The Coronavirus has certainly made a splash throughout the world. This blog is not to take the place of what has already been recommended by the CDC. Common sense precautions should be used but the problem is that common sense is usually not very common! Some of these precautions include hand washing, washing down surfaces with an appropriate disinfectant, wearing a mask if you are sick, and staying out of circulation if you potentially may have been exposed to the virus.

Let us get a few things straight. The Coronavirus is not like Ebola where many relatively healthy people would succumb to the disease. On the contrary, the people who have a compromised immune system are much more prone to develop serious health issues with Covid-19 rather than the typically healthy individual. There have been some reports that the virus has mutated already. This could be good or bad. Its virulence could change for the worse. If we see that the virus has changed and has become more of a threat to the healthier population what are some steps we can take to treat the Covid-19 using some of the tools of Regenerative Medicine? Will an increase in seasonal temperatures contain the infection? Only time will tell.

Well first off there seems to be some evidence that high dose Vitamin C and D and some other supplements may be of benefit in the prevention and treatment of the Covid-19 virus. To enhance their effect, some of these could be delivered via an intravenous route. My good friend and supplement Guru, Reid Eckert, is high on the use of Red Marine Algae and also Beta Glucan. This is what Web MD has to say about Beta Glucan “Healthcare providers sometimes give beta-glucans by IV (intravenously) or by injection into the muscle to treat cancer and to boost the immune system in people with HIV/AIDS and AIDS-related conditions. Beta-glucans are also given by IV to prevent infection in people after surgery”. There is good scientific evidence that Beta Glucans stimulate various cells of the immune system includes cells called macrophages and another called natural killer cells. As far as Red Marine Algae records indicate that red marine algae, a form of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) dates back to approximately 300 B.C. As is the case with many such products it was recommended for a variety of conditions but modern science does support a possible role in the treatment of viral infections. This seems pretty straight forward

Perhaps three other important measures to be considered include exercise, keeping our gut bacteria healthy, and reducing the senescent cell load on our immune system. To be immunologically fit you need to be physically fit. Exercise has to be part of your daily regimen. Also realize that our gut bacteria program our immune system. A variety of probiotics will enable our gut bacteria to keep our immune system running efficiently. The last consideration is the use of senolytic agents to kill senescent cells. Senescent cells are cells that should have died but did not. These cells put a burden on the entire body by secreting certain “bad” growth factors. These bad growth factors could have a deleterious effect on the immune system. When we get past these simple measures things become a bit more interesting and cutting edge.

At this time, I am not sure how a stem cell (with the possible exception of one type) would work in the case of the Covid -19 virus. The delivery would have to be most likely an intravenous route. Being cognizant of regulatory issues there may be limited choices here in the USA. Putting regulatory issues aside one could use cells derived from adipose tissue. This is performed by breaking down adipose tissue with an enzyme. The resultant product can then be given intravenously. Again, regulatory issues aside, if one is able to obtain fresh umbilical cord stem cells (not the products that are typically sold to physicians in the United States) that might be an option. The problem that we have with the IV of delivery is that the stem cells usually get trapped in the lungs rather than go to different parts of the body. The life span of these cells is fairly short. Most of the cells get phagocytized by a cell called a monocyte and subsequently produce a cell called a T-reg cell. T-reg cells can be a double edge sword. T-reg cells can reduce inflammation which is certainly tremendously important if we have a virus which is destroying lung tissue as is found in an active Covid-19 infection. However, the price of reducing inflammation is that we are also reducing anti-viral activity. However, as the stem cells perish they may release some of their cytokine peptides. One very important cytokine peptide is called LL-37. LL-37 is a host defense peptide (HDP). It is made by a variety of cells including mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). Another name for LL-37 is Cathelicidin. Some other compounds produced by MSCs are called Defensins and Hepcidins. But for brevity I would just like to discuss LL-37. LL-37 is a compound that will kill both bacteria and viruses. As a matter of fact, most women have LL-37 to thank for not developing sepsis during their menstrual period. Realize that menstrual blood is rich in MSCs which will typically release LL-37. The LL-37 will crush any bacterial growth preventing any infection. The Hepcidins and Defensins seem to also work against both bacteria and viruses. LL-37 has been shown to be highly effective in preventing viral attachment to cell

