• The Molecule for Our Times

    Posted April 27, 2020: by Bill Sardi

    Just When The Locked-Down World Is About To Go Stir Crazy, A Rice Bran Molecule Helps Rescue Those With Panic Disorder, Anxiety & Depression And May Even Avert Sick Patients Being Placed On Ventilators

    Politicians have chosen to manage a widespread infectious lung disease, and in their attempts to gain political capital, brag they have an armada of ventilators at their disposal to rescue patients battling severe cases of COVID-19 coronavirus infection. But an increasing number of reports suggest ventilators are “death traps” that may do more harm than good. Up to 80% of COVID-19 patients placed on ventilators fail to recover.

    Mechanical ventilation has the potential to worsen pre-existing lung injury or even initiate it. By overstretching the lung mechanical ventilation may result in lung injury.

    Clinicians concede the management of COVID-19 coronavirus lung distress syndrome is mostly supportive rather than curative therapy.

    This severe COVID-19 lung pathology is not entirely new to chest physicians. Its severity, rapid onset of death and bilateral lung collapse is unusual.

    Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) is not a new phenomenon – it was first described in 1967. Common causes include pneumonia, sepsis and serious influenza cases.

    Ground-glass opacities on lung scans

    Lung scans revealed small masses that look like ground glass in the COVID-19 cases. Early on in the epidemic doctors talked about this as if it was something unusual, exclusively pertaining to COVID-19 coronavirus infections.

    However, ground glass appearance of lung scans were reported with exposure to asbestos in 1990. Ground-glass appearance on lung scans was also observed with prior coronavirus outbreaks. Ground glass appearance of lung scans is common in tuberculosis, which is far more common than COVID-19 coronavirus infection.

    The ground glass appearance on lung scans typically seen in COVID-19 lung pathology is comprised of various white blood cells (macrophages, neutrophils) and other amorphous material and is somewhat reversible with steroids.

    Disease pathologies are mostly driven by exaggerated immune responses.

    There is surely induced by inflammation in the lung that largely due to an over-responsive immune system, in particular a barrage of white blood cells called neutrophils.

    Normalizing the immune response

    Doctors aren’t familiar with nutrients that normalize the immune response, namely vitamin A, vitamin D, zinc and resveratrol.

    The vitamin D receptor on the surface of cells turns off chronically activated T-cells.

    How do the alveolar sacs become clogged?

    The COVID-19 viral attack is more accurately described as “oxygen failure” rather than “respiratory failure.” Breathing is OK. There is no exhaustion from lung expansion and contraction. A ventilator doesn’t need to do that for severe patients. It is oxygen transfer to the blood that is not occurring. COVID-19 patients do not exhibit exhaustion (lung fatigue from heavy breathing) but rather lack of oxygen transfer from lungs to blood (hypoxia).

    Human lungs have ~480 million tiny air sacs called alveoli (al-vee-oh-li) fill with oxygen and transfer it to the blood circulation. These tiny air sacs can be blocked by a jello-like water-holding substance called hyaluronan (hi-al-u-ron-an). Hyaluronan is described as a regulator of immunity and controller of inflammation in humans.

    The elastic property of the lungs, as observed in their expansion and contraction, is accomplished by hyaluronan.

    HA is not just jelled water. It plays an important role in immunity and in quelling inflammation. Cells with decreased HA are five times more susceptible to HIV infections than cells with HA. HA is required for proper wound healing.

    Oxygen exchange into the blood circulation can be blocked by overproduction of this gooey water-holding molecule called hyaluronan.

    Hyaluronan is a disaccharide – – two sugar-like molecules (glucosamine, glucuronic acid) holding hands, and it produces a water-holding gel. Hyaluronan is produced when tissues need to heal and it inhibits lung scarring (fibrosis).

    Hyaluronan (HA) holds up to 60-times its weight in water.

    On autopsy, COVID-19 lungs are heavy – holding much more water than healthy lungs.

    Normally hyaluronan is a long-chain molecule (1600 kilo Daltons) but may be broken down into smaller fragments (less than 150 kilo Daltons). Due to inflammation hyaluronan can fragment and induce lung injury.

    It is those degraded fragments that block oxygen exchange from lung to circulatory system.

    It is well established excess hyaluronan is produced in the lungs in response to injury. About six times greater hyaluronan is found in lungs of patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome. Degraded hyaluronan is the problem of fluid accumulation in the lung.

    Excess hyaluronan is detected in urine samples and this helps to explain the kidney damage in this lung syndrome as well. Ditto for liver damage. Double ditto for associated heart problems.

    Failure to clear excess hyaluronan was described in lung injury over a decade ago. Excess oxygenation or pressure alone can increase hyaluronan in the lungs.

    Hyaluronidase is the natural internal enzyme that degrades hyaluronan. Hyaluronidase is a prescription drug available in hospitals and is often utilized to help medications rapidly diffuse into tissues.

    In 2005 a report in the journal Thorax noted that HA is over-produced in the lung tissue of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). There is also increased breakdown of HA in the lungs of COPD patients.

    Hyaluronidase is the breakdown enzyme for HA. In some pathologic conditions the inhibition of HA degradation results in excessive alveolar HA.

    Normally the turnover (degradation) of HA is rapid, broken down by an enzyme hyaluronidase. The problem in these COVID-19 cases is not excessive or deficient hyaluronidase, it is the HA is being chewed up into shorter chains by the virus that can then fit into the alveolar sacs and block oxygen exchange.

