by RENATO “WATERDOK” PARAGAS, M.D.
The end of the Year 2021 is fast approaching and the world is still battling the presence of the pandemic caused by SARS Coronavirus 2. Numerous medications and various vaccines have been introduced but the pandemic still haunts us. When it comes to fighting off a natural calamity, man-made solutions are never more effective than natural solutions that God created to take good care of His creations including man.
Last August, I wrote an article entitled “Selenium: The Unrecognized COVID-19 Exterminator” to make people aware that there are elements such as selenium which can boost the immune system, the powerful defense system built within our bodies to fight off pathogenic microorganisms that invade our bodies. In the said article, I mentioned that selenium oxidizes the thiol groups in the virus protein disulfide isomerase rendering it unable to penetrate the healthy cell membrane. In this way, selenium inhibits the entrance of viruses into the healthy cells and abolish their infectivity. This simple element can potentially be used against the coronavirus pandemic. A potential role for selenium is highly consistent in viral infection including its effects on selenium rich tissues like blood cells and liver, and the hemorrhaging due to rupture of capillaries obstructed by blood clots because selenium normally plays a role in inhibiting clotting, and selenium deficiency has been associated with thrombosis and even hemorrhaging in extreme cases in animals.
Today, I introduce another trace mineral that also strengthens the immune system, the essential element ZINC. It is observed that around two billion people worldwide are affected by zinc deficiency causing severe consequences among vulnerable individuals.
Zinc is a type of metal and an essential trace element. It is “essential” because it must be obtained from the diet since the body cannot make its own. It is the second most abundant trace mineral in the human body, next to iron. It is actually present within all bodily tissues and needed for healthy cell division. The body utilizes zinc to support the function of the immune system; to make proteins and DNA; to produce and store insulin; develop the reproductive system; to help the thyroid and metabolism work efficiently; to heal wounds; to develop the sense of taste and smell; and to help manage common cold, diarrhea, and age-related macular degeneration. Children and teens require to take the right quantity of zinc since it is very vital for their growth and development. Of the aforementioned roles that zinc plays to keep us healthy, I will deal more on its role as an infection fighter.
Individuals at risk of zinc deficiency:
Digestive disorders like Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. The body often can’t absorb zinc well when experiencing these conditions.
Following a vegetarian diet. Meat is a good source of zinc, and vegetarian protein sources like legumes can prevent zinc from being absorbed.
Infants older than 6 months who breastfeed. Breast milk does not contain adequate amount of zinc for a baby over 6 months of age. Adding other sources of zinc into their diet is necessary.
Struggling with alcoholism. Alcohol prevents the body from absorbing zinc. Individuals with alcoholism often do not eat a well-balanced diet that provides adequate zinc.
According to a study led by Daren Knoell, professor of Pharmacy and Internal Medicine at Ohio State university, zinc helps fight infections by balancing the immune system’s response. The essential mineral works by stopping the action of a protein known to play an important role in the immune response to infection. As a result, it prevents out-of-control inflammation. A zinc deficiency at the time of an infection could be damaging or even deadly. Zinc deficiency increases vulnerability to infection and you are at a disadvantage because the defense system is amplified, and inappropriately so. After analyzing human cell culture and animal studies, the researchers found that a specific protein draws zinc into infection-fighting cells where it balances the immune response.
Zinc is known to help fight off viruses and bacteria. A new study showed that zinc controls infections by gently halting the body’s immune response in order to prevent inflammation that can be quite damaging. What happens is that a protein lures zinc into cells that are first-responders against infection. Zinc moderates this fight and helps balance the immune response. Zinc ensures the immune system does not spiral out of control. If a virus strikes and you have low levels of zinc, the consequences include excessive inflammation, the cause of a myriad of illnesses.
Dr. Christopher McDevitt, Research Fellow in the University of Adelaine’s Research Centre for Infectious Diseases and his colleagues stressed the important role zinc played in the body’s ability to protect against infection. They were able to show how zinc blocked an essential pathway causing the bacteria to starve. The research discovered how a transport protein is responsible for keeping the bacteria alive by scavenging one essential metal such as manganese but at the same time makes the pathogenic microorganism vulnerable to being killed by another metal such as zinc.
The study reveals that the bacterial transporter (PsaBCA) uses a 'spring-hammer' mechanism to bind the metals. The difference in size between the two metals, manganese and zinc, causes the transporter to bind them in different ways. The smaller size of zinc means that when it binds to the transporter, the mechanism closes too tightly around the zinc, causing an essential spring in the protein to unwind too far, jamming it shut and blocking the transporter from being able to take up manganese. Without manganese, the bacteria can easily be cleared by the immune system. The researchers understood how the types of transporters function.
With this new information, a new generation of antibacterial agents can be produced to target and block these essential transporters thus, fighting off infection that may cause future epidemics and pandemics.
To avoid zinc deficiency, good sources are red meat and poultry. Other foods that contain zinc are beans, nuts, some shellfish, whole grains, and dairy products. VER1REV Enterprise, the marketer of Mineral Resources International’s (MRI) products here in the Philippines, sells a zinc supplement. It is branded as Elemental Zinc + Copper. Copper is added to prevent copper deficiency while taking zinc. You may visit www.ioniqueminerals.com for more information and for your orders.
For daily intake, the recommended dosage for men is 11 milligrams; for women, 8 milligrams; pregnant or breastfeeding women, about 11 to 12 milligrams.
For children and adolescents:
0 - 6 months
7 months - 3 years
4 - 8 years
9 - 13 years
14 - 18 years (female)
14 - 18 years (male)
Vaccines never provide absolute protection against infection. It is always best to trust God-given provisions to maintain our health and well-being. Personally, I have fully relied on numerous essential minerals to boost my immune system as I continue to entertain patients regularly. I take IONIQUE® Mineral Drops that has magnesium chloride as its primary ingredient, Elemental Selenium, and Elemental Zinc + Copper. All these are 100 percent natural, ionic, safe, and potent immune boosters and effective infection fighters. Try them and feel the difference!
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