Are the Bugs going to get you?
Updated: Sep 9
If you are zinc deficient, and the chances are at least 90% that you are, then you are a sitting duck for suffering bad things if you are exposed to bugs such as yeast, fungi and viruses. Hence, with COVID19, the sensibility of advising most people to "social distance", wear a mask and wash their hands. If most people were zinc-optimum, then viruses like COVID19 might be little more than an inconvenience for the majority of people, including the elderly.
Before reading the rest of this article, please take a little time to watch this video which explains nicely how your immune system uses zinc to fight viral invasions. It is important that you watch this video before proceeding.
Zinc is essential for preventing viral replication. What the drug Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) is being used for, in this case in the video, is to expedite the delivery of zinc into the cells. Here are a few key points to bear in mind:
Most people, probably 90% or more, especially children, young adults and the elderly, have very low levels of cellular zinc. Therefore, they are vulnerable to suffering from rampant viral replication.
It takes months, if not years of careful and deliberate supplementation to optimise zinc levels because life is a constant drain on these precious nutrients.
Infection, physical trauma, hard exercise, growth, hormone surges and exposure to toxins such as mercury all deplete tissue zinc.
Zinc is especially beneficial during the early stages of infection, but slow on the uptake, so trying to deliver zinc to top up low levels AFTER the infection has taken hold is probably not going to have much effect on the course of the infection.
It appears the main benefit of drugs like HCQ for fighting an infection such as COVID19 is to enhance the delivery of zinc into the cell apparatus as per the video above.
If cellular zinc stores are already high, rather than low then a drug-based delivery system is probably not needed - zinc is already there and in sufficient quantities.
If cellular levels of zinc are high, rather than low, then an infection by a virus is probably going to be done and dusted within about 10 days with lesser consequences than might otherwise have been the case.
Catastrophe is best avoided by optimising zinc and other nutrients many months in advance of any threat. I promote the idea of keeping 20 years ahead of any disease. Acting once it takes hold is far, far too late to be acting. Drugs trials such as for HCQ confirm this.
Zinc, along with thousands of other nutrients, protect us from the infectious hordes by ensuring that we have fortress-like walls that are constantly being repaired and upgraded by our immune system's tireless workers. This constant work ensures that we can withstand the onslaught by these bugs, billions of them at a time, old and new ones, for a hundred or more years. If any of the invading hordes get past our outer defences, then our Immune Troops, millions of them, come to the rescue, armed with potent weaponry, including a million bug-killing zinc atom bombs. Our immune defences are more than impressive, they are gob-smackingly awesome and heroic! But what happens if we do not invest in our immune systems? What happens if our food contains little or no zinc? What if our food lacks selenium, magnesium and any more of a thousand other nutrients? What if it lacks cholesterol and fatty acids? What if it lacks vitamin C and the B group? What if it lacks vitamins, A, D, E and K?
None of this about zinc is quack science, it is stuff that we have known about and understood for a long time and very well researched. But it is just not taught in our medical schools. When it comes to getting good nutritional advice for health issues, I sometimes think a person is better off consulting a rural vet than anyone else! Or me.
Answer: we are in big trouble!
All of these nutrients listed above are essential for immune health. All of these nutrients are lacking in the modern diet. Some like cholesterol are deliberately removed from our diets. We get little to no vitamin D thanks to the well-intended but horribly misguided Sun Smart programme. It can be assumed that all of our children are now vitamin D deficient.
Did you know that our immune systems use sodium (salt) to combat infections? Salt is concentrated in fluids that sterilise. Where an infection takes hold, our bodies concentrate microbe-killing salt. This is why tears taste salty.
Think of all of those elderly people in rest homes around the country who are on low-fat (low fat = low fat-soluble vitamins), low-cholesterol, salt-free diets. Look closely and you see fungal infections, yeast infections (think of the inflamed eyelids of the elderly probably due to chronic yeast infections) and when a virus gets into one of these places, it runs rampant with devastating consequences.
I'm describing the Modern Diet here. In the last 50 years, food has transmogrified from fresh, clean and highly nutritious stuff that was prepared at home from fresh, raw ingredients, grown in rich soil, to being "food-like substances" that come with a long shelf life, no need for refrigeration, wrapped in plastic and preserved, flavoured and coloured with all kinds of chemicals.