 

 

 

However, as I stated there are some big drawbacks with using MSCs. As we said earlier there are some tendencies that might allow the MSCs to reduce the effectiveness of anti-viral treatments. The scientific literature on the subject of MSCs and viruses is not conclusive. Perhaps here is a good statement from one of the articles “The interplay between MSC and virus can be defined as double-edge sword. Upon encountering virus, MSCs appear to produce deleterious effects and act as viral transmitters which may subsequently worsen a therapeutic efficacy. Thus, the safety of MSCs administration should be ensured by screening the presence of viruses in donor and recipients. Since the clinical experiences of MSCs and viral infection remain largely unknown, more future studies addressing the behavior of MSCs in infectious environment would better explain this story”. These statements appear to show the good, the bad and the ugly of using MSCs.

Now one possible solution to the double edge sword is to bypass the MSCs and use some of their anti-viral peptides that are available. This is what we call recombinant DNA. Recombinant DNA technology has applications in health and nutrition. In medicine, it is used to create pharmaceutical products such as human insulin. Recombinant DNA technology requires the use of molecular scissors called restriction enzymes, which cut DNA at specific sequences. Eventually bacteria reproduce the compound. Some of these peptides such as LL-37 are readily available on line. LL-37 has been shown to be highly effective in preventing viral attachment to cells. Used in several virus studies and has been anecdotally reported to work well with respiratory tract viruses. Other ones will include Thymosin alpha-1 (TA-1) – Thymosin alpha-1 is the most recommend peptide for immune stimulation.  This should be used as a treatment adjuvant and a prophylactic aid which can help with may conditions beyond viral illness. Another peptide is Thymosin Beta-4 (TB4)- Natural killer (NK) cells stimulant. NK cells are essential for defense against tumors and virus-infected cells. These cells are activated in by INF-Gamma. IFN-gamma is activated by IL-18 which TB4 upregulates. TB4 has been studied for many immune related diseases.  The following diagram gives an idea of the mechanism of action of TA-1. The bottom line is that we want to stimulate the immune system in a manner so that it will attack viruses while at the same time limiting collateral damage. The diagram below is an illustration of how some of these peptides seem to work especially TA-1.

 

 

WHAT OTHER UNIQUE METHODS MIGHT BE USED?

 

