As you may know this Novel Corona Virus does not have the same mortality rate in children as it does in adults. It seems as though children have been spared the worst of the effects of this virus. We have to ask ourselves why is this? I have looked into it a bit and what I have found is that this virus specifically causes our immune systems to have an exaggerated response, which we call a cytokine storm. As Amy Mckeever published in the National Geographic on February 18,2020. She explains how the cytokine storm effects our lungs and our entire body.
Cytokines are proteins used by the immune system as alarm beacons—they recruit immune cells to the site of infection. The immune cells then kill off the infected tissue in a bid to save the rest of the body.
Humans rely on our immune systems to keep their cool when facing a threat. But during a runaway coronavirus infection, when the immune system dumps cytokines into the lungs without any regulation, this culling becomes a free-for-all, Rasmussen says “Instead of shooting at a target with a gun, you’re using a missile launcher,” she says. That’s where the problem arises: Your body is not just targeting the infected cells. It is attacking healthy tissue too.
The implications extend outside the lungs. Cytokine storms create inflammation that weakens blood vessels in the lungs and causes fluid to seep through to the air sacs. “Basically you’re bleeding out of your blood vessels,” Rasmussen says. The storm spills into your circulatory system and creates systemic issues across multiple organs.
Could it be that the cytokine response difference in children vs adults could explain the difference in mortality rate of pediatrics vs adults?
It has been found that there is a significant difference in the cytokine response between children and adults. It seems that children have a much more mild slow building cytokine response in comparison to adults. They are not susceptible to the initial cytokine storms that many adults seem to face. I was very curious as to the differences and read this article that I will link here. The study I linked here was conducted on burn patients and was to measure the differences between cytokine responses in adults vs pediatrics. The different expressions of 18 cytokines were studied. It seems as though adults have an initial elevated cytokine response, where as children do not have that same dramatic initial response. In children it rises slowly over time.
It has been clearly established that cytokine storms have been responsible for a large number of adult fatalities with this current virus. This would include those who have contracted or re-contracted Covid-19, and suddenly died or dropped into a coma, as well as those who succumb to runaway viral pneumonia. My next logical thought is, “Can we do something about this?”. Is it possible that there are methods for reducing the initial response of the cytokine proteins?
This is something that would need to be contemplated and studied. In fact there are many natural approaches that a person can take to inhibit the cytokine response in the body. But clearly this would not be the best step for everyone. The protocol would be different dependent upon age and health variations.
Could we come up with measures that people can take accordingly? I believe it is possible. Could it be that this particular deadly virus can be beat with something as simple as a vitamin C? Something else to consider is the mortality rate differences in different nations. Consider that the diet from one nation to the next is different. Could it be that certain natural foods in the diet are responsible for increasing the cytokine response, while others inhibit it? Yes it is.
As we know South Korea is currently experiencing a severe outbreak, but their mortality rate remains low. What is different in their diet as compared to others. They do have a diet high in vitamin C, as you will see here in this beauty article that discusses how their diet is attributed to their beauty. Could beating this invisible killer be so simple?
What we currently know is that there are a variety of different natural antivirals and some of them have a specific difference, some of them promote the cytokine response and some inhibit it. Could it be that China has already figured this out? It is known that there has been little success in China with antivirals. They are now conducting a new study injecting patients with high doses of vitamin C. The one difference that this anti-viral has with others is that it inhibits the cytokine response.
What if we took these according to our needs before we contracted this virus? Would the outcome be different? Would our cytokine response be the same, or would it be different? Is there a possibility that it could render this virus more mild by changing our bodies response to the virus, and decrease the fatality rate?
Keep in mind I am not declaring that anything I propose is a cure. What I am proposing is giving our body an advantage in advance to help fight off the virus, or to help prevent the potentially deadly effects of a cytokine storm.
Here I will discuss the different natural antivirals and how they affect the cytokine response in the body.
The first is Vitamin D, it has been proven that Vitamin D inhibits or lowers cytokine production. A study was conducted on cells with a low value, and one with a higher value of the vitamin, the one with lower value produced more cytokines, in this study specifically, TNF-a and IL-6, these are the cytokines responsible for the inflammatory response.
As you will see in this article, taking vitamin D can inhibit cytokine production.
Vitamin C is important for immune function, and is a powerful antioxidant. It has been proven to lower the body’s inflammatory cytokine response.
Vitamin C has been shown to speed up the recovery time of critically ill patients, in intensive care. It is notable to state that it has also been shown that most critical care patients have very low C plasma levels.
Green Tea has been shown to inhibit cytokine production in laboratory studies. It is said to inhibit production of TNF-a and IL-6.
Ginger has been shown to suppress pro inflammatory cytokine TNF-a.
Vitamin E therapy has been shown to decrease pro-inflammatory cytokines, such as TNF-a and IL-6 in patients with cardiovascular disease.
Garlic might cause the downregulation of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Garlic compounds could act as immunomodulatory agents. It can enhance the anti-viral immune response. Inflammatory cytokine production is reduced significantly in the presence of garlic extract or its compounds revealing potential therapeutic use.
As mentioned here I have listed just a few of the natural antivirals that also inhibit pro-inflammatory cytokines. Now I will cover a few of the different natural antivirals that are thought to promote cytokines, which could have deadly adverse reactions with the coronavirus, considering that most of the fatalities have been caused by cytokine storms, and the resulting inflammation.
The first I will cover is Elderberry. This has long been known to fight colds and flu’s in a powerful way. What we need to keep in mind is that this corona virus is not the flu. Elderberry increases cytokines up to eightfold. This could potentially be deadly with this coronavirus.
Echinacea is a powerful antiviral, however use during coronavirus infection could be counter productive due to the fact that it increases cytokine production.
Honey is said to induce the maximum cytokine response.
The information I have compiled in this article is incomplete. I want to get this information out based on my assumptions. This clearly needs the advice and study of professionals. It is possible there could be something to this hypothesis? Is there a possibility that we could use natural foods and simple low dose supplements to stop the severe effects of this virus?
We need professionals to come together and study this. If this has any potential we need to know what the proper dosages are for certain age groups and people with certain health conditions as one size clearly does not fit all. We also need to know what remedies can be combined. Is it possible that where some remedies could be harmful and potentially increasing cytokines could be beneficial when taken with others that decrease the production? I am not a professional so I don’t know. I would love for this to be studied. If there is any validity to this hypothesis, we could save countless lives in the simplest of ways.
I will end this article with one more interesting observation. There is one article worthy of note written by Randy Cron M.D, P.h.D, Professor of Pediatrics & medicine at UAB. In this article he writes that 10 to 15% of the population has a genetic mutation that pre-disposes them to develop cytokine storms. This somewhat coincides with some of the unofficial fatality rates for Covid-19. It would not be so strange that the real killer in this story is the actual cytokine responses in patients, and not the virus itself. And the same percentage of the population that may have a genetic defect that predisposes them to having a cytokine storm may match the unofficial, but suspected, death rates, and may be a clue to stopping this pandemic in it’s tracks.
UPDATE: Since posting this study, I have completed a more in depth compilation with more compelling evidence. I am also in the process of posting a third study that covers compounds with linked studies that have been proven to be powerful cytokine modulators and inhibitors. The studies have proven that in certain cases if taken in advance of a known onset of increased cytokine production to be successful at inhibiting that response. The question is could this work with this Novel Coronavirus. We need the voice of experts to weigh in on this, it deserves to be investigated. If the hypothesis is correct it could potentially save many hundreds of thousands or millions of lives.
Thank you to all who have taken the time to read this.