For some medical experts, including some nutritionists, the food in the photo above is apparently of an acceptable standard for the frail elderly, the ill and the injured. This kind of crappy food is what was served to me last year in Wellington Hospital while I had a brief stay there.
I don't think David, above, worried much about yeast, viral and fungal infections. He had other things to deal with. Avoiding getting a chill, perhaps. I don't think he needed to wear a face mask. It could have been better deployed as a loincloth, in my opinion. He looks like he was very well-nourished. He has good bone structure, he is lean and has strong muscles. I don't think he was raised on nutrient-depleted noodles and caged chicken that was soaked in antibiotics and hormones. He probably ate organic, home-cooked meals, including fermented unpasteurised goat milk, fresh organ meats, bone broths, olives and vegetables. No icecream. He got plenty of physical exercise and it looks like he had plenty of sun on his whole body and not just on his face and hands. Of greater risk for David would have been premature death by things like warfare, hypothermia, starvation, an industrial accident, or a broken spine from falling off a horse. If he was to die from an infection it would be more likely to be a bacterial infection from a poorly treated wound than from a virus. Poor public health infrastructure, such as for sewage disposal, clean water and food security was a big killer way back then and still is.
Up until just a few centuries ago, life expectancy was very low as compared to today because of high death rates. Few babies made it past five years, few women made it to 30 years, mostly dying during childbirth, and most men were dead by their early 30's. Any men who survived their childhoods were either worked to death or died in battle. Starvation from events like drought, and epidemics such as the Black Death, carried out regular mass-culls.
Humanity has thrived during modern times as can be seen by the population explosion. This is largely due to investment in labour-saving technologies, food security (such as refrigeration and transport), clean water, sewage systems, emergency medicine and medicines such as antibiotics. The list is long.
But something is now going very wrong today: those children born post-WWII, the "Baby-Boomers", are the longest-living generation - ever - and it looks like they are going to be the last to live so long. It is said that the children of today are not in as good health as their parents or going to live as long. This is not a prediction, but a reality - our children are not in the best of health. We are seeing the emergence of diseases in young people that were once ailments of the old and the frail! Chronic degenerative and autoimmune diseases that usually affect those waiting for God to take them.
What is going on with human health today is a bit like what caused Empires such as the Roman Empire to decline and eventually disappear. Societies - humanity - thrive when there is an investment in the basics of a healthy society: things such as education, maintaining and upgrading infrastructure, investing in healthcare, investing in good water, investing in preserving our land, soil and oceans. What happens if, instead, things are allowed to fall into states of disrepair, crumbling away? What happens if precious investment funds are embezzled by a few elite while the masses are required to work harder and longer for less ("We must be more productive!")? What happens if we feed them crappy food? What happens if resources are diverted to entertaining the masses while the walls that protect begin to crumble? What happens, if instead of maintaining a fully equipped and meticulously trained professional army of elite troops, they are replaced by demotivated conscripts armed with yesterday's weaponry and only enough arrows for a day of battle? Think of your own body as being like a nation. What I'm describing here is what happens if we do not invest in our health - in our bodies - in our immune system.
It is said that one contributor to the decline of the Roman Empire was Lead poisoning. The aquifers of Rome were lined with lead and lead ingots were placed in carafes of sour wine to sweeten it. Lead poisoning dumbed down the population, especially the ruling elite and made them tired, sick, dumb and angry. Think of this same process happening today as we pollute our food, water and environment at an unprecedented level and rate with a thousand new chemicals are added to the very long list each year. In evolutionary terms, we were never designed to deal with such an array of potent chemicals.
Toxins like lead, mercury and cadmium, interfere with nutritional elements such as zinc. These toxins block zinc's role in catalytic functions such as for the production of neurotransmitters and hormones, or the cross-linking of collagen fibres. Despite all of our efforts to keep these toxins out of the food chain, they are increasing - not decreasing.