OZONE MAY BE ONE OF OUR BEST ALLIES

There is much scientific literature on the use of medical ozone to help eliminate viruses. For more than 100 years, ozone, considered a killer of virus in the nature, has been widely used by people for disinfection, sterilization, deodorization, de-toxification, storage, and bleaching thanks to its strong ozonating properties. According to results of an experiment on how ozone kills SARS virus conducted by the Chinese national P3 laboratory headed by Professor Li Zelin, ozone is effective in killing the SARS virus inoculated on green monkey kidney cells, realizing a killing rate of 99.22%. The virus found in Wuhan and SARS virus both belong to the coronavirus. Researchers found that the novel coronavirus is 80% similar to the SARS virus in their genome sequences. It is reasonable to predict that ozone is equally effective in preventing and controlling the new coronavirus. Most research efforts on ozone’s viricidal effects have centered upon ozone’s propensity to break apart lipid molecules at sites of multiple bond configuration. Once Ozone interacts with these compounds it produces compounds called Ozonides. Indeed, once the lipid envelope of the virus is fragmented, its DNA or RNA core cannot survive. Ozone can be administered in different ways; topically, through the ears, into the bladder, vagina or rectum, via an ozone steam sauna and through different IV applications. However, we only utilize the intravenous method. We utilize a machine called the EBO2 machine. I wrote a detailed blog about the EBO2 machine and its mode of action (blog= stemcellorthopedic.com). The EBO2 has a variety of benefits for the body but for now we will limit out comments to its anti-viral abilities. I can best describe EBO2 technique as a dialysis which utilizes medical ozone gas instead of water. The entire blood supply passes a number of times thru a dialysis filter after the blood is automatically mixed of ozone gas. Not only are we stimulating the immune system with the ozone but we are also killing viruses in the blood. The unit allows extracorporeal blood oxygenation, ozone exposure and blood filtration. The Ozonides also seem to have a significant effect on cytokine production. Cytokines are messenger molecules that seem to have a significant effect especially on cells of the immune system. The importance of cytokines cannot be understated. Essentially all medical conditions are a result of an imbalance of cytokines. The reaction of the immune cells to the Ozonides causes an increase in cytokine production enabling the body to kill viral cells, kill microbes including the dreaded Lyme’s disease, and potentially cancer cells. These same cytokines can have a profound positive effect on many auto-immune diseases. As it turns out most autoimmune diseases are a very specific imbalance of cytokines. Ozone is a potent regulator of the immune system. This means that when the immune system is activated (autoimmunity), ozone will calm it down. Also, when the immune system is depleted (chronic infections, cancer, etc.), ozone will stimulate it. This occurs by ozone’s unique interaction with white blood cells to release immune messenger cytokines. These cytokines are ultimately produced by cells of the immune system. The Ozone therapy stimulates various pathways in the body that specifically deal with oxidative stress and its ramifications. One very important pathway is called the NRF2 pathway (nuclear factor-erythroid 2-related factor 2). The NRF2 pathway is the master regulator of antioxidant, detoxification and cell defense gene expression. It regulates over 600 genes involved in cellular protection and anti-oxidant defenses. It modulates numerous genes responsible for cognitive processes, inflammatory responses, rebuilding tissue, immune system response. The Nrf2-mediated antioxidant system is essential to protect the lungs from oxidative injury and inflammation. Considering the significant impact of the Nrf2 pathway on the pathophysiology of both host cell and virus, Nrf2 modulators may be able to serve as a promising supplement for viral diseases by therapeutic modulation of virus-induced oxidative stress in the near future. Well the future is here in that EBO2 is a potent stimulator of the NRF2 pathway. There are also other pathways that Ozone will stimulate.

The EBO2 treatment takes about one hour to perform and it causes no discomfort to the patient other than inserting the intravenous needle.

 

PERIPHERAL BLOOD STEM CELLS

This is a type of stem cell coming from the patient. It is found in the blood and is prepared in a propriety method. What is of significance here is that these cells seem to make the immune system younger and healthier. Remember, the reason why some people exposed to the virus never get ill is because of their immune system. As I said earlier a healthy immune system is a healthy patient. The following is a slide from one of my lectures.

The article above shows that the telomers of the cells of the immune system increase in length after a treatment of the peripheral blood stem cells. An increase in the length of the telomere means that he cell has gone back in age. It has gotten “younger” and most likely healthier.

When all is said and done a healthier and younger immune system will most of the time either prevent or ameliorate many different health issues including viral infections. So, these peripheral blood stem cells can certainly be a potent weapon in the battle against the Covid-19 virus.

 

WHAT WILL I DO???

First off, I will not panic! I will certainly take precautions as recommended by the CDC concerning hygiene such as hand washing etc. I will continue to do my hour and a half of vigorous exercise each and every day. I will continue to take a hand full of supplements every day. These include Vitamins D and C, NAD, and another of other supplements. I like the NAD (actually, Nicotinamide Riboside) due its effect on the sirtuin pathway. We now know that the Sirtuins seem to be intimately involved with the immune system. I will take IV versions of NAD from time to time. Every few months I will take senolytic agents to decrease the senescent cell load on my immune system. Remember senescent cells are those cells that should have died but did not. These cells cause a host of medical problems. Currently I take Quercetin and Dasatinib every few months. However, there are numerous senolytic agents on the market which are over the counter. Just make sure it contains Fistin and black tea extract among other things.

I typically do peripheral blood stem cells every six months and an EBO2 treatment every six months for now. If I find out that I have been exposed to the virus than I will get more aggressive and immediately perform an EBO2 treatment, followed by peripheral blood stem cells, red marine algae, beta glucan, a Meyers cocktail containing extra vitamin C, extra probiotics, and LL-37 peptide. At least, I did everything I possibly could and based it on science. I am sure there are other suggestions out there and I am more than happy to hear them.

Thanks,

Dr. P