    What doctors now recognize is that blood is also being desaturated of oxygen in these infected patients via blockage of the alveolar space by viral- induced hyaluronan fragmentation.

    Degraded HA may also induce lung inflammation. The breakdown of HA in the lung can then recruit white blood cells known as neutrophils. The neutrophil storm is what overwhelms the lungs. Forceful ventilation of the lungs can result in neutrophil-induced inflammation.

    Hyaluronan supplements

    People who have lung problems (asthma, COPD, etc.) who take oral hyaluronan dietary supplements may be concerned. An injection of HA into the knees by an orthopedist was noted to induce HA and fibrin clots in the lungs. But hospitalized patients on ventilators are not likely to be taking oral HA supplements.

    The iron lung

    One study shows that 71% of patients that did not survive COVID-19 infections met the criteria for a blood clotting problem called disseminated intravascular coagulopathy (small blood clots throughout the blood circulation). Less than 1% of survivors did. This could explain the heart, diabetic and stroke problems associated with COVID-19 coronavirus infection. Blood thinners (heparin) are now being prescribed for COVID-19 patients.

    Just an added note, tuberculosis is known to produce blood clots. It appears many cases of COVID-19 are misdiagnosed and are really TB.

    Natural anti-clotting agents that can be taken without concern of over-thinning the blood are fish oil, resveratrol, garlic and vitamin E, even when all are consumed together.

    The hospital remedy

    Last year doctors in England, writing in the journal Matrix Biology, figured out what is causing the oxygen deprivation seen in influenza cases and instilled some hyaluronidase into the nasal passages of animals with severe lung influenza. The problem resolved.

    Hyaluronidase has to be prescribed by doctors in a hospital, ideally before being placed on a ventilator but certainly during ventilation if it has been ordered.

    Hyaluronan is not to be demonized. Recognize, hyaluronan maintains water balance in the lungs. It is only the degraded HA that is the problem. HA keeps your lungs moist and inhibits scarring. Hyaluronidase is not for self-care. Hyaluronidase is available in hospital pharmacies, generally used by physicians as a spreading agent for drugs (enhance drug penetration into tissues). Hyaluronidase is delivered by injection.

    The patient remedy: inositol

    A dramatic increase in an inflammatory protein called interleukin-6 characterizes (IL-6) this COVID-19 form of respiratory failure.

    It has been known since 1955 that the nutrient inositol, in the B-vitamin family, can be successfully used as a surfactant in the lung of newborns. A decline in blood serum levels of inositol predicts a more severe course of respiratory distress. Inositol specifically dampens interleukin-6 to quell inflammation. The possibility of using oral inositol in COVID-19 patients has been raised in a report in the European Review for Medical and Pharmacological Sciences.

    Inositol dietary supplements are widely available and may aid those who are in respiratory distress for any reason.

    Suggestions: This author cannot play doctor. However, given that doctors and hospitals may not be readily available in this modern epidemic that health authorities were unprepared for, and modern medicine admits it has no proven remedies for this lung pathology, as well as the fact so many do not have health insurance, self-care may need to be employed. Patients obviously experience the first symptoms at home and would generally reach for cold remedies. Many doctors are not up to speed on this lung syndrome. There is only treatment for the severe form of this cold virus infection. The need for early treatment to prevent progression to ventilators is needed.

    Patients with suspected COVID-19 coronavirus infection as evidenced by symptoms of loss of smell, shortness of breath, chronic dry cough, fever, diarrhea, may elect to treat their condition early on with home remedies and over-the-counter drugs.

    Resveratrol, quercetin, vitamin D, vitamin A and zinc serve to normalize the immune response and therefore curb the inflammation in the lung; and the use of natural blood thinners (fish oil, resveratrol, garlic, vitamin E) to prevent diffuse blood clots and inositol supplementation to serve as a surfactant (lower surface tension) may be an early remedy for shortness of breath that could delay or avert having to be placed on a ventilator.

    Choline/inositol supplements are commonly sold in health shops. You want plain inositol. Inositol (aka myo-inositol) is depleted from the body by coffee. Be aware. Inositol has 80% the sweetness of cane sugar (sucrose). You can use it as a non-caloric sweetener. Should help with bronchitis as well.

    There are many other side benefits of inositol. It helps with panic disorder, depression and anxiety. It’s the bomb shelter pill. We tend to eat more sugar when under stress. Inositol helps with sugar utilization. Inositol is superior to metformin, an anti-diabetic drug. Supplemental inositol improves sperm quality and raises testosterone levels in males. It normalizes testosterone levels in females who have polycystic ovary problems (facial hair, etc.). Inositol + selenium restores normal thyroid levels among patients with autoimmune thyroiditis (90% of low-thyroid cases are autoimmune).

    Sounds like inositol is the molecule for our times. Once the word gets out about inositol among the world’s confined populations, anticipate it will vanish and be on perpetual backorder. So, I suggest you order it while it’s available. I’ve already baked some anti-anxiety cookies using inositol as the sweetener.

    In case readers wonder what inositol is made from or where it is made: Inositol is derived from rice bran and made by Tsuno Foods & Rice Co. in Wakayama, Japan, a company that recently invited me to lecture at their 3rd annual rice symposium in Kyoto (click to see photo).


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