Nutrition studies get complicated very quickly. A nutrient that is highly beneficial when in its "Goldilock Zone" may become a toxin when it is in excess. Take copper (Cu) for example. Excess copper will block zinc. It will block or destroy vitamin C. It blocks iron and manganese. It does the same to potassium. When copper is just right, it enhances iron utilisation for example. This is why a farmer will apply copper sulphate ("bluestone") to the soil, and not iron, as a treatment for anaemia in their sheep.
Foods that are high in zinc include seafood such as oysters, herrings; beef, lamb and liver; sunflower seeds, wheat germ, cheese and bone broths. Are these in your family's food? Do your children eat these foods on a weekly basis or more often? Even if you say, "yes!" there is still a serious problem which I will now explain.
No matter the food that is being eaten, whether it is organic or not, it is only as good as the soil it is grown in. A food that is traditionally high in a nutrient such as zinc or selenium may actually have very little of these nutrients if it was grown in zinc and/or selenium-deficient soils. Our soils are terribly depleted these days. If zinc is not needed to grow a plant, then why would the grower go to the added expense of adding it to the soil? The usual nutrients to replenish our agricultural soils are calcium, nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium and not much more than that. A healthy person needs 50 or more trace and macro minerals - not less- in their daily diets. If the nutrient is not in the soil, then it is not in the food - full-stop!
Testing, testing, testing!
If there is one thing the COVID19 Pandemic has taught us, it is the importance of testing. If we do not test, we are operating blind. The same applies to nutrition.
Before applying fertiliser to the soil, the farmer first tests the nutrient content of the soil. At the same time, the nutrient needs of the crop to be grown are determined. The nutrient needs for a crop of corn vary from the needs of raising a flock of sheep or for producing a rich supply of milk. Once this information has been gathered and analysed, the actual nutrient needs of the soil are decided upon and the appropriate fertiliser formulated and applied. No farmer in his/her right mind these days would just blindly apply a general fertiliser to the fields, all at a great cost and with a poor return!
Why don't we apply the principles of effective agriculture and animal husbandry science to human-beings?
People say to me, "Gary, supplements are just expensive urine". I agree with this statement because supplementation without testing is just like the farmer blindly applying the fertiliser with no hard knowledge of the health of the soil or the needs of the crop to be grown.
When it comes to human nutrition, I do something radical: I test. Then I recommend what the evidence indicates is needed. Then I test again, then adjust the recommendation as the evidence indicates. That is pretty radical. What I can tell you is this: It works!
In a healthy ecosystem, no matter how small, no matter how large, no matter how simple or how complex, each creature has an important role to play. Bacteria, yeast and fungi are essentially there to convert dead or dying organic matter back to its basic elements so that the next generation of creatures will be nourished and have the space to thrive. By the way, I could not think of any benefits of viruses until my brother, a dentist, pointed out that there are some little known benefits. While these are not relevant to this discussion, I have added a link to information about this in the "Further Reading" section below.
A healthy person will coexist well with these bugs, keeping them at bay, under control, in the places where they are supposed to be and in numbers that are tolerable or even beneficial. As health fails, the bugs begin to take over and they begin to devour us. We all eventually die, even the rich and the famous, and our bodies are finally returned to the soil as fertiliser for the next generation. The key to a long and healthy life is to flatten the curve of decline (refer to the chart below). Think of it as, among other things, keeping the bugs on the outside of your body, on the outside of your cells - not infecting your insides. A robust immune system is a key component for a long and healthy life.
Strong fortress walls, constant surveillance and a well-equipped professional army that is armed to the teeth and ready to respond in an instant to the smallest or largest of threats: that's your Immune System.
By keeping the bugs at bay, by investing in your health, you will live a long, productive, enjoyable and healthy life. The end will be quick, at 100 or more years of age, with death coming quietly in your sleep. I don't know about you but this is a much better scenario than suffering the drawn-out decline and miserable ending that begins from about 30 years of age for most people with their final decade or two of life sustained by a cocktail of drugs.
I don't want to finish on what is a kind of morbid note, so the best counter is ACTION! Start to invest in your health - and your family's - as of this moment. Start by reading some of the "More Reading" below.
More reading and self-help stuff
Please read these articles about how to escape from our COVID19 Prison: