or restore nitric oxide production
- Healthy balanced diet with lots of green vegetables
- Moderate physical exercise
- Infrared light therapy or infrared sauna
- Patented and clinically tested nitric oxide supplement (not all supplements are created equal. Nitrate capsules are not nitric oxide. Beets or beet powders are not nitric oxide). Any product that I has my patents on the label work to generate nitric oxide. None of the other products work so save your money.
So my take home message is you have to maintain your nitric oxide production if you want to protect yourself and your family from the Corona virus. People with low nitric oxide get sicker and die from Corona vs those that do not have symptoms of low nitric oxide. Nitric oxide has been shown to inhibit Corona virus replication. These are the facts and scientific evidence. Yes, you should wash your hands and practice social distancing but what is obvious to me and not millions of other people is nitric oxide may be